Posted on July 25th, 2016 No comments
It’s not often you come across a huge discount for some place as great as the Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant and Tiki Lovers’ Dream. Right now, they are offering a LivingSocial deal: $25 gets you $50 towards dinner. Since most of their dinners are in the $25 range, it’s like getting a buy-one-get-0ne-free entree!
No doubt they are offering this because summer is the “slow season” here in sunny South Florida. Which means you’ll probably be able to enjoy your dinner in quiet semi-privacy in one of the themed dining rooms (the offer isn’t available with the show).
If you haven’t been there before, for under $20 I would suggest the beef or chicken teriyaki, the lobster bisque, the Hawaiian rice (ask them to add some pineapple to it), or any of the meats prepared in the Chinese ovens (the steaks are very pricey, but worth the unique taste). Actually we’ve eaten there dozens of times and have never had a bad meal, so anything on the menu is sure to wow. Note that everything except the prix fix menu is ala carte, so plan your bucks accordingly (I’m not sure the offer is available with the fixed-price menu). Also note that they change and update their menu often!
Of course drinks are not included in the offer, and you’re going to want drinks. There are always half price drink specials. Tiki cocktails start in the $10 range and average around $13-15 for a strong drink (like a Mai Tai or Jet Pilot). Considering you’re getting the absolute best cocktails made from the original 50+ year old recipes, that ain’t bad, kids.
The Mai Kai has loosened their attire requirements over the years. When we first went in 2001, they wouldn’t even let you in if you had on shorts and a T-shirt. You couldn’t wear a hat, even in the lounge. Men were expected to wear a jacket.
The last time we were there, there were people in the lounge wearing the same thing you’d wear to go to McDonald’s. It’s a crying shame that people don’t appreciate the special-ness of getting dressed up to go to a fancy joint like the Mai Kai, but that’s our society today. However, if you’re hep to dressing to the nines, you won’t look out of place there. A common theme of course is to wear Hawaiian shirts; some of us old time hipsters swing an Aloha shirt with white linen pants and a casual sport coat like they did in the 1940s and ’50s. I’ve seen the ladies wear anything from Hawaiian print dresses to evening wear, and of course vintage outfits. It all goes, and it all goes great!
The Mai Kai offer is good for 120 days after purchase, and has some fine print…the basics are the usual stuff:
• Limit 5 per customer, additional as gifts
• Limit 1 per table per visit
• Reservations required and subject to availability
• Valid only in non-show dining rooms
• Valid only for dine-in
• Not valid on Saturdays
• Excludes happy hour, early bird menu, BOGO, and in combination with any other discounts or promotions
To get the offer go to LivingSocial here. Remember, these offers only run for a limited time, so you’ll want to buy yours quickly…I’m posting this on Monday, July 25th, 2016, so if you’re a time traveler reading this in the future, you’ll know when to set your machine to.
Cheers, and see you at the Mai Kai, kids!
-Tiki Chris, reporting from the lanai at Tiki Lounge Talk
Posted on August 8th, 2013 No comments
The largest Tiki Culture event in the galaxy, this year’s Tiki-O’s theme is “Hulabilly – A Hawaiian Hootenanny!”
The event happens August 15 through 18th, and includes tons of entertainment including bands, burly-q dancers, singers, guitar slingers, and the favorite here at the Tiki Lounge, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid. Plus there’s the annual antique/classic/hot rod car show, an art show, the Tiki marketplace and tons of food and libations to cure any ills.
To go with the Hulabilly theme, there will be a BBQ shack that features a “Moonshine Burger” – something that sounds like it would tickle my fancy! Tickets are still available, starting at $15 for Thursday night up to $300 for the all-access VIP job.
Wahini Colleen and I won’t be able to transverse the 3000 miles to get to Tiki O this year, but our hearts and spirits will be there. In fact, we’ll probably swing over to the Mai Kai next Friday night to really get in the spirit…that spirit being rum, of course!
Visit the Tiki Oasis 13 website for more info!
-Tiki Chris P, reporting from the BBQ pit behind Pirate’s Cove Tiki BAr
Posted on September 27th, 2012 2 comments
People don’t usually think of the Jersey Shore when they think of Tiki. The boards are about surf and sand, T-shirts and bikinis, hot dogs and fries, not so much about Mai Tais and Aloha shirts. But that’s changing this weekend, as the Asbury Park Boardwalk present their Polynesian-Inspired Event, The Endless Summer Tiki Festival!
Get ready for three days of Poly-pop fun, kicking off on Friday, September 28. There will be plenty of Tiki-inspired events, movies, art, collectibles, and more for festival-goers of all ages.
Here’s some info on the event from the Tiki Festival’s press release:
“We couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate Tiki culture than on the Asbury Park Boardwalk,” commented Marilyn Schlossbach, owner of Langosta Lounge. “The boardwalk businesses, music venues, bars and restaurants are excited to program special events and promotions for Tiki fans from all over the country. We look forward to the ‘Endless Summer Tiki Weekend’ becoming an annual event in Asbury Park, joining the likes of the Ohana Luau in Lake George and the Long Beach Tiki Festival.”
The “Endless Summer Tiki Weekend” will begin on Friday, September 28 with a special launch party and art show at the new Asbury Park Yacht Club on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. Polynesian pinball at the Silverball Museum, a bonfire on the beach, and a live drum circle hula-hoop performance will round out the opening night festivities.
On Saturday, September 29, the Festival’s Rodeo Surf Contest will begin at 7:00 a.m. and include a full day of wave-riding in support of The Jersey Shore Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Later that day, animal lovers will be invited to bring their four-legged friends to the Wonder Bar for a Tiki-inspired Yappy Hour and pet-friendly fashion show. The Festival will continue with a Tiki golf tournament at Asbury 18 Mini Golf, Tiki carving, lei-making and hula-hopping lessons at various boardwalk locations. The classic 1961 film “Blue Hawaii” presented by the Asbury Park Film Initiative will screen on the Third Avenue Beach at 8:00 p.m. The Jersey Shore Roller Girls will also entertain Tiki crowds with a bout at Convention Hall.
The third and final day of the “Endless Summer Tiki Weekend” will include another Tiki Yappy Hour at the Wonder Bar, the continuation of the “Endless Summer Tiki Art Show” at the Asbury Park Yacht Club, and a pool party at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. Blue Hawaii Vintage will present a vintage fashion show in the Carousel starting at 2:00 p.m. and Elvis fans can find El King, the Hawaiian Elvis, strolling the boards on Sunday with a special 3:45 performance on the 4th Avenue Green Space. Attendees will then be invited to bring their beach chairs and towels to Asbury Park’s 3nd Ave. beach for a screening of the original “Endless Summer.”
In addition to the varied day-time events, live music at legendary Asbury Park music venues, including the Stone Pony and Wonder Bar, will be programmed in conjunction with the Festival. The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel will offer festival-goers with a discounted room rate throughout the weekend; interested parties are instructed to mention the event when securing a reservation. For more info visit the website at www.apboardwalk.com”
Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the event, since I’m about 1400 miles away, but it does sound like fun. Like the “Yappy Hour”…all I can think of is a bunch of dogs getting tanked on Zombies.
This event reminds me of some of the Tiki-ness that the Wildwood Boardwalk used to have. There was a Poly-themed motel there, years ago, and a snack bar on the boardwalk that was decorated like a Tiki hut. The piers always had rides with Tiki themes too, over the years, and lots of plastic palm trees.
Anyway, Cheers to the good people of Asbury Park for keeping the Tiki tradition alive, and here’s to hoping you have a fun and prosperous Endless Summer Tiki Weekend!
-Tiki Chris P. reporting from the travel center at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Lounge, hidden somewhere in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted on June 22nd, 2011 No comments
The Hukilau 2011 was crazy, fun and swingin’, as you kats and kitties can imagine (or know for a fact if you were there). I promised a bunch of you that I’d post pix and stories…well, I had so much fun I didn’t take too many pix, but got a few. Plus a few good stories I remember, through the rum-induced haze.
Here’s a slide show of my pix. I know they ain’t great, but some are fun. You’ll notice I didn’t take many photos of people. It’s because I’m a decent writer, but as a photographer I suck eggs!
I tried to see and do everything, but just couldn’t. One of my favorite parts was watching Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and her pod of lovely swimmers performing at the Wreck Bar at the Yankee Clipper. We got there early and for the first time got a front row seat at the bar. What a show! She was joined by a few surprise guests in the water, too…including the Creature from the Black Lagoon and an airline pilot (from the Tikiyaki Orchestra). Kookie stuff. The Wreck Bar served a special drinks called the Fire Eating Mermaid, a pretty blue concoction garnished with a gummy fish. Afterwards we saw the mermaids outside at the pool as they got their pix taken with the crowd. We didn’t get our photo taken then (there were a zillion people there) but I do have this photo of them with and my book, Murder on Tiki Island…Marina is on the cover 🙂
Speaking of mermaids, there was a great presentation by my pals at Vintage Roadside. They traveled all the way from Portland, OR to bring us Aquarama: Girls Who Live Like Fish. They gave us the story of an aquatic show that flourished in the midwest through the 1960s, featuring vintage video, photos, recordings and even actual costumes worn by the performers. You could tell they put hours and hours of research and work into this project, bringing back a part of history that may otherwise have been forgotten. Marina was also there to help with the presentation, and dedicated one of her fish tails to the collection. Definitely a highlight of the event!
Another symposium was “Hawaii – Sailors, Sex and the Birth of Old School Tattoos” by Paul Roe, owner and head artist of Britishink Tattoos in Washington DC. This was an amazing look into the history of Tattoos in America, how the art evolved, and how the original styles influence the art today. I had the luck of sitting next to Paul at The Mai-Kai, and although the Jet Pilots and Mai Tais made the evening a little fuzzy, I remember him saying he’s done (I think) thousands of tattoos. Pretty sure that’s what he said. Anyway it was a fascinating presentation about a subject I know very little about, so it was very kool.
The Thursday night kick-off party was a blast. I don’t remember much of it, and we didn’t stay long because I had worked all day as Vendor Coordinator, but I remember fire, The Tikiyaki Orchestra, Meyers and Coke, a really good hamburger, a rum challenge and a lot of people in Hawaiian shirts.
(I didn’t get any photos of these. I was having too much fun.)
Friday was a blur. Music, booze, helping Vendors with stuff, more booze, more music, The Tattoo symposium, The Wreck Bar, Grinder Nova, The Exotics, The Intoxicators, King Kukulele, more booze…you get the picture.
Saturday wasn’t as much of a blur but still blurry. I missed Beachbum Berry’s Rumposium, which was a letdown, due to a little bad planning on my part. But happy hour and the dinner show at the Mai Kai more than made up for it. I started out with a Jet Pilot (ker-razy strong drink, but I love it) and ended with a Mai Tai. The show was fantabulous as usual…they had a new announcer (Sonny retired after 400 years), a cute Aussie chick with a nice accent. The hula girls and the fire dancers were even better than I remember. King Kukulele started things off with his usual yucks and a few tunes, including The Hukilau Song…of which NOBODY knows all the words. Starts out ok, then kind of goes like…”We’re going to the Hukilau, where the mmmrrmmrm mrmrm mrm something Hukilau”…yeah.
Colleen and I both got steaks from the Chinese ovens. These are prime cuts roasted over applewood. The Mai Kai has some of the best steaks I’ve ever had…so good that Colleen, who is 90% vegetarian, ate a New York Strip. I had the filet. She also got the Lobster bisque which she says is the best she ever tasted. We of course got appetizers…and those glorious drinks. For desert I got the Bananas Bengali, basically Bananas Foster served flaming tableside. The production they make of this rivals the show. Thank Tiki for 151 rum, huh?
Tiki Kiliki, aka Christie White, the organizer of the event made a few very nice speeches and thank yous at the dinner, including giving gold-cast Hukilau mugs to some of the people who helped with the event, including yours truly. That was nice 🙂
We hung out for a while at the Molokai bar at the Mai Kai, rapping with some new friends, and some old friends. It was too packed to get a drink so we wound up back at our room by around midnight. We were down for the count…but most of the clan didn’t quit until the wee small hours.
Sunday was kool. Someone at The Mai Kai had been scrapbooking back in the late 60s all the way up until the mid 90s, and they opened up the archives for view…and I mean they let us open the scrap books and look through them. It was fantastic, photos and press clippings going way back. Someone even brought photos of the Mai Kai’s first celebrity bartender from the late 1950s. Amazing stuff.
One of the people I met during the event was Tricia who runs the gift shop at the Mai Kai. Three very kool things came out of this meeting…one, I got to meet a very groovy chick who was a lot of fun during the event, two she agreed to put my book in the Mai Kai’s gift shop (YEAH!!!!), and three I got a sneak peak at the separate building there which was damaged in Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and closed…they use it for storage now. In fact they have about 80 or so old chairs from the 1980s that they are selling to the public stored there. They don’t usually let people in the building…sadly, it’s been damaged pretty badly…so it was fun to see inside a part of this historic place that hadn’t been seen by many people in six years. Tricia has some excellent ideas on how to renovate the building that could certainly help the Mai Kai…hopefully they’ll be able to do something with it soon!
I missed the meet & greet with Dick Dale, unfortunately, because I had to fix Colleen’s Jeep (starter died). Hopefully he’ll be back next year.
I think that’s about it. Lemme tell ya, it went by way too fast. Next year I’m bringing a bunch of no-doze with me so I can do even more.
By the way…a note to all the vendors of this year’s event…this was my first time as Vendor Coordinator, and I’d just like to say thanks to everyone one of you who helped make this year’s event even more fun, especially my buddies Bob Ho (Tiki Hana), Robert Jimenez (Tiki Tower), Peter Janus (Tropiki), Tahiti Joe, Tiki Mon, Tiki Diablo, Tricia, Renee, Tom, John…oh hell, I can’t list everyone! You were all great…thanks again!
-Tiki Chris P. reporting from my lounge chair at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, home of Tiki Lounge Talk, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
PS – I hope I spelled everybody’s names right. This Sailor Jerry is not good to drink when typing!
Posted on June 8th, 2011 4 comments
That’s right kids, the big event is happening THIS WEEK…and it’s the 10th anniversary of The Hukilau, too!
PROOF that SoCal doesn’t have the monopoly on the koolest of koolness. The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the east coast answer to the Tiki revival!
This year promises to be a truly swingin’ event, with more music, art, drinks and fun than ever. Wahini Colleeni and I have booked a room at the Bahia Mar, where much of the action is taking place, so we can have ALL the fun! So if any of you reading this are making it down to Fort Lauderdale this weekend, look for us!
Some of the highlights of this year’s Hukilau include:
• A “Rumposium” by cocktail-slinger extraordinaire Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, held at the world famous Mai-Kai
• The Tiki Treasure Bazaar featuring 40 of the koolest Tiki and Vintage sellers around
• TONS of entertainment including performances by The Intoxicators!, The Tikiyaki Orchestra, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, Grinder Nova, The Exotics, The Fishermen, DJ’s Lounge Laura Taylor & Drew Farmer, DJ’s Jack Fetterman and Gina of the Jungle and more all emceed by our old pal King Kukulele.
• Appearances/symposiums by Ian Burrell, Martin Cate, Wayne Curtis, Stephen Remsberg, Kevin Kidney & Jody Daily, Dick Dale, Vintage Roadside’s “Beautiful Girls That Live Like Fish!”, Paul Roe’s “Hawaii – Sailors, Sex and the Birth of Old School Tattoos”, Harold Golen Gallery of Miami and more
• The Hukilau Master Mixologist Challenge
• PARTIES PARTIES PARTIES
• And maybe a few surprises…
The Mai-Kai dinner show and some of the symposiums are already sold out, but there’s still plenty of elbow room at the parties. For a complete line up of entertainment and the schedule, visit The Hukilau website.
Aloha kids, see you in Fort Lauderdale!
-Tiki Chris reporting from the beach in front of the Yankee Clipper, Fort Lauderdale