y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: Farewell to Bahooka, L.A.'s Temple of Tiki

Farewell to Bahooka, L.A.'s Temple of Tiki

Bahooka, thought by many to be Los Angeles' most wonderful and kitschy Tiki bar/restaurant was set to close on March 10th, 2013, after 46 years in business.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zl bar flaming drink

However, after the mad crowds on Saturday, March 9th, they decided to shut their doors 24 hours early. Anticipating such crowds, I made plans to visit on Saturday. 

They stated that on their last day they would provide standing only service, even for meals. And they decided to sell the contents of the place, so going on the last day sounded like a huge adventure for the most die hard loyal customers.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_a front

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_d front sign

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_c chains

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_b side trees

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_g patio

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_f front door

Bahooka had been on my 'to do' list for years, being a HUGE tiki lounge fan. It was disappointing when the original Trader Vic's moved to LA Live, so I planned to enjoy Bahooka in all its glory.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_h fish

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_i fish

The Polynesian/tiki restaurant space contains over 100 blue, glowing fish tanks

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_p Rufus

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_q Rufus

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_r Rufus

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_s Rufus

Their infamous 36+ year old resident, carrot-eating fish mascot, Rufus draws a lot of attention.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_t mailboxes

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_u cashier

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_x decor lights

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_y decor signs

Many other tiki, nautical treasures and signs fill every nook and cranny, and there were lots of hallways, turns and rooms.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_j tiki

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_k tiki

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_l hostess

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_v decor

The Rosemead location, somewhat off-the-beaten-path, lent itself to families as e regular patrons, some coming to Bahooka Family Restaurant with their parents since childhood.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zb flaming drink


In addition to their flaming drinks in salad bowls they make "mocktails" for the non-drinkers, making it convenient for children as well as adults.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zo crowd

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_o menu

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_z bar signs

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_za bar bell

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zc bar booth

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zg bar empty cups

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zd bar bench

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zf bar decor Simpsons

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_ze bar man

I fully expected that their drinks would be made from mixers and the menu of largely fried food was not quite up my alley, but the ambiance in this tiki wonderland remained compelling. 

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zi bar mai tai

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zj bar mai tai

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_m sale

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_n sale

Come to think of it, the mai tai tasted great, was not weak and not overly sugary. Drinking it out of a plastic cup took part of the fun away, but that was understandable considering the impending closure.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_w memories

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zp sign filled to capacity

Even on Saturday, they'd reached capacity fairly early into the evening.

Bahooka last weekend Mar13_zq parking lot tiki car

Such one of a kind places in L.A. are dwindling rapidly and we are lucky to enjoy these bits of our city's history before it's too late.


2 Responses to “Farewell to Bahooka, L.A.'s Temple of Tiki”:

  1. Unknown says:

    This place looked just TOO COOL! Sorry to see it go....

  2. Unknown says:

    This place looks VERY COOL, beachy, and fun. Sorry to see it go!

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