Thursday, June 3, 2010

BARS: Tiki Ti, Silverlake, CA. home away from home.

There are few bars in Los Angeles that I have felt welcome at, and I've been to ALOT of bars in LA. There is the Kibitz room in the Fairfax disctrict that has always been a good place to grab a cheap drink, watch Willie Chambers of the famous Chambers Brothers do an amazing live show every weekend, or to just catch Artie Vegas the same night do his Rock & Roll re-vue.. Not to mention to get amazing food and watch the assortment of weird patrons stumble in. There's also the Golden State in that area, great staff, awesome beers on tap, ..amazing food.

So with that said, I was in Puerto Rico earlier this year and I had my fill of Tropical Drinks while I was there. I came home and was reunited with friends at a little slice of heaven called Tiki Ti. Located just south of where Sunset & Hollywood meet, this little hole in the wall, (and I mean that) has been sitting there since 1961. Originally a violin repair shop I believe, and this landmark is one of the longest running Tiki Bars (next to the Tonga Hut in NoHo) delivering amazing beverages to locals.

Their claim to fame has been the trademark 'Ray's Mistake' cocktail they serve by the dozens every hour of operation. Quick story on the drink, created by the master ninja Ray Buhen by mistake for a patron in a rush. Turns out he was making him his beverage and told him that he messed up, but the person said he'd take it anyway, VOILA! the Ray's Mistake was born. The customer said how AMAZING the drink was, and from that moment on, it became the signature cocktail of the Tiki Ti.

The bar has I think 86 cocktails on the menu, and some brave souls have attempted to try them all. They have either gone broke, or washed away by the giant wave of alcoholism trying. I personally have stuck with my top 3 drinks, the Bayanihan, Ray's Mistake, and the Painkiller. the Bayanihan is a similar to a Pina Colada but not as boring and festive. The Painkiller is a standard Tiki drink but this one has got to be one the best I've ever had. Topped with some nutmeg and cinnamon on top, it's just amazing to have once you're in a good buzz want something to sip slowly.
I can honestly go ON and ON about how this bar makes me go and become a full blow alcoholic because the drinks are just so well made. I've been going every week and have finally earned rank at the table of the veterans. Mike Sr. and I smoke cigars every week, Mike Jr. is always on hand to make an amazing Bloody Tiki, and Mark is becoming the master of the Ray's Mistake every Wed. when I order one.

As yo can see the decor of this place is every Tiki-phile's fantasy. Plenty of bamboo, thatch, outdoor lights, millions of patron's names litering the walls and ceilings, just about every Tiki nic-nac you can think of and so much more. Personally my favorite item behind the bar is their custom FEZ hat. If I ever had a choice of one thing to take from there it would definitely be that. The amout of mugs on the shelves are just too many to even count. That seems to be the ultimate form of acceptance. If you can get your mug on the shelf and be able to use it when you come in, that'd be my ultimate goal. Personally I feel like I am up to that standard but there just isn't anymore room on the wall!

 I can honestly keep going, but I'm not. If you're ever in Los Angeles, skip the Museum of Wax, skip all those goofy places in Hollywood, and just come to something that's really nostalgic and will live up to your expectations. Expect alot of smoke, cash only, and the friendliest staff ever.

..and never EVER. Order a BEER!

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