With the original Don the Beachcomber a distant memory, Tonga Hut is the oldest extant tiki bar in LA. With vintage midcentury décor, island-themed art and displays of tiki mugs, it always feels like 1958 inside. The menu features as many classics as it does house-invented concoctions, plus there’s always a rotating seasonal section on the drinks list. (Headed to Palm Springs? Check out Tonga Hut’s new sister location there, which serves authentic ’50s-style Pu Pu platters, in addition to cocktails.)
THE DRINK TO DRINK:
Check the specials board next to the bar, where each shift’s bartender writes up his or her personal specialties.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
Dedicated regulars can attempt to join the Loyal Order of the Drooling Bastard, which gives you a year to drink one of every cocktail in Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s classic tiki recipe book Grog Log. Succeed and you’ll get a buck off every drink for life, plus be commemorated with your own plaque on the wall.
Image: Tom D. Kline