Old school polynesian restaurants?

Author
tide12
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 2
  • Joined: 2004/02/01 23:58:00
  • Location: enterprise, AL
  • Status: offline
2010/03/14 23:41:10 (permalink)

Old school polynesian restaurants?

These places have almost gone the way of the dodo. Some surviving examples that still seem to be doing well are Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Lee's Hawaiian Islander in Lyndhust, NJ and King Yum in Queens. You know what I mean, those joints that look like the set of Gilligan's Island. Tiki carvings and bamboo everywhere. Exotic cocktails, like Mai Tais and Singapore Slings. Old fashioned Americanized Chinese cuisine, like pu pu platters, pressed duck and sweet and sour pork. Can anyone direct me to some more restaurants of that sort?
#1

24 Replies Related Threads

    carollwdls
    Hamburger
    • Total Posts : 86
    • Joined: 2007/06/12 18:09:00
    • Location: Dallas, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/15 02:06:02 (permalink)
    Trader Vic's! Here in DullAss it seems like the restaurant has been here forever ~~ at least, in my life. In fact, I had always thought it was a local joint, but when I read your post I searched it out on Google and it IS a chain ~~ with 30 locations! It was originally established in the 30's and claims to be the original place for the Mai Tai. Perusing the current menu it has certainly added more *current* selections (calamari, flat iron steak, sea bass, tofu (not that it is a current creation, but I can't believe it would have been on a menu in the 60's!) ), but still has crab rangoon, crispy duck, BBQ pork spare ribs, Cho-cho, pu-pu platters, etc. And of course they have the exotic drinks: Mai Tais, Slings, Scorpions, Zombies and many others. They have several locations in California & are also in Arizona, Texas, Chicago, & Atlanta. They have international locations in London, Germany & Thailand as well as other places.
    While I haven't been there in years, I am sure that it still has the fantasy decor you describe (as it is so indicated on the website). And I must confess I am perplexed as to your interest. As I recall the food was mediocre but really who cared after a few Mai Tai's? ;) It was more about the total surreal experience of a place that never was. Candyland for adults. Yes, I'll have another Zombie! But at least now you know there are aLOT of other cities/states/countries that have that Gilligan's Island you're looking for!
    ~~ CiaoMeow ~~
    #2
    i95
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2500
    • Joined: 2003/07/14 07:27:00
    • Location: Sin City, VA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/15 07:46:55 (permalink)
    Don't forget...
     
     
    ...in Lynnfield, Massachusetts (just north of Boston).
    #3
    MiamiDon
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4306
    • Joined: 2006/09/08 07:12:00
    • Location: Miami, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/15 11:07:35 (permalink)
    There are several organizations and web sites dedicated to all things tiki/polynesian. 
     
    Here is a site that lists quite a few locations:
     
    http://www.critiki.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?
     
     
    #4
    rumaki
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1078
    • Joined: 2008/03/01 11:22:00
    • Location: Minneapolis, MN
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/15 11:34:12 (permalink)
    When I lived in Rochester, NY in the early 1980s, I loved this place, now long gone:
     
    http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=33074&forum=2&9
    This place in Greenwood, Indiana (southside Indianapolis), is still one of my favorites -- great rumaki, egg rolls, and Navy Grogs!
     
    http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=11580&forum=2
    post edited by rumaki - 2010/03/15 11:36:50
    #5
    wheregreggeats.com
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4615
    • Joined: 2003/07/13 22:24:00
    • Location: Northampton, MA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/15 11:50:32 (permalink)
    Does the Hukelau:
    http://www.hukelau.com/dining.html
    in Chicopee, Massachusetts qualify?

    #6
    sk bob
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1801
    • Joined: 2005/12/29 17:18:00
    • Location: South Daytona, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/16 20:17:57 (permalink)
    they used to have a Hukelau in Rocky Hill, CT. also.

    another one was South Seas in West Hartford, CT. center
    #7
    Foodbme
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10356
    • Joined: 2006/09/01 14:56:00
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/16 21:58:45 (permalink)
    The Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale AZ is the Home of a Trader Vic's.
    Back in the '50's this was a place where Hollywood Stars would come to "Hide & Play".
     
    It's been renovated and is once again one of the "Beautiful People, Hip & Chic" places to be seen in Scottsdale.

    http://www.hotelvalleyho.com/scottsdalerestaurants/tradervics.html
    #8
    Art Deco
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 890
    • Joined: 2002/06/12 16:27:00
    • Location: Nashville, TN
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/19 10:14:01 (permalink)
    In Smyrna, TN is an old tiki place called The Omni Hut.  Been around since 1960.

    http://www.omnihut.com/


    #9
    MissKitty
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 292
    • Joined: 2003/10/24 14:55:00
    • Location: UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/24 06:42:43 (permalink)
    I hardly think oldskool Polynesian restaurants count as " fancy ",  hotdogcommunity. Fun and nostalgic, yes, fancy - no. 
     
    But then I'm fairly sure your comment here, as with several other of your comments on the roadfood forums, have been made with an eye to your own commercial interests.
    #10
    enginecapt
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 3486
    • Joined: 2004/06/04 05:01:00
    • Location: Fontana, CA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/24 08:02:21 (permalink)
    MissKitty


     
    But then I'm fairly sure your comment here, as with several other of your comments on the roadfood forums, have been made with an eye to your own commercial interests.

    You can say that again. Spam-o-rama.

    #11
    MissKitty
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 292
    • Joined: 2003/10/24 14:55:00
    • Location: UK
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/24 11:56:24 (permalink)
    Now I feel silly because the original comment has been removed, leaving mine floating in a contextless vacuum  Well, pleased too. Spam in a can makes me happy. Spam on a forum makes Kitty grumpy !

    On a more thread related note, I did enjoy looking at some of the links you folks have provided. Brightens up a dull damp day with images and thoughts of fun food and tropical decor
    #12
    ken8038
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1601
    • Joined: 2004/02/04 20:13:00
    • Location: scotch plains, NJ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/26 09:00:19 (permalink)
    There's one right here in Scotch Plains, the Jade Isle. I'm not sure how they stay in business, The parking lot is usually close to empty, and from what I've read the food isn't all that great. In 12 years of living here we haven't been once, it looks run down and not very inviting.

    http://jadeisle.net/default.aspx

    PS: The Lost City blog (great blog, by the way, for fans of forgotten NY) had a recent article on a Columbian Restaurant in Queens NY that was a Polynesian place until the 1980's and never changed the decor!:
    http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2010/03/inside-dragon-seed.html

    Only in New York.

    #13
    cavandre
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1634
    • Joined: 2008/03/14 09:58:00
    • Location: Melbourne, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/27 08:17:26 (permalink)
    It's a little after 8am & I'm sitting here jonesing for a PuPu platter & a Navy Grog. I think I've gone over to the dark side of Roadfood.
    #14
    cavandre
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1634
    • Joined: 2008/03/14 09:58:00
    • Location: Melbourne, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/29 09:38:49 (permalink)
    Tiki drinks may be coming back...

    http://www.chow.com/stories/12093
    #15
    rumaki
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1078
    • Joined: 2008/03/01 11:22:00
    • Location: Minneapolis, MN
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/31 12:46:04 (permalink)
    I just wanted to report that I had dinner at Lotus Garden last night (I was in Indianapolis after doing a program at IU, and spent Tuesday night in Indy because I had a very early flight out this morning).
     
    Lotus Garden is still doing great "tiki."  And to add to the whimsy, there were two Easter bunnies posted on the pillars outside the restaurant.
     
    I had a Navy Grog -- well, actually two.   My brother had two Rum Collinses.  We always have a little back-and-forth with the Chinese waiters about whether he's ordering a Rum Collins or a "Rum Cow," which is one of those Tiki drinks served in a ceramic coconut shell.   He got the Rum Collinses, but it took some explanation and some patience.
     
    We shared two egg rolls and an order of rumaki, and then went on to some Chinese-American classics (chicken almond ding, chicken mushroom chow mein, and mushroom egg foo young, with steamed rice).  Everything was delicious, and the service was great.
     
    One of the most amusing and retro things about Lotus Garden is that, after you sit down at the table, they immediately bring you a silver basket full of cellophane-wrapped crackers, plus enough dinner rolls for everyone at the table -- with a separate dish of wrapped butter pats.  This is the only Chinese-American restaurant I've ever been to that serves you rolls and butter, regardless of whatever else you intend to order.
     
    And by the way, the "blackboard special" last night was two different cuts of prime rib. Lotus Garden is known for its excellent prime rib, but I've never had it. 
     
    #16
    MiamiDon
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4306
    • Joined: 2006/09/08 07:12:00
    • Location: Miami, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/31 13:34:18 (permalink)
    I believe that Don the Beachcomber was the original tiki bar.  Someone has revived the name, and is using it at a polynesian tiki bar they renovated in Huntington Beach, California.

    Don the Beachcomber

    #17
    mar52
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 8318
    • Joined: 2005/04/17 18:50:00
    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/31 15:09:55 (permalink)
    I'm a fan of some of the glasses from the old Polynesian restaurants.  

    Check out some of my collection.  Some from Japanese, some Chinese and some Polynesian.

    http://smack.homestead.com/bennies.html


    #18
    Foodbme
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10356
    • Joined: 2006/09/01 14:56:00
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/03/31 19:46:09 (permalink)
    mar52

    I'm a fan of some of the glasses from the old Polynesian restaurants.  

    Check out some of my collection.  Some from Japanese, some Chinese and some Polynesian.

    http://smack.homestead.com/bennies.html
     
    WOW! MAR!
    That's the most impressive picture I've ever seen on Roadfood.com! It immediately reminded me of that Palace in China, can't remember the name, of all the thousands of Warriors standing facing the same direction. The only difference was that they didn't have holes in their bellies for a straw!!    FANTASTIC Collection !!
     
    #19
    MiamiDon
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4306
    • Joined: 2006/09/08 07:12:00
    • Location: Miami, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/04/01 07:48:15 (permalink)
    That's a pretty cool collection, Marlene.  I used to have about a dozen from the white group, collected from Samurai and Benihana here in Miami (Samurai is now part of the Benihana chain).  I sold them at a yard sale a long time ago.
    #20
    sonjaab
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 193
    • Joined: 2005/06/15 22:50:00
    • Location: Syracuse, NY
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/04/18 14:06:31 (permalink)
    My mom used to be a server at the now gone Hawaiian Village on Del Mabry in Tampa Fl. in the early 60s !  Still have some old HV imprinted flatware around somewhere.  Will have to look thru the old pic album to see her in her glory days of young slim and beautiful in her HV bikini uniform getup!
    Check out:
    http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=34194&forum=2&6
    this site for pics of the place and other tiki style place then and now......................

    post edited by sonjaab - 2010/04/18 14:11:34
    #21
    ChrisOC
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1037
    • Joined: 2008/07/09 16:19:00
    • Location: Ocean City, NJ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/04/26 21:52:27 (permalink)
    Boy, this brings back memories of my younger days in the 50's and 60's in Philly when we had Pub Tiki and Kona Kai with all the torches outside...... pu pu platter and sweet and sour chicken with real leechee nuts!
    #22
    caver
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 104
    • Joined: 2004/11/05 18:29:00
    • Location: Murfreesboro, TN
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/05/03 08:58:16 (permalink)
    pogophiles

    In Smyrna, TN is an old tiki place called The Omni Hut.  Been around since 1960.

    http://www.omnihut.com/

     
    You have to at least respect a place where two of the first items on the menu start with "Bacon wrapped..." 
    #23
    RodBangkok
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 402
    • Joined: 2008/10/12 09:58:00
    • Location: Bangkok Thailand, XX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/05/03 09:29:26 (permalink)
    Well the last one I was at was the one at Disneyland, with all the talking parrots, sorta dates me, but if you want the real thing when it comes to a Sling you need to visit here:

    http://www.raffles.com/EN...ants_Bars/Long_Bar.htm


    The long bar today is way too touristy to sit and have a relaxing drink, but many years ago I'd spend an lot of time there, was peaceful and the best service, as a scotch drinker only ever had one sling there, just to say I did.  You want an original Sling, and get a taste of the lifestyle the elite enjoyed in the early 20th century spend a few nights at Raffles.
    #24
    BDavey
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2008/05/29 15:14:00
    • Location: Des Moines, IA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Old school polynesian restaurants? 2010/05/04 15:37:58 (permalink)
    I the Des Moines area we have Fongs Pizza .  Its a fusion of Pizza, Asian and Polynesian.  They have great drinks in all of these cool mugs and some pretty unusual but decent pizza.  If in the area, you need to check it out.
     
    #25
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1