Summertime is Tiki Time in Los Angeles

Tiki cocktails - The Spare Room

As Los Angeles continues to endure a sweltering heat wave, the timing couldn’t be better for three stellar tiki events taking place over the next several days. It all starts on the eve of Tiki Oasis 12 with the latest installment of An Evening of Tiki at The Spare Room. Beverage Director Naomi Schimek has assembled a killer roster of guest bartenders for the monthly series, beginning in May with Julian Cox (Rivera, a 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards finalist for Best Restaurant Bar) and Zachary Patterson (Bagatelle).

Julian Cox & Zach Patterson - The Spare Room

Cox and Patterson set the cocktail and costume bar high, and subsequent bartenders have stepped up.

Naomi Schimek & Ivy Mix - The Spare Room

L to R: Naomi Schimek and Ivy Mix

In June, Schimek welcomed Clover Club bartender and Speed Rack co-founder Ivy Mix, a Spirited Awards finalist for American Bartender of the Year.

Pirate Tiki - The Spare Room

ARRR: Marcos Tello (far left) and Jason Schiffer (black beard) lead the motley crew.

Last month saw a reunion of two of the principals from last year’s fantastic Tiki Nights at 320 Main, Marcos Tello and Jason Schiffer. Tello and Schiffer took no prisoners with a Pirate Tiki night of Schiffer originals and Tello’s historic LA tiki classics.

On Wednesday, August 15th, An Evening of Tiki welcomes Richie Boccato of the acclaimed PKNY for what Schimek said will be “a full takeover of the entire space.” Joining Boccato behind the stick will be his wife Amanda, aka @LadyLillet. “Epic” is a word that gets thrown around too much these days, so let’s just say this is a night not to be missed.

An Evening of Tiki
Island-Inspired Cocktails and Music
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

  • Richie Boccato (PKNY), Amanda Boccato (Lillet)
  • Music by Sebastian Posso and Dom P

The Spare Room
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Mezzanine Level)
7000 Hollywood Blvd. (at Orange)
(323) 769-7296

For more photos of the An Evening of Tiki series, please visit the Thirsty in LA Facebook album.

Tiki Throwdown - 320 Main

Click to view.

Speaking of tiki nights at 320 Main, the mainstay of the OC cocktail scene is celebrating “an evening of Polynesian Pop and Delectable Cocktails” with a Tiki Throwdown on Monday, August 20th. Expanding on the format of last summer’s Don vs. Vic battle, five tiki icons will be pitted against each other: Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove), Stephen Crane, Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic. As before, the tiki champion will be determined by popular vote. 320 Main’s Jason Schiffer and Matt Robold (RumDood) will be joined by Kelly Merrell from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.

Tiki Throwdown
Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Jason Schiffer, Matt Robold and Kelly Merrell (Trader Sam’s)
  • Classic tiki drinks
  • Punch, hot dogs and prizes

320 Main
320 Main Street
Seal Beach, CA 90740
(562) 799-6246

Tiki Tuesdays - La Descarga

Don and Vic get have been getting their props at La Descarga, which recently debuted its Tiki Tuesdays weekly event. Head bartender Joe Swifka, who held the same position at Julie Reiner’s Lani Kai, launched Tiki Tuesdays with a ten-cocktail list that mixes classics and his own creations, such as the superb Black Magic Woman (a favorite from his stint at Bar | Kitchen). Swifka said he hopes to keep expanding the menu until it encompasses dozens of drinks.

3 Dots and a Dash - La Descarga

3 Dots and a Dash: Rhum Clement VSOP, El Dorado 12-Year, Velvet Falernum, St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram, honey, fresh orange and lime juices, Angostura Bitters.

Big Bamboo - La Descarga

Big Bamboo: Blackwell's Dark Jamaican, Matusalem Classico, passionfruit, fresh lime, orange and grapefruit juices, Angostura Bitters.

Fire Dancer - La Descarga

Tiki Tuesdays: so hot

Going tiki every Tuesday is a good fit for the rum-soaked La Descarga: with splashes of tropical flowers and the house band playing Hawaiian slack key and surf guitar, you can practically hear the waves crashing against the shore.

Tiki Tuesdays at La Descarga
1159 N. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 466-1324

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  1. Food GPS on August 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    The Spare Room does a good job of rotating talented guest bartenders through the space. Nice work by Aidan in setting up the bar, and Naomi in keeping the place on point.

  2. kneejerk on August 24, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Kinda disappointed in La Descarga’s offerings- aside from the BMW. They just seemed to lack kick.
    Even more disappointed that I didn’t know about The Spare Room thing…

  3. thirstyinla on August 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    There’s one more tiki night coming up at The Spare Room, September 12th.

  4. kneejerk on August 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Are these a madhouse where it would be a nightmare to actually even order a drink?

  5. thirstyinla on September 2, 2012 at 11:11 am

    They’ve been packed later on, if you arrive before 10pm it’s pretty chill.

  6. […] Summertime is Tiki Time in Los Angeles […]

  7. […] TUESDAY THROWDOWN Last summer, La Descarga head bartender Joe Swifka launched Tiki Tuesdays with a menu that mixed tiki classics […]