If you’re like me: addicted to acquiring Tiki mugs. LOTS of Tiki mugs. Send
help rum! You’ll be happy to know that there are places in L.A. that sell these coveted cups. I’m not just talking Trader Sam’s, Tiki Ti or Tonga Hut, although those are still my favorites. But now there’s Clifton’s Cafeteria downtown, and even “don’t call it a Tiki bar” Lono Hollywood is expecting its own custom-made Tiki mug any day now (but most likely 2018). And these are works of art. Most are buy-them-now-or-lose-them-forever limited editions, not generic mass-produced ones.
I call this a “gift guide,” but who am I kidding? These will most likely be for you, unless you are a very, very good friend. In any case, here’s where in Los Angeles you can buy your next favorite Tiki mug!
Lots of changes happening at Clifton’s Cafeteria thanks to the addition of “cocktail ambassador” Beau du Bois. Got a peek at some of his new cocktails recently, which debut 2018, and they’re SUCH a welcome departure from what’s currently on the menu. Can’t wait!
But while I was there for the menu sneak peek, I discovered that they are actually selling their own Tiki mugs down in the cafeteria! These babies were custom-made for the upstairs Tiki bar Pacific Seas. The above photo is what’s currently in stock now. But keep in mind that as soon as the new bar menu launches and new glassware is ordered, these will disappear. The barrel Tiki mugs from the bar’s opening are long gone. Prices vary from $36 to $40. That brown Nuku Nuku from Tiki Farm on the top right is $40.
Tonga Hut will be launching a new menu and new glassware in January but in the mean time you can still get your hands on the Tonga Hut fireplace vessel ($85) as well as the limited 2017 Derek Yaniger Zombie glasses and 2017 Tiki Tony Mai Tai glasses. There are also Eekum Bookum Mermaid mugs available at $60. But I seriously can’t wait for the menu to come out. The actual printed menu. Artist Susannah Mosher, aka Atomic Kitty, is doing the illustration and layout. It will definitely be frame-worthy, and costs only $5.
Iconic L.A. Tiki bar Tiki Ti will only be open this month from the 13th through the 16th and 27th through 31st cuz “fishing.” So you don’t have much time if you really wanna get a mug from them. But this will motivate you to spring into action: on the 13th, the first day the bar is open in December, they will be selling limited quantities of Tiki Diablo‘s Piranha ($80 for 16 ounces), which is marked with the year Tiki Ti was born. According to its creator Daniel Gallardo, the mug was created in honor of the Tiki Ti fishermen. The doors open at 4 p.m. so you should line up way before then to secure a mug. Also bring cash.
Lono Hollywood may have opened this past summer but it’s still waiting on its custom Tiki mug, which is designed by Ben “Benzart” Davis. The above photo is the carving for the mug. Now it just has to get made. Lono Hollywood co-owner Zachary Patterson says there’s still no word on when they’ll start production but hopes it’ll at least be early 2018. He speculates that this may be the last mug Benzart designs before he retires. So keep an eye on Lono’s Instagram for when they finally go on sale!