Tiki VIP #15 Humuhumu (Critiki)


I do a fair amount of traveling for my blog. If I’m flying into a city, I want to know if there are any Tiki bars and I want to know if they are worth checking out. Doing a Google search or reading Yelp reviews isn’t going to tell me what I need to know. Does a place serve good Tiki drinks? How is the décor? What is the crowd like? Luckily there is Critiki. Critiki is a website dedicated to reviewing Tiki bars by Tikiphiles like myself. If a bar hasn’t been reviewed on Critiki, it’s probably not worth visiting. The woman behind Critiki is Humuhumu and she knows her Tiki! I got a chance to ask Humuhumu some questions…

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Tiki Bar Review #25 The Monkeypod Wailea, Maui

The Monkeypod Kitchen
The Monkeypod Kitchen

Myth: There are tons of Tiki bars in Hawaii!

Reality: Well, not really…

The main appeal of a Tiki bar is to create the illusion that you are in a tropical paradise. When you’re actually in Hawaii, why would you need the illusion? You’re actually there! What’s tough is finding a bar that actually makes good drinks. All Mai Tais are not created equal in Hawaii and good luck finding a place that makes a good one. Well folks, if you happen to find yourself on the island of Maui you’re in luck. Head the directly to the Monkeypod!

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Tiki VIP #14 Wendy Cevola (Tiki Mug Artist)

Wendy Cevola

I read about Wendy in the Winter 2015/16 edition of Tiki Magazine and More and she seemed so cool…

Wendy's write up in Tiki Magazine and More
Wendy’s write up in Tiki Magazine and More

She makes Tiki mugs out of her home. Wendy lives in Elk Grove, CA, which is located on the outskirts of Sacramento. I’m not the only one who’s interested in Wendy. The Elk Grove Citizen newspaper ran not one, but two stories on Wendy! She mailed me a newspaper clipping…

Wendy in the Elk Grove Citizen newspaper clipping
Wendy in the Elk Grove Citizen newspaper clipping

Luckily, the article is online and it gives a great overview on Wendy and her art.

The Elk Grove Citizen photograph of Wendy
The Elk Grove Citizen photograph of Wendy

Here is another article on Wendy from the Elk Grove Citizen. This is from March 2011 and gives a great overview of Wendy and her interest in making Tiki mugs.

As I’m writing this post, ABC 10 is going to Wendy’s place to do a news story on her! Here is the video! I see big things happening for this talented lady. Here are some questions I wanted to ask Wendy before she gets too famous!

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Tiki VIP #13 Tiki Kiliki, aka Christie White

Kiliki with Dawn Wells aka Mary Ann

DIY: Do It Yourself!

When I was younger and playing in punk bands, I learned really quickly that if you wanted things to happen, you had to do it yourself. Want to play a show? Set one up yourself. Want to read about the bands you liked? Start a fanzine. Want to make record? Start your own label! DIY.

Back in the day, the only Tiki show in town was Tiki Oasis, which took place in California. That’s great, but what if you lived on the other side of the country? Well, if you’re Christie White, aka Tiki Kiliki, you set up your own Tiki celebration! That’s exactly what Christie did when she created Hukilau and it has grown bigger and bigger each year. This is Christie’s story…

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Home Tiki Bar Spotlight #18 The Desert Oasis Room Corona, CA

The Desert Oasis Room photo by Mike Remmel

Adrian Eustaquio has been living the Tiki lifestyle for a long time—since the ’90s, to be exact. If anyone knows what Tiki is supposed to be, it’s Adrian. When it came time build his own bar, Adrian had a vision of what a proper Tiki bar should be and his place is truly outstanding. The Desert Oasis Room is so outstanding that it has been photographed for Hana Hou, which is Hawaiian Airlines own magazine! In fact, all the pictures used for this post are from professional photographers Kamala Kingsley and Mike Remmel. Here is Adrian’s story…

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Unlikely Tiki #2 Josie And Mike Johnston (Canadian Metalheads)

What kind of music do you like?

This sounds like a simple question, but it’s actually a loaded question—or at least it was back in the ’80s. There was a lifestyle that went along with the music you listened to. There were very distinct silos that were happening at the same time and seldom crossed paths. There were the new wavers, the goths, the punks, and of course, the metalheads. Now that I think about it, there was a big difference between someone who was a fan of Bon Jovi and someone who loved Slayer! I personally fell into the metalhead camp and so did Josie and Mike.

Josie and Mike live in Canada. They were and still are into metal and hard rock. Along the way they discovered Tiki. Here is their story…

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Home Tiki Bar Spotlight #17 A. Panda’s Tiki Lounge Bethlehem, PA

A. Panda Tiki Lounge

“Oh little town of Bethlehem…”

Bethlehem is one of the cities that make up the Lehigh Valley in eastern PA along with Allentown and Easton. For a long time, steel was Bethlehem’s main export, but the days of Bethlehem Steel’s reign are long gone. You may not find much steel in Bethlehem nowadays, but what you will find is a Tiki powerhouse in a man named Andy Panda!

Andy Panda has his own Tiki blog, his own Tiki radio station, and his own Tiki podcast. All are incredible. What also is incredible is A. Panda’s Tiki Lounge…

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Straight Edge Tiki #1 Hale Pele 12/3/16

Ray Jamie and Daren at Hale Pele

A big aspect of Tiki culture is the cocktails…

But what if you don’t drink alcohol?

Can you still enjoy the Tiki lifestyle and not have Mai Tais and Zombies part of the equation? That’s what I wanted to find out. I headed to Hale Pele in Portland, OR with my friends Daren, Jamie, and my photographer Dieter and we were just going to order non-alcoholic drinks.

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Tiki Field Report #9 Tiki Rock Stars In San Fran! 11/25/16

Tiki Rock Stars at Smuggler's Cove
Tiki Rock Stars at Smuggler’s Cove

When I moved to Seattle from Pennsylvania over a decade ago, I told my parents I wouldn’t be coming home for the holidays. This wasn’t because I don’t love them, but because you always run the risk of dealing with snow and freezing rain during the winter. What I usually do is fly home during the spring or early fall. The weather is better and the flights are cheaper.

The holidays can be a little tough when all your friends are spending time with their families and my family is thousands of miles away. Instead of wondering how long to leave the turkey in the oven, I wonder where I’m going to put myself for the day. At first blush, this may sound depressing and lonely, but it’s actually quite liberating! I have a four days off during the Thanksgiving holiday. What should I do with them? Where should I put myself? I know: San Francisco!

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