Tag Archives: cocktails

Tiki No? Yes! Locals Appreciation Night December 21 with Open Bar 9-10PM!


At the southern margins of the Arts District on a fairly nondescript block of Lankershim Bl. with a stereo shop across the road sits Tiki No, North Hollywood’s living ode to Tiki culture.

Formally launched in 2009, Tiki No’s transition from an existing dive bar called Match actually started a year earlier. The addition of the fireplace and patio was done along with extensive work by designer “Bob the Bamboo.” Hand carved totems, bamboo cabanas with thatched roofs set the scene for a Tiki oasis. Owners Jeffrey Best and Kenneth Jones painstakingly scoured for Tiki masks, statues, illuminated blowfish and travel trunks that double as shelving behind the bar. Kenneth himself torched the burnt panel walls on the patio. The bar keeps evolving: the latest additions are two giant Tiki god cutouts, castoffs left at the bar, which Jones is currently bedazzling for outdoor display.


Tiki No balances true old-school—featuring authentically re-created cocktails from the dawn and golden age of the Tiki movement—alongside contemporary creations from the mind of proprietor Simon Jones, a blunt-talking Brit who has had a relationship with owners Best and Jones going back 20 years. Simon has built and been a part of Beauty Bar Hollywood, Star Shoes, Vineyard and Skinny’s Lounge North Hollywood. When offered a chance to be part of Tiki No, he says, “I jumped, to bring Tiki No to forefront of the culture and respecting those two fine men that bought this slice of happiness to North Hollywood.” Among his many qualifications, Jones relates, “I have an extensive Hawaiian shirt collection and antique bar equipment.”

The menu—curated by mixologists Damian Windsor and Jason Bran—is a living history of the exotic tropical drink. While it’s not surprising that legendary Trader Vic’s is responsible for two of the cocktails in Tiki No’s canon—the Mai Tai and the Eastern Sour—and that Don the Beachcomber gave them two—The Navy Grog and the Zombie—other drinks come from as far away from the South Pacific as Egypt (The Suffering Bastard), Malaysia (The Jungle Bird), and, well, Benihana New York City (The Happy Buddha). Tiki No’s modern signature cocktails include the Coconut Mojito (coconut run, coconut water, mint, and lime); the Lychee Luau (gold rum, silver rum, lychee liqueur, Pineapple, lemon and falernum); and the Toasted Marshmallow, (overproofed rum, “fluffed” vodka, Licor 43, falernum, apple, lemon and cinnamon).

“I have always been a Tiki fan,” Jones explains. “I love the kitsch, passion and attention to detail in the cocktails. I was also Lucky enough to live opposite The Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach for several years– where the Chief Lapa Lapa was created.”

While Tiki itself/himself is a wellspring of Polynesian faith and culture (Tiki is the Maori’s Adam and a godlike representation in other cultures), leave it to Los Angeles to distill Tiki into the colorful, kitschy, fun and booze-soaked bar concept it is today. While tropical drinks precede it, many credit Texas transplant Donn Beach (né Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt) and his Don the Beachcomber on McCadden Place in Hollywood as the first Tiki bar in the 1930’s. WWII servicemen returning from the Pacific theatre found the South Seas theme reassuring, familiar and fun, and voila! Tiki bars caught on, and after a dip in popularity in the 70’s and 80’s, have enjoyed a resurgence in recent decades. Jimmy Buffet fans—parrotheads—have adopted tiki as their own, substituting tiki pregames for tailgating at Jimmy Buffet shows. North Hollywood claims both of the Valley’s only Tiki bars, the other of course being the Tonga Hut.


Tiki also loves the holidays. Musically, the swingin’ lounge musical concepts, which bring us everything from Leon Redbone’s holiday album to “Christmas Island” (recorded by everyone from Bing Crosby to the Andrews Sisters and the title of Tiki master Jimmy Buffet’s holiday album) to “Baby it’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin. There’s also a genre that’s come out of it called “trop rock,” of which Buffet must be the most visible exponent. Tiki No will celebrate with a “locals appreciation night” holiday party December 22 starting at 9PM, featuring open bar 9-10PM for Noho Arts readers (bring a copy of this story with you] and a drawing on site for a comp bar tab all night for two lucky guests. The drawing is available to anyone who likes or posts on Tiki No’s Instagram page #tikinobar between now and December 21!

Tiki No. 4657 Lankershim Bl, North Hollywood, CA 818.766.0116.

5PM-2AM daily. Tiki No offers Happy Hour seven nights a week from 5-7pm, and Karaoke every Wednesday and Sunday from 8:30pm to close.



Red, White and, um, Sangria?

It’s summer.  We’re lazy. As my late best friend Ian Hartman once wrote, “I feel the urge to sleep even as I write this.”   And as Alice Cooper said, “We can’t even think of a word that rhymes,” as you saw from the headline. This is a lazy column too, a couple hundred words compared to the usual [long] length. Hey, I want to go home, too.

So it makes sense that in summer, the fancy craft cocktails we carefully concoct with skill and measuring equipment and fancy ingredients give way to something…easier. And the easiest way to avoid repeat trips to the bar is to a) give your guests “a choice of one” and b) batch up some stuff. Bloodies. Sun tea. Or, a pitcher of sangria.


Our friends over and Bow and Truss in North Hollywood are totally on board the craft cocktail train and at one time had a host of cocktails made with Spanish sherry, many of them served in cute little Marie Antoinette glasses: coupes modeled, legend has it, on the shape of the queen’s breasts—possibly giving rise to the adage, “anything more than a cupful or a handful is wasted.” We lament the loss of the Spanish-themed drinks menu but they still move a lot of this stuff out on their raked sand patio in the long afternoons of air light they’re enjoying now. If circumstances prevent an in-person visit, Bow and Truss’ sangria is a cinch to make at home.


Red Sangria 

1 750ml bottle malbec

1/2 cup Spanish brandy

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup simple syrup

sliced apples, oranges, and lemons (vary with season e.g. stone fruits add nicely in late summer)

Mix all ingredients. While the sliced fruits look best freshly sliced, they TASTE best after they’d infused the mixture for a while.


White Sangria

1 750ml bottle Chardonnay

1/2 cup dry sherry

1/4 cup orange liqueur

3oz fresh lemon juice

3oz fresh orange juice

1/4 cup simple syrup

Mix all ingredients and add fruits and let stand for an hour.

Fruits change with seasons but this batch was made with lemons, apples and oranges; throw in a few strawberries for color contrast!

Each makes one big pitcher. Serves from 2 to 6 people.

Have at it! Summer Friday!

PS and if you can, and happen to have a lot of money, check out our friend Ian Blackburn’s Laftite Wine Dinner at Josie Santa Monica in July 17.


We can’t make it because a) we can’t afford it and b) we will be downtown watching Chop and Quench at Grand Performances…it’s FREE.


On the BLVD

This post is sort of a cheat. The drinks come from somebody else; it’s filled with shoutouts to clients past and present; and they were created for a bar we represent. But what’s cool about them is a) Jesse’s Damron’s a bar genius whose talents deserve to be shared with the world—he’s kind of the king of the layered cocktail and he gave me some drinks for this series that were almost too complicated to make in any quantity b) some of this stuff is REALLY good, and we wouldn’t have taken them on if we hadn’t thought so, and c) if you’re in LA April 13 I invite you to try them with me at the opening of Bar BLVD. So in those respects, I guess it’s exactly what Killer Hooch is supposed to be about and…you can try this at home!

Bar BLVD Drink Menu
Created by LA Mixologist Jesse Damron from Ocean Bar Service


Bar BVLD Opening Invite

Hollywood BLVD
Sophisticated and savvy, this cocktail combines Bacardi Razz, Koloa Hawaiian rum and coconut rum, sweet lime juice muddled with raspberries, strawberries, simple syrup and mint leaves, topped with club soda and garnished with a lime.

In shaker with no ice, muddle 3-4 raspberries, 1/2 of a strawberry, 1/2 oz. simple syrup, 8-10 mint leaves, and 1 lime wedge

Add ice to shaker then pour:
1.25 oz Koloa Hawaiian rum (www.koloarum.com)
1/2oz. Bacardi Razz
1/2oz. coconut rum (Jesse uses “Three Palms” …it’s his favorite coconut rum and is $8 a bottle)
3/4oz. Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice

Shake above ingredients and pour into a highball glass.
top with ice and club soda. Garnish with a Lime.

Sunset BLVD
Edgy and unpredictable, the Sunset Blvd pays homage to the road of rock & roll. Blends Bombay Sapphire Gin, Zen Green Tea liqueur, Triple Sec with min, simple syrup and a dash of…water. Garnished with mint sprig.

In shaker with no ice muddle 8-10 mint leaves and 1/2 oz. of simple syrup.

Add ice to shaker and pour:
1oz. Bombay Sapphire
1.5 oz. Zen Green Tea Liqueur (www.suntory.com/zen)
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
dash of water

Shake and strain into martini glass. Garnish with mint sprig

Wilshire BLVD
Soaring and airy, uncomplicated and refined like the soaring towers of the Wilshire corridor, Wilshire BLVD is Haamonii low-calorie shochu, Elixir G and whit cranberry juice. Garnished with lemon slices.

In a Highball glass, fill with ice and pour:
1.5 oz Haamonii Shochu (http://haamoniismooth.com)
1/2 oz Elixir G (http://elixirg.com)

Fill with white cranberry juice and garnish with lemon

Ventura BLVD
History meets contemporary in this dusky, exotic cocktail. Root liqueur, Langer’s Mongo Mango, Elixir G and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum mixed with Rose’s Cherry Grenadine and a sprig of rosemary. Very potent; keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.

In shaker with ice pour:
1.25 oz. Root Liqueur (www.artintheage.com/spirits-aita)
3/4oz. Rose’s Cherry Grenadine
2 oz. Langer’s Mongo Mango
1/2oz. Elixir G
1/4 oz. Goslings Black Seal Rum

Shake and pour into rocks glass
Garnish with rosemary or mint sprig

La Cienega BLVD
Beware the snake: BLVD’s fresh organic margarita, the La Cienega BLVD features Tequila Tierras–the first TTB and USDA ORGANIC Tequila in the US—agave nectar and fresh lime juice.

Fresh Organic Margarita

In Shaker with ice pour:
1.5 oz. Tierras Tequila (http://www.tierrastequila.com)
1 oz. Agave nectar
Squeeze 1 fresh lime

Shake and pour into rocks glass
Garnish with lime

Robertson BLVD
Like the famed shopping district, the Robertson BLVD is a playful, inviting confection featuring Blue Angel Vodka, Martini Gold Pomegranate mixer and martini Gold Chocolate mixer garnished with fresh crushed cherries.

In shaker with ice pour:

1.5 oz. Blue Angel Vodka (www.blueangelvodka.com)

2 oz. Martini Gold Pomegranate mixer (www.mymartinigold.com)
1/2 oz. Martini Gold Chocolate mixer

Shake and strain into martini glass
Garnish with fresh cherry

Want to try them with us?  Mention Killer Hooch in your RSVP and come see us next week to try these cocktails for yourself!