Tiki Bar Review: Lono
Another Tiki Bar in LA! And Lono is another GOOD tiki bar in LA! Only opening in June of 2017, I was worried that it would be too crowded here so I chose a nice easy Sunday afternoon. This turned out to be a good choice as there were only a few people here. I think this is probably by best advice for popular Tiki Bars, go on Sunday afternoons!
Only a block away from the famous Musso & Frank Grille on Hollywood Boulevard and right next to a frat bar is a discreet palm tree painted on white brick with a skinny inset lobby. Once you get inside you will notice what used to maybe be a fireplace at the front that allows some light through the middle but mostly keeps things dark and comfortable inside. Greenery adorns the walls and touches of nautical embellish throughout. In the back, and only open on Friday and Saturday, is a large open atrium bar. There is plenty of booths and seating throughout and ample space all around, especially on this Sunday afternoon.
The Pearl Diver
I tried a bunch of different things the couple times I went here. Let’s start with the Pearl Diver. A difficult drink to make, the best I have ever had was at Latitude 29 in New Orleans and I can safely put this one right at the top as well. Really well made with a nice good froth with the perfect amount of buttery taste. It’s served in a wine glass so the froth doesn’t last for too long, but still great.
The Macadamia Mai Tai
Lono’s Mai Tai is one of the most unique ones I have had. It is very creamy which may be lent to the custom Vanilla Demerara Lime mix they use. A gentle Macadama flavor also rounds this out making it a hint sweeter than most Mai Tais but not too much. I really recommend having this one as your first when you go here. I love the taste and haven’t found anything like it anywhere.
Many More Tasty Things
So yes the Mai Tai but also yes to everything else. The bartender here really loves some Tiki and makes all these beverages with a great deal enthusiasm. He tried his best to convince the two white wine drinkers with reservations to a Tiki Bar to maybe try one of the MANY great options (sadly to no avail). The Curse of the Lono, one of their signature drinks is basically a pineapple heavy Rum Barrel. Big and fruity, it hides its rum well. The A’ole Pilikia, a super complex Painkiller with rum Pisco and flavors of banana and coconut. Finally the two staples, Navy Grog and Zombie. Navy grog on my first trip was a little heavy on the grapefruit but the second trip delivered a perfect mix with the right honey balance. The Zombie had lots of nice spice notes but was very orange flavored for some reason.
Lono takes reservations and you will probably want to take advantage of them if you are looking at going on a busy weekend night. I would like to go back some time and brave the crowds to enjoy that back room on a summer day. Looks like a great experience back there. But don’t ignore a chill Sunday afternoon at Lono. The menu is fantastic. They have a good PuPu menu as well. Tiki is back on Hollywood Boulevard!
Lono - Hollywood, California
Make reservations for the weekend. Afternoons and Sundays are best.
6611 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028