In one of the most anticipated openings of LA Live’s offerings, Trader Vic’s comes back to Los Angeles on April 26th to once more thrill Angelenos and tourists alike. Even with a little more than a week to go, reservations are already filling and private parties are being booked. Unless you’ve experienced Trader Vic’s at some point in your life, it most likely makes no sense, particularly in the present economic climate. However, in a time when escape is a big money maker (ie. video games), one that hasn’t seen much of a hit while recession proof businesses are floundering, we all need a place like Trader Vic’s where we can enter into another world, be treated like the kings and queens of the island and just relax if even for an hour or two.
While Trader Vic’s has a lush and tawdry history in Los Angeles, as it was a favorite spot for the rich and famous like Hugh Hefner, it all began a few decades before landing in Beverly Hills. In 1934, a man named Victor Bergeron started a little saloon in Oakland with nothing more than $500. He called it Hinky Dinks, after a WWII song. It was a big hit and soon became very popular. A few years later, the name changed to the now internationally known Trader Vic’s due to Victor’s infamous habit of bartering.
Trader Vic’s hit Beverly Hills in 1955. Right away, it was the place to be. It is also argued to be the spark that started the Tiki craze that blazed through Southern California from the 50’s to the 60’s. In 2006, Trader Vic’s Beverly Hills was closed amidst an outcry. For some, it was an historical spot. Others felt it was one of the few pieces of Polynesian architecture left in Los Angeles, thus making it worth saving. Ultimately, it was shut down. All that remains is a poolside tiki lounge run by the Trader Vic’s company.
It is appropriate that on the 75 year anniversary of a cultural phenomenon that has since swept the world, Trader Vic’s returns to Los Angeles and finds a home at LA Live. Featuring over 80 specialty cocktails and world cuisine (Asian, South Pacific and California) served with an adventurously epic flare unlike anything still existing in modern restaurants, Trader Vic’s offers a lounge with live entertainment and a mysteriously lit dining room for romantic forays. For those beautiful Los Angeles nights, of which we have many, a patio is also available for seating. Be sure to try out a Big Kahuna (It’s served on fire!), the signature drink for the LA Live location served in a one of a kind Tiki Mug designed by TikiFarm.