Tiki, Tiki, Savvy: Ventura’s VenTiki Keeps the Tiki Torch Burning Bright



Scorpion cocktail. Photo by Edward simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

Tiki Bars are of course especially suited for beach towns and there are few as ‘beachy’ as Ventura. With barely 3 blocks from Main Street and the center of downtown to the beach, Ventura is a perfect destination for those wanting to spend some time enjoying beachside amenities as well as all types of dining. One of the best ways to get in that beachside mood is a visit to VenTiki. Tiki, is more than just a style, for many it is a whole culture, from tropical drinks to Polynesian appetizers to Jimmy Buffett, Don Ho, Martin Denny and surfer music. At VenTiki, you will feel just like you are in a bar on a small tropic isle.

As you walk up to the patio at VenTiki, thatched covers over the tables and tikis greet you. In the evening, tiki torches give that extra Island ambience. Guests have a choice of the large outside patio or a smaller inside bar. If you’ve never been to a tiki bar, sitting inside is a necessity for the true atmosphere. Around you, tropical drinks are presented, the shiny bar evokes a look of the 40’s bars when the real ‘Trader Vic’ and ‘Don the Beachcomber’ created so many tiki drinks that are still popular today. Blue Hawaii, Mai Tai, Pina Colada, Afternoon Delight, Hurricane; all of these might have never seen an actual tropical island, but were designed to make you feel like you were on the perfect tropical island no matter where you were. The collection of tiki mugs and glasses alone is staggering, covering a very important part of the tropic ‘flavor’. They even have the perfect Hawaiian collector’s delight, a ‘Magnum P.I.’ drink mug.

VenTiki Bar INT. hoto by Edward simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

This is one area where VenTiki excels. Not only are there authentic Tiki-era cocktails, but the bartenders at VenTiki have continued to create new versions of tropical drinks. There are also plenty of higher-end sipping spirits, if all you want is a nice glass of rum or vodka as well as beer and wine and excellent sushi and pupus (appetizers). Let’s take a look at VenTiki, holding the Tiki torch high near the beach in Ventura. Photo Essay after the jump.

VenTiki Tiki Lounge and Lanai

701 E. Main Street

Ventura, CA 93001

805-667-8887

www.ventikilounge.com

@VenTiki

Ed Simon

About Ed Simon

Ed is a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food cultures. Whether he's looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii, the best tequila in Jalisco or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in Los Angeles, it's all good food! He also loves a good drink. He's had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, Tequila in Mexico and Rum in Jamaica. His wine escapades have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And he's had beer all over the world! Music is another of Ed's passion, writing and interviewing many classic rock, rock and blues musicians. Getting the great stories of road experiences from them is a particular delight. Traveling also fits in with Ed's writing, exploring all over to find the most interesting places to visit, even in out of the way areas.
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