Tropic Thunder | Tiki No

The tiki cocktail boom hits North Hollywood

Dust off that Hawaiian shirt: L.A.'s tiki culture is back. With a vengeance.

With drinks programs at Acabar and Allumette embracing retro-tropical concoctions, as well as Culver City's forthcoming Lucky Tiki, it's only fitting that the city credited with inventing the Zombie is now bringing it back to life.

The latest beneficiary of this tiki boom is Tiki No, a three-year-old lounge in North Hollywood whose Polynesian decor and thatched roof previously outshone its underwhelming drinks. Not anymore: Owner and restaurateur Jeffrey Best called upon bartenders Damian Windsor and Jason Bran, formerly of The Roger Room, to polish up the drink menu.

Tiki No's neon signage

"We didn't want to reinvent the wheel," explains Bran, who tweaked classic recipes from Beachbum Berry's book and updated kitschy Tiki No originals to construct the potent, affordable 13-cocktail menu.

The duo also implemented fresh-squeezed juices, traditional Caribbean rums and a fantastic selection of themed tiki mugs.

Our favorite drinks included the passion fruit-forward Chief Lapu Lapu ($9), the Campari-spiked Jungle Bird ($11) and the flaming Trader Vic's Scorpion Bowl ($28), which serves three to four people. Bran is especially proud of his frozen drinks on tap, which include a Jimmy Buffet-worthy PiƱa Colada ($6) and a shockingly green Apple Tiki-tini ($8) slushed with coconut water and mango rum.

"They started out as a joke, but then we realized they were really delicious."

Looks like they got the last laugh.