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Bahooka in Rosemead?

Papuli Nov 2, 2007 04:42 PM

Can anyone shed a little light on this place for me? I know it has a tiki theme and serves a lot of fried food and ribs. Would it be good for a kitsch-loving 20-something's birthday? The food doesn't have to be mind-blowing - I would like something decent, but weird/memorable atmosphere is a big consideration for this friend's birthday. We won't be a huge group, just a handful (boothful?) of people.

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  1. b
    Burger Boy RE: Papuli Nov 2, 2007 04:53 PM

    There is a menu online.

    1. i
      icouldeat RE: Papuli Nov 2, 2007 05:23 PM

      Oh yeah, Bahooka fits the bill. It's not always a bustling place, so the labyrinthine interior can feel a little creepy. But that's the fun of it. You really feel like you're on a haunted ship or something. The food is circa 1968, but that's not the point. When asked which drinks came flaming, a waitress once quipped "Honey, I could set your salad on fire if you wanted me to." Enough said.

      1 Reply
      1. re: icouldeat
        RoxyGrl RE: icouldeat Nov 5, 2007 03:40 PM

        LMAO, I miss waitresses like that!!

        My uncle tells a great story about going to the Bahooka when he was young, drinking his share of flaming drinks and then some, passing out in the boat out front and waking up there the next morning.

        Of course, he's no help when it comes to the food so this thread is very helpful!

      2. c
        chowbee RE: Papuli Nov 2, 2007 05:29 PM

        We went last year for my birthday. If you are a tiki fan (or a kitsch fan) it's a fabulous time. The food is nowhere close to mindblowing, but it's good and filling which is important if you want to work your way through the flaming drink menu (which is a ton of fun). The decor is fantastic in a bye-gone era kind of way. Lot's of aquariums and nautical touches. It's got lots of privacy in the booths, which is nice for a group. It didn't seem that crowded when we were there, but that just might be because everyone is seated fairly privately. All in all it was a lot of fun!

        1. wilafur RE: Papuli Nov 2, 2007 06:16 PM

          i found the place to be dark and depressing. unless, as mentioned above, you are into the kitschy stuff.

          1. t
            tag heuer RE: Papuli Nov 5, 2007 07:15 AM

            Bahooka's will definitely satisfy your love for kitsch. If you can, ask for a booth around the bar area. it has much better atmosphere. The room where they stick large groups and birthday parties is really depressing..it's like sitting in a garage with fish tanks and folding chairs. the food, in general, is pretty atrocious. we're talking fried mozarella sticks and some pretty shoddy cuts of steak. the drinks are fun though sickly sweet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tag heuer
              CookieEater RE: tag heuer Nov 5, 2007 09:40 AM

              Yeah, the food is pretty bad and can be tummyache inducing. Perhaps this should not be the main food destination, but the before-dinner drinks place? I would've said after-dinner, but they close by 10:30 weekends.

            2. a
              avena RE: Papuli Nov 5, 2007 08:55 AM

              It definitely has a creepy-cool atmosphere. They have a ginormous fish in the lobby, and a mean-looking soft shell turtle in one tank near the entrance. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and the Jim Carrey movie "Number 23" was filmed there. I think it was used for some music videos too.

              1. m
                Mateo R RE: Papuli Nov 5, 2007 11:05 AM

                The food is really bad and the atmosphere is depressing and creepy. It is beyond kitsch.
                For kitsch try Tiki ti and any nearby restaurant in Silverlake. The drinks and atmosphere almost anywhere would be more enjoyable, unless you are a food masochist who enjoys art brut.

                1. s
                  slacker RE: Papuli Nov 5, 2007 11:13 AM

                  I love it there. Not the food. But it was better than regular kitsch, it was good historic kitsch. I was really surprised about all the really cool stuff everywhere, and there's a lot of good stuff to look at. Lots of aquariums everywhere too. Weird and memorable, yes. "Creepy" is not a word I would ever associate with the place. Tiki Ti could never compare.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: slacker
                    Mateo R RE: slacker Nov 5, 2007 11:25 AM

                    If by historic you mean that everything looks like it has not been renovated or cleaned for the last 40 years then it is historic. The fish tanks are depressing, they look like fish and algae life support systems. they are not exotic saltwater tanks or anything spectacular, just a bunch of old fish swimming back and forth year after year.

                    1. re: Mateo R
                      slacker RE: Mateo R Nov 5, 2007 11:28 AM

                      No, I meant all the STUFF there that makes it so kitsch, not just one dried blowfish. And the aquariums were clean. Why is it necessary for them to have exotic fish.

                  2. ipsedixit RE: Papuli Nov 5, 2007 02:25 PM

                    If Gilligan and the Skipper got rescued and opened up a restaurant, this would be it.

                    1. p
                      Papuli RE: Papuli Nov 6, 2007 12:31 PM

                      Thank you all so much for the info! I have a much better idea about the real atmosphere now.

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