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Bahooka in Rosemead?

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. There is a menu online.

    1. 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

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

          1. 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

              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. 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. 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. 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

                    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

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

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