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Mar 27, 2008 12:41 AM

authentic Mai Tais

In what bars beside Trader Vic's can I find an authentic mai tai? By authentic, I mean Trader Vic's style - no pineapple juice, no grenadine, no bacardi. Just aged rum, lime, curacao, orgeat, and rock candy syrup.

Tiki Ti, which is a fine establishment with many fantastic drinks by its own right, does not make it like the Trader. I knew that the now-defunct Norman's made a proper one, but where else?

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  1. i actually pass by both the beverly hilton and the tiki ti on my way home from work, and the other day i grabbed a mai tai at both the trader vic's lounge and the tiki ti for comparison purposes, and you are right. i love the tiki ti's drinks, but their mai tai just isn't right. i have sought out mai tais all over town and none have equalled the (now $15) original at trader vic's, which has a new and somewhat bland poolside location. i have, on occaision, gotten a decent mai tai at quality hotel pool bars (the standard downtown, viceroy in stanta monica, or the avalon in beverly hills come to mind), but the quality widely varies based on who serves you. sadly, other local tiki bars such as damon's in glendale, or the tonga hut in north hollywood aren't known take their drinks very seriously. my advice, go with the genuine article, or make one yourself at your own tiki bar.

    1. Nearest spots I know are on Maui and Kauai! Best guess would be Roy's.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fishyak

        Roy's is a really good idea. I'll bet you could e-mail/call and ask.

      2. I haven't been there for a long time, but I seem to recall that the Whisper Lounge at The Grove featured a Mai Tai that was the original Trader Vics recipe.

        1. A tangent about how to make your own mai tai has been split to the Spirits board. Please follow here if you'd like to make your own:

          If anyone has local recommendations for a great version please let us know here on the L.A. board.

          1. I like the mai tais at Duke's but I have no idea if they are authentic. Just know they're tasty.