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Oct 5, 2008 08:27 PM

The Luau in Beverly Hills

I just saw The Luau was reemerging on Bedford Dr...!!!! I have such memories of the old tiki joint... So, does anybody know the scoop on it???

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  1. I googled your title and came up with a bunch of stuff on both the old place that was a special occasion place for my family and the new place that is supposed to open soon.
    I have mentioned here that when I was a kid I would order their drink called a Bo Lo that was a fruit and rum drink served in a hollowed out pineapple. It was supposed to be served sans rum but more often the bartender screwed up and I received the adult version! The only entree that I remember really liking was their Shrimp Curry (ordered spicy/hot) that was served with a lazy susan of condiments including shredded coconut, Major Grey's Mango Chutney, peanuts, rasins....... Those were the days!

    6 Replies
    1. re: sel

      I can't wait....!!!! I checked out the photos of the old Luau... check out the drink prices!!!!

      1. re: bellabar

        I met the new bar manager last week - she said they will have the same drinks as the original!

        1. re: shebop

          I would be very surprised if this resembled the old Luau in any way, shape or form.

          1. re: deadre

            The door was open when I walked by the other morning..... I peeked inside and it looked great... Retro tiki with a hip twist.... I'm sure it will be quite the hang out... It will probably become the native westsider's friday night hang to replace Trader Vics... I miss Trader Vics on Christmas Eve.... Perhaps the Luau will be the new tradition..

            1. re: bellabar

              Hopefully the food will be better. Memories are great, but the food was terrible!

      2. re: sel

        “I really love this place. I called to make a last minute reservation and the hostess was very accommodating for a Friday night. The food was really great. It was the type of food that is traditional and yet, they add a kick to it that makes it fun and unique. I loved the salmon wrapped in a Banana leaf and the chicken curry was sensational (I didn't know what Jidori chicken was, now I am a huge fan) it comes with something called LUAU NAAN. It was so good. The pupu platters that they served as an appetizer were amazing (better than Trader Vic's). That combination was truly inspiring. I think it's a great place for a date or just a night out with some friends. Its chic without being overwhelming. I felt very comfortable there. We had Mai Tai's which were made with all natural ingredients nothing artificial here. Finished dinner with Key Lime pie that was superb. The bill was reasonable. We will be back."

      3. Luau represents Chef Makoto "Mako" Tanaka's newest restaurant. Most may know him from his Mako restaurant on Beverly, and more recently, Robata-Ya on Sawtelle. I had a chance to briefly speak with the executive chef, and he hints at a Hawaiian-fusion style cuisine. I am looking forward to trying it.

        1. The Grand Opening is looking like the 20th of this month.

          6 Replies
            1. re: Obessed

              Yes, I was at the opening last night. There were three kinds of drinks served - a mai tai, something blue made out of vodka and rum, and a pina colada type drink that they called a Morino or something like that that was a sort of rum/pineapple/coconut iceee. That was my favorite one, but there's more ice than drink (and it's not a slushie like a margarita, but more like a shaved ice concoction).

              The passed apps were a spare rib that I loved (very retro in flavor - both sweet and tangy), kobe meatball that I also loved (also more on the sweet side), a very good chicken curry (in a little pastry shell), fried shrimp (didn't try it), lots of different pulled pork apps (none of which I went back for, for seconds), and a veggie wrap (didn't try it). There was also a chicken leg or wing that was always gone when it got round to me.

              Beautiful room, both a throwback but modern (kudos on the design), cozy feel, and the food is promising (if one has a craving for polynesian fusion).

              1. re: yogachik

                Sounds like the kobe meatball served at Mako is now making at appearance at this new restaurant, yum!! Although, at Mako, it isn't served with a sweet/sour sauce.

                1. re: vinosnob

                  The meatball did not have a sweet and sour sauce. It was a little bit sweet.

                  1. re: vinosnob

                    So right - Mako consulted for the menu here.
                    That is why it deserves at least a try - let the nostalgia die, as the pics do not look ANYTHING like the original way back when.

                    1. re: carter

                      I happened to talk to the interior designer, and she wanted to have fun with it, but not be out-and-out kitschy. I think that's the direction the food is going, too. And it turns out Jeff Berry, who's like, a professional rum lover, decoded the original drink recipes. Yes, they were written in code. Here's an article about rum and Luau:

            2. Going to Luau tonight for dinner.

              1 Reply
              1. re: vinosnob

                The place was packed mostly with the crowd that used to go to the original luau. After a 20-25 minute wait, we were seated.

                Of course, I had to do the mai tai challenge and compare their mai tai to Trader Vic's. Luau's ($14) is strong like TV's, but not nearly as sweet which I really appreciated. I can't pick one over the other; they're both solid tiki drinks.

                As for the food, it's leagues above TV's, but that's too be expected since the chef from Mako is handling the menu.

                We started with the pupu platter for 4 ($60) which included coconut shrimp, spare ribs, kalua pig spring rolls and kobe meatballs. BTW, these are the same meatballs that are served at Mako, but at Luau they are lightly brushed with a sweet pineapple glaze.

                All were tasty, but $60 is a bit steep for only 16 pieces.

                The entrees are meant to be shared family style and we ordered the filet mignon with red curry sauce (which comes with naan bread and jasmin rice), the tuna tataki (which comes with a wasabi and pea puree) and a side order of fresh corn.

                Again, everything was well executed with nice flavors. I also ordered another tiki drink; it was called something "blue" due to the large amount of curacao. I didn't care for it that much; tasted like spiked OJ.

                Overall, I won't be running back to Luau for dinner. For the money we spent (~$65/pp), I can get much better food elsewhere, but it was a fun, kitchy experience.

              2. So I went to Luau last was a friend's birthday and she wanted to go here. There were 5 of us and we had a blast but it was due to the company and I will not likely return. The space & atmosphere were fun but the food was okay, nothing to write home about and it ridiciously priced. The wine list was absurdly expensive (~$20+ for a glass of medicore wine). We stuck with the foo-foo fruity drinks - they were tasty but added up at $14-$18 a drink. We started with 4 appetizers - then split a fish dish, lamb chops (5 small lamb chops for $42), and the pei chicken (this was probably the best dish and the most value for the money as it was an entire chicken). We had 3 side dishes - including fried rice which was not so good. We had 2 desserts which were fine. All said in done our bill was close to $500 (inlcuding tip). Definitely not worth the price for what we got.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Obessed

                  My sister and I took my mom for her birthday tonight and we could not have been happier!
                  We had glazed ribs, unagi on risotto cakes and firecracker shrimp for starters - which were all wonderful - then ono, lychee chicken, and halibut for main courses - the mains were very large portions - we could have skipped one - but they were all so tasty that we were glad to have them to try!
                  Key Lime Pie with Macadamia Crust and Coconut Cheesecake for dessert!
                  The staff was exteremely friendly and attentive - we'll definitely be back!