I’m not quite sure how I found this little gem in North Hollywood, but to what I can recall, a friend of mine from Hawaii is being homesick. Being a good friend who enjoys the nightlife scene, I decided to take my friend out to relieve the melancholy feeling, and where else would be a good place to relieve that sad unwanted feeling? Of course, a place where you can socialize and drink! So I called a couple of friends to join, and before you know it, I have a group of friends looking to go clubbing. However, being that it’s a Thursday, I was quite cautious not to go all out drinking and partying that night since there’s still work the following day, and what I dread the most is, going to work with a massive hangover, or worst, concoct the most elaborate excuse to call-in sick.
Since I weren’t the only one against the clubbing idea, half of the majority just wanted to go to a restaurant with bar such as Applebee’s, T.G.I Friday’s or BJ’s. While the other half were completely against it, to where I also stand, since we’all all bore one another and end up being like this. Then It struck me, why not a dive bar, there’s plenty here in the Valley. So we drove around to find a perfect dive bar to relax, socialize and what else, to drink. As we drive around North Hollywood, we spotted this little dive bar called Tonga Hut, along Victory and Coldwater Canyon. I’ll give you a little background If you’re not familiar with that area; that cross-street, is where they shot the car chase scene from the movie Pineapple Express. Getting back on track, We were a little apprehensive at first to go in, since the front of Tonga Hut looked very shady, and it emits that “I feel i’m going to get into a bar fight.”
Nonetheless, we all went in blindly, entering from the back area of the dive bar. The first you’ll notice when you are entering Tonga Hut, is the large Tiki Statue, it’s a tiki bar, and as you walk in the narrow hallway, the ambiance starts to become more dim. As you get into the bar, a wellspring like area on your right (see picture above) will capture your eyes with it’s colorful illuminated bottle-like lights with a plaque on the right that says “Loyal Order of the Drooling Bastard.” Bewildering as it looks and sounds, the plaque does have a meaning behind it. The Loyal Order of the Drooling Bastard is basically a challenge; if you can finish all the tiki drinks from the “Grog Log” by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, then you will have a chance to have your name hanged on the Loyal Order of the Drooling Bastard. Quite a fascinating and a challenge, but we’all opted to go home that night.
Moreover, The bar is small, it’s a dive bar anyway, and can occupy to about 25 to 30 people. The ambiance and decoration set will give you that relaxed vibe. At some point, two of my friends were so cozy that they started falling yawning from just one cocktail because of the relaxed atmosphere Tonga Hut gives you. There’s are plenty of drinks to choose from, we all individually ordered their signature cocktail drinks, I had the Voodoo Juice at first, but I personally enjoyed the Big Brown Nut after my friend from Hawaii suggested that I should try it next.
Also, our Bartender Lisa Marie, was really nice, and when she found out that it was our first night in Tonga Hut, she happily gave us complimentary shots.I mean where else can you find that here in the Valley? After we all took the blue cocunut-taste-like-shot, I and my friends were in a state of being called “beach bum,” as we all just imagined that we’re laying on a hammock tied between a cocunut tree and pretend we’re in Hawaii, Bahamas, Tahiti, or any places that reminds us of beach vacations.
Overall, the experience was very relaxing and my friend from Hawaii went home feeling refreshed and at home after that night. Oh and yeah, If happen to visit there, I may or might have met you, as I have the Tonga Thursday Ritual at that little gem in the Valley when that night ended. I simply fell in love with that little place.