The Tiki mystique has had a good run in American culture, and beyond, despite flagrant misrepresentations of actual Polynesian culture and life. Of course, in my humble opinion, Tiki culture, especially Tiki bars have long held a specifically non-cultural escapism that represents an inherent love for the warmth and beauty of the tropics. I never met anyone that really believed such a place actually existed however much they might dream of the fantasies easily allowed in such a world.
Tiwaka's Tiki Bar & Grill is indeed just such a fantasy, despite the sign hanging on a banyan tree next to a bamboo and coconut themed outdoor bar very near to my home. The characters found in this book do a beautiful justice to those people I have either stumbled into over the years or wished I did.
The Coco Loco Moco is alive and well and served often with friends and tall tales. It is a recipe that meets the expectations of any and all who embrace it's promise, a manifestation of faith that one can taste, smell and most importantly share.
Lastly, let me emphasize that when I carve a Tiki from an freshly fallen coconut tree I always carve it with a smile. In my world of Tiki there is no reason to frown. If your world is anything different then I have a free drink waiting for you at Tiwaka's.
Just be sure to tip the parrot.
April 22, 2009
Honokala, Maui, Hawaii