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“Hawaii's Tiki Haunt Culture Revived” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Mariana Restaurant & Bar

La Mariana Restaurant & Bar
Ranked #55 of 2,326 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $20
Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood, Hawaiian, Polynesian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Drinks, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Missouri
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Hawaii's Tiki Haunt Culture Revived”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013

La Mariana Sailing Club, a restaurant, bar, and marina located in an untrendy part of Honolulu, several miles northwest of Waikiki Beach is tucked next to a boat dock in an industrial zone. La Mariana is not some place you’d just happen to wander by on your way home. It’s definitely a destination, and even though it’s hidden, word of mouth is spreading its fame. This is where Waikiki's tiki culture has migrated. If you go, and you should if you enjoyed the days of Don Ho, Trader Vic's, Don the Beachcomber's, and other -now gone - tiki haunts of the 60's, 70's and 80's, arm yourself with the telephone number (808-848-2800), it is difficult to find. The staff is used to literally talking visitors to the parking lot.
Inside, it might take a few moments for the eyes to adapt to the dim lighting. What emerges is amazing. Nearly every square inch of the restaurant had been decorated with "treasures". There is a waterfall behind the tables in the main room, and colored lights twinkling throughout. Stories have been told about Corky, an unsocial African gray parrot, who once occupied a cage and performed pitch-perfect renditions of car alarms and digital telephone rings. The empty cage was there, but no bird.
As the old Waikiki tiki bars shut down, former La Mariana owner, Annette Nahinu, now deceased fastidiously gathered up bits of the past and installed them here. The wood dining tables are from Don the Beachcomber's, the blowfish lamps from Trader Vic's. The huge clamshells next to the waterfall came from the Hyatt's Tiki Room, and the tiki posts from the Sheraton's Kon-Tiki. When the Waikikian's Tahitian Lanai shut down, La Mariana acquired the woven lauhala walls. This would not get an approving nod from todays designers, but neither would any of the great tiki places of the past.
Today's decorators simply don't use fishnets, carved war clubs, and eight-foot tiki statues. Yet these "modern" places utterly failed to jibe with my notion of a classic tiki bar. They likely have glossy, polished floors and big windows overlooking a sandy strand of beach. The spare furnishings look as if designed by a Tahitian Ikea. Their freakishly light and airy, nothing like the dim caverns of the '50s. The echo of midcentury Hawaii will likely be very faint indeed.
We arrived on Friday evening, enjoyed a late dinner and when the pianist started to play, the reason people come here became clear. The entertainment starts at 7 p.m., and if you feel nostalgic for the Trader Vic's or Don the Beachcomber's, you’ll find others who feel the same way as you here. It’s common for audience members to get up and sing when a favorite song comes on.
He plays everything from Broadway to Hawaiian to classical hits, including “Unforgettable” on a portable keyboard. It’s loads of fun.
It’s the kind of place you would want to come back to time and time again, just to hang out and listen to the music.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank WilliamMoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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400 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
83 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“What a fantastic evening!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

We had one day on the island of Oahu and I was determined to find an original Tiki lounge. I read about this restaurant on tripadvisor and convinced my husband to give it a try. I have to admit it was a bit difficult to find as it is located in an industrial area, but we were immediately charmed when we entered the property. The ambiance was perfect, completely decked out in tiki torches, masks, shell chandeliers, and glass balls suspended in fishing nets. The cocktails were pretty good (admittedly, I am not a fan of fruity mixed drinks but had to try the MaiTais) and the food was good as well. But what really made the night special was that we happened in on "open mic" night where very talented locals croon the classics. The talent is so good, I hear that Thursday night is typically booked well in advance. My husband and I agree that La Mariana restaurant was one of our favorite experiences on Oahu and we were so glad that we gave it a try.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Kimberly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Indiana
Level Contributor
367 reviews
218 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“A must place to visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2013

DO NOT MISS THIS OLDEST TIKI BAR IN THE WORLD! as recommended by a good friend, we went for a sunset and stayed the whole night. One of the best , unique atmosphere in OAHU.
Very romantic ! Amazing musician duo, great scenery, drinks and food. Loved the macademia nut sorbet. Great service...Will go there in a heart beat. Highly recommended.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TrWorldTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
70 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Neat atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

We did not know this place existed except that we had a friend tell us about it as they had eaten there recently. So we decided to try it out on our last night in town. It was hard to find even using GPS but it's on a nice, little marina and we enjoyed watching the sun set on the water. The food was good and our waitress was very nice.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank JesseandCrystal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, Ca
Level Contributor
74 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Last great Tiki bar in Honolulu”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2013

All my friends on Oahu kept telling me to go. They kept saying "you have to visit this place just once. It is on Sand Island near the airport. You may feel like you are going through the shady part of town but it is worth it to go. My business friends say many go there for business lunches since it is a nice place in the business district. The Food is average, the service and atmosphere is great. Make sure the deaf piano player is there, his ability to play any song is fantastic. Tiki's everywhere and near a boat dock. My wife had a seared tuna salad and I had prime rib. The prime rib was warmed on a grill but rare like I like my beef. My wife's salad was delicious and the fish fresh. I ordered some sautéed mushrooms for my prime rib and they did not come. When I brought this up to the service persons attention, I got them quickly and was not charged for them. Again, great service.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank jfott2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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