Night Out: LONO Hollywood
If you know me well, you know that I have a soft spot for good Tiki-themed places. If it's any indicator that I'd rather sit at Trader Sam's for hours on end, or drive out of our way to visit a secret Tiki spot downtown, I think it's a well known fact about me. When I heard about LONO Hollywood, my first thought was, "on Hollywood Blvd??" - but we decided to round up a group and hit the town for the night to check out this Tiki spot.
Our overall experience at Lono far surpassed my expectations. We made a reservation through Yelp for a Saturday evening and we arrived to find a friendly doorman and hostess, with an amazing neon sign behind them that said "Where the Wild Things Are." We were quickly checked in and taken to a great corner booth/table and our night began. Our server was very attentive and answered all of our food and drink questions, while helping us navigate the best food choices for a group to share.
We started with cocktails, and let me tell you, these were hard decisions. The menu is so visually appealing, and each drink looks spectacular. The concoctions that they have created are a tiki lovers dream. I started with the Painkiller, and then moved on to several of the King Kamehameha drinks, which was my favorite. I also sipped a few others that my friends ordered, and the Missionary's Downfall, Rum Cannonball, Ring of Fire and Curse of Lono (they set this one one fire!) were some of the table favorites. We ordered several appetizers for the table, to get a chance to try everything, and everything we tasted had excellent flavor and perfectly complimented our drinks. We got the tater tots, the papaya salad, the ceviche, noodles, sliders and they kept refilling the coconut popcorn for the table. The "There's Always Money in the Banana Stand" was the obvious choice for dessert, these are rum-caramel filled frozen bananas, dipped in chocolate and rolled in spiced peanuts. I could have eaten two plates of these bad boys. Yum.
The décor inside is just lovely, incorporating classic tiki decorations, and gorgeous banana leaf prints, tall bamboo accents, and a giant fountain in the back patio area. The whole place is just incredibly well done and laid out, down to skulls burning in the fire in the front window. I would be a regular if this place wasn't on Hollywood Blvd, but it definitely gives me one reason to brave the Hollywood craziness. We will definitely come back to Lono!