The Luau was a popular Beverly Hills celebrity hangoutlocated on the famed Rodeo Drive.Owned by Steven Crane (at that time best known as Lana Turner’s ex) Crane bought The Tropics in 1953 and, following in the popularity of Trader Vic’s and Don the Beachcomber, opened The Luau which many consider one of the great original Tiki establishments. The extensive food and drink menu was prepared under the guidance of Doctor Fong Foo, who was also sent to the South Seas and Orient to gather much of the decor. Guests crossed a moat as they entered The Luau which was filled with monkey pods trees, square bamboo, giant clam shells, coconut palm, tapas and intricate tikis. The Luau is also known for their sought after tiki mugs, bowls and serve ware, created by Gabriel Florian.
Crane went on to create and open several Kon-Tiki restaurants in Canada and the US.
The Luau shut its doors in 1979, and my wife, a former Valley Girl, remembers doing some underage drinking there.
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