Trader Vic's re-emerges in LA

From the Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- There was much sorrow among history buffs and tiki aficionados alike when the iconic Beverly Hills bar Trader Vic's shut its doors in spring 2007. The old-school watering hole, which opened in 1955, had fostered a sense of L.A. history despite the perpetual renovations and changes happening all around its location at the intersection of Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards.

After months of rumors and speculation, Trader Vic's returns Saturday to Southern California with an expanded and updated version in downtown's sprawling L.A. Live entertainment complex on the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street. With picture windows looking out onto Olympic, this super-sized version of the classic Polynesian experience is essentially two places in one.

The front half is a party-ready bar area, complete with a wrought-iron enclosed patio outside. But deeper inside is the plush, wood-paneled dining room, where booths line the custom tapa cloth-covered walls, with everything focused around the giant Chinese wood-fired oven located at the back of the room. There is a posh private event room adjacent to the dining area, with an impressive outrigger imported from the Dallas Trader Vic's hanging above the room's huge communal table. And, of course, there are tikis, large and small, everywhere.

[Go here for the full story.]
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