Please visit our partner sites for Orange County restaurant reviews and Booze It Up OC for info on upcoming OC 21+ events.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Guests Invited to Ring in 2010 with Three Nights of
Craft Cocktails & Lush Exotica

Huntington Beach, Calif.Partygoers will step into this slice of paradise for three nights, December 29-31, 2010, as the champions of exotica, WAITIKI, welcome the new year at Don the Beachcomber. The Huntington Beach restaurant haven created by the great mixologist Donn Beach, father of all things tiki, will honor its founder with three nights of stunning libations, and live music, featuring exotica living legend Robert Drasnin, as well as leaders of the ‘90s tiki revival, Combustible Edison.

The luscious mix that is exotica—the blend of tropical soundscapes, Latin dance grooves, and popular jazz—is an adventuresome and musically intricate mix. Often mistaken as kitsch, exotica flows from the vibrant post-war Hawaiian music scene and draws on everything from jazz to folk ballads, to second-generation Japanese club bands made of traditional Asian instruments, to Puerto Rican percussionists who came to the island mid-century.

Don the Beachcomber presents WAITIKI:
A Festival of Music and Cocktail


Wednesday, December 29
"The Jazz Sides of Exotica"
with the classic WAITIKI Quartet

Thursday, December 30
"Coronation of the Voodoo Masters"
with Robert Drasnin & Sherry Shaoling

Friday December 31 New Year's Eve
"The New Sounds of Exotica"
with Combustible Edison Alums
Brother Cleve and The Millionaire

For New Year’s Eve, the WAITIKI 7 gets swanky, in a danceable homage to Combustible Edison, pioneers of the renewed interest in non-rock instrumental music from the 50s and 60s. The evening will feature the first performance of Combustible Edison’s music since the band’s demise a decade ago, with help from Brother Cleve and The Millionaire. At midnight the ballroom will transform into a full-scale tiki dance party. WAITIKI and Combustible Edison will reveal their mixologist side with original craft cocktails that will join Beach’s creations on the drink menu.

“Donn Beach had a famous rapport with diners—to leave their worries and everyday concerns outside. Inside the restaurant is one’s own personal paradise, whether it be from the libations, entertainment, or conversations with the hosts and hostesses,” notes WAITIKI bandleader Randy Wong, whose tiki-inspired cocktails have made it onto menus at several fine dining establishments in Boston. “This makes Don the Beachcomber very different from anyplace else. It naturally has a close-knit, family-friendly environment that’s perfect for these three evenings.”


The WAITIKI 7 are dedicated to the celebration, preservation, and resurgence of exotica music, and the related tiki culture. W7 is modeled after the classic groups of Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Gene Rains. The WAITIKI 7 is the only modern group that performs exotica completely live and acoustic—just like in the 1950s. And like their predecessors, the musicians of W7 all have extensive jazz, classical, and Latin training and chops.

With two critically acclaimed albums,
Adventures in Paradise
and New Sounds of Exotica, the group has shaken, stirred, and thrilled listeners from Boston to Hawai’i. They recently made exotica history by landing both albums on the radio charts at once (JazzWeek World chart, September 2010).

The Don the Beachcomber restaurants originated in the ‘30s in Hollywood and grew to incorporate 16 restaurants under the brand umbrella. Donn Beach was responsible for creating and spreading tiki culture around the world. As defined by Beach, Tiki is a relaxed ambiance consisting of exotic, rum-based cocktails and tropical décor, complete with island-themed fabrics, torches, “hula” girls, palm tree motifs, masks, carvings and Asian-influenced food. Donn Beach gained much acclaim for his creation of rum drinks with a tropical twist, unknown then in the tropics, but now offered at every mainstream watering hole and bar. His famous rum cocktails include the Navy Grog, Vicious Virgin, Rum Cow, Dr. Funk, Zombie, Missionary's Downfall and, of course, Don's Original Mai Tai.

Although none of the early Don the Beachcomber restaurants exist today, thousands of other establishments opened following his lead. Unfortunately, many of these were poor imitations of his restaurants and tried, unsuccessfully, to duplicate the flavor of his drinks, losing focus on tiki culture, and playing up more of the kitschy décor that physically defined the locations. Under the ownership of Arthur and Delia Snyder, Don the Beachcomber is experiencing a rebirth with its first new restaurant in 20 years. The goal is to replicate the experience of the original tiki restaurants made popular in the ‘40s and ‘50s throughout Southern California, and in Orange County, where Don the Beachcomber opened its doors in Corona del Mar in 1969.

Don the Beachcomber is open daily, serving Lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Mon-Fri: Don's Seafood Shack menu; Sat & Sun: regular lunch menu), and Dinner from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Sun-Thurs) and from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Fri-Sat). Kids 12 years & younger eat FREE with the purchase of one regular adult entrée during dinner hours Monday through Thursday in the dining room area.

The Dagger Bar tiki lounge is open during normal business hours and till 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant features a special Happy Hour menu in the Dagger Bar from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday – Thursday (until 10 p.m. every Monday).

Don the Beachcomber is located at 16278 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92649. For more information or to make reservations, call 562-592-1321 or visit (on Facebook:; on Twitter:

No comments:

Post a Comment