Monday, April 30, 2018

The Pacific Seas

On Saturday night we decided to go on an exotic L.A. adventure. We hadn't been to the new Clifton's since it reopened in 2015. At the time, the tiki bar, Pacific Seas, was under construction. We'd seen photos and heard about the incredible interior of this hidden bar and we wanted to see it!
Enchanting Woodlands

I've been eating at Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria since I was a little girl. It was always a treat to get a little gift from Clifton's Treasure Chest and have some yummy jello. Andrew Meieran took over Clifton's in 2010. It took almost five years for the restoration. The downstairs and mezzanine dining areas look better than ever. They are a wooded paradise. 
Main Floor of Clifton's

There is a basement and two upper floors. In the old days, these were extra dining areas and storage. The Pacific Seas tiki bar opened last year as a tribute to the other branch of Clifton's that was demolished in 1960.
Upper Level Seating Area at Clifton's

It took awhile to find The Pacific Seas. You have to ask someone with a walkie-talkie where it is located. We were led to an unmarked door, upstairs. Once we reached this door near the Gothic Bar, we went in and climbed another flight of hidden stairs, very speak-easy-like. Once at the top, Polynesian Pop Paradise was revealed to us. 
The Pacific Seas Bar has a completely restored Chris Craft Motor Boat on the floor!
The Map Room at Pacific Seas
There are rescued items from many defunct tiki bars around town like Trader Vic's and Bahooka's. The walls are festooned with artifacts, photos and old magazine articles. The bamboo furniture is divine.

The Pacific Seas Bar at Clifton's DTLA

The drinks were good.  The bar wasn't too crowded yet, it was early. We did notice some tour groups just walking through the bar and then walking out. 
This wall mural was dimly lit, but looks intriguing

We ended up speaking to this darling couple celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. They were from the San Diego area, so we had quite a discussion about Tiki Oasis and the various tiki bars in their area. They wanted to hit the Tiki Ti on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, but also wanted to eat dinner. I recommended they eat at Taix, near the Tiki Ti. They were dressed appropriately for their anniversary adventure...look how cute....
Erica from San Diego, dressed in proper Polynesian Pop attire
Time for us to go downstairs to the Cafeteria for dinner. We spent awhile perusing the Clifton's gift shop. Lots of good items!
Clifton's Giftshop

When we finally made it into the cafeteria, we noticed long lines in the hot food items area. There is a sandwich area, pizza, soup, salad, etc. The hot food that night was chicken and beef pot pies, carved turkey and roast beef. After waiting in line a bit, we found out that they were out of pot pies. Since the line was long, we decided to head over to Philippe's for a dipped beef sandwich! The food at Clifton's is just like anyplace, nothing special. The comfort food from the old Clifton's was never that fabulous, but it was inexpensive, fresh and plentiful. I miss the old cafeteria, but I'm glad that the building was preserved and restored.
While we were walking to our car, two young girls, dressed up for a Saturday night, asked me if they needed an I.D. to get into Clifton's. Hah! I told them it was a cafeteria! They might be carded at the bars upstairs, but they could go in because they serve food. OK, Andrew Meieran has achieved his goal to make Clifton's a hip destination in downtown L.A.

Philippe's never disappoints AND the parking is free!

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