Opened in 1959 by Bernard and Janet Tohl, this polynesian-themed dinner spot served around 1,000 people a night in its heyday.
The spare ribs, rumaki, and unique tropical drinks were always a hit. They also had 3-4 rickshaws in front at all times and people lined up for the experience of being driven around the block in one. The big sign out front with flaming torches also caught lots of attention. The building was elevated one floor above the sidewalk so to enter you had to cross a bridge over a lagoon, then go up a ramp decorated with shells, tiki gods, and palm trees. There were also capuchin monkeys and toucan birds living in a "controlled" environment. Additionally, there was artificial thunder and lightning periodically and nightly entertainment with fire dancers and hula dancers.
This site was transformed into an Acapulco chain restaurant in the 80s and then completely demolished in summer 2012.
Collectors covet the tiki mugs from The Los Angeles Islander, as they were made by Spurlin Ceramics (Stella Bodey) and represent some of the earliest and most innovative tiki souvenirs from that era. The Los Angeles Islander is not to be confused with the Stockton Islander (1966-1980).