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I just went to Sam's for the first time and I had a WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!

We got there early at 5:30PM on Saturday (08/04/2007) for the Mug Release Party and stayed until 7:30 or 8:00PM.

The food I had was extremely good. My wife and I started with appetizers. We had crabcakes and ribs. The ribs are very tasty, especially, and I might just make a meal off of them next time. For an entree, I had the "Almost Lobster" which is a huge skewer of jumbo shrimp with a spicy rub. It came with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. Everything was cooked perfectly. For dessert, my wife and I shared the pineapple upside down cake. The desert came a la mode with a rather impressive "fin" of carmelized sugar on top.

To drink, I had the Navy Grog. Strong but good. The bartenders were also taking drink requests...so if you've got particular drinks that you enjoy, feel free to let them know. SoccerTiki told me he had them make a "Sven-Tiki" (page 83 in Beachbum's Intoxica) and it turned out beautifully.

I don't know what their music selection is on other nights, but for this event, we had a LIVE band. The Smoking Menehunes sure cranked out some good tunes.

Sam Gambino was really a nice guy in person. He was busy most of the evening, diligently signing prints and mugs while people crowded around to say hi.

Other good company included Holden, Squid, Tiki Al and Liz, Hiphipahula, SoccerTiki, WooHooWahine, and many many more! A good TC turn-out.

Tiki Bar

Sam's Seafood - Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, California, United States (Closed)

Sam's Seafood was a Huntington Beach institution, and contained several dining rooms. While Sam's had been in the same location since 1923, up until its Polynesian remodel in the '60s it was just a seaside seafood joint. The brightly lit main dining room had a large wall mural on one side and a dramatic tiki & waterfall display at the back. A pair of smaller side dining rooms were also bright and more aviation themed.

Of more interest to the tikiphile was the Hidden Village banquet room area in the back available for event rentals, which was large and moodily lit, with glass floats, waterfall displays, A-frame covered seating areas, and a small bar. On Friday nights from April to November, Sam's Seafood had a Polynesian Dinner Show in the Hidden Village. Last but certainly not least was the excellent main bar at Sam's. It was dark and full of excellent carvings, pufferfish and float lamps, and thatch.

A small bar with some tiki carvings inside, Turc's, can be found just down the street.

At the end of May 2006, Sam's Seafood was sold to developers who aimed to build retail spaces & condominiums on the site. Red tape appeared to be holding off any development on the site for years. Sam's closed for several months until June 2007, when the property owners allowed a new group to come in and keep the restaurant running in a somewhat modified form until the development could move forward.

In 2007, Sam's Seafood became Kona. In 2009, Kona closed and the restaurant reopened as Don the Beachcomber (no connection to the historic chain), which then closed in 2018.