When you enter the Tonga Hut, LA's oldest operating tiki bar, there will be, without fail, a drooling bastard there to greet you. We're not referring to a sloshed patron slumped over the bar—although, no judgment if that was you last Saturday night—but rather the Drooling Bastard, this North Hollywood bar's unofficial mascot. The sloppy drunkard comes in the form of a lava rock fountain, where a tiki mask (the bastard) dribbles water (a drunkard, clearly) into a small pool. Across from the fountain, the bartender—and yes, there's usually just one working each night, so be patient—whips up classic tiki cocktails, like Mai Tais garnished with large sprigs of mint or the always-popular flaming scorpion bowl. The Tonga Hut, which opened in 1958, has a loyal following of patrons, some of whom have tried every 80+ cocktails in "The Grog Log" (a famous tiki book); as a reward, they become members of The Loyal Order of the Drooling Bastard. For the mere mortals among us, we can be happy choosing our favorite tunes at the jukebox before settling in to the Tonga Hut's cozy booths or chatting up regulars at the bar.
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