Curing Island Fever At The Purple Orchid Tiki Lounge In El Segundo
Whenever I get island fever and can’t get to an island, I go to a tiki bar.
And when I go to a tiki bar, I can’t help but having the most potent, rum-laced drink on the menu.
And when I have the most potent, rum-laced drink on the menu I can’t stop having it, at least not until my eyes start acting like the spinning clock hands on a cartoon character. Or I examine my credit card bill.
So it was that I found myself in the Purple Orchid Tiki Lounge in El Segundo, CA, on a Thursday night. I got Island Fever while participating in the Jet Set Xtra’s excellent Twitter chat earlier in the day that was about island destinations (Thursdays, 10:30 a.m, PT, hashtag #JSETT).
My mood was accelerated when a friend called inviting me to a charity party in El Segundo that evening. Well, I’m not going to El Segundo – kind of the Mayberry R.F.D. of Los Angeles, a small town by the L.A. airport – without going to the Purple Orchid.
Plus, it was a good friend’s birthday who also loves tiki bars (as well as boats and boat captains in particular). I invited her to the charity party, and a few other friends were also there, and when it was over we walked over to the Purple Orchid.
One of the few true tiki bars in Los Angeles, the Purple Orchid is true tiki, with a blowfish light (sporting women’s underwear, it must be noted) hanging from the ceiling and wooden tiki god masks on the walls. Some nights, it has surf and tiki bands.
It also has a group rum drink with a flame in middle, a red concoction that you drink out of with a big straw. On this night, we had several of these (four or five, but who’s counting, right), and I was feeling loopy.
We were laughing, telling jokes – some of which were actually funny – and in general started acting like silly adolescents. That’s why I like tiki bars and the tiki bar experience so much; after a few rum drinks everything negative is forgotten and it’s just a happy time.
In a happy place.
Fortunately, a friend kindly drove me home and then I did as I do so often when I have had several rum drinks: I feel into a quick, peaceful and deep sleep.