Tiki- and Polynesian-themed eateries and bars were once the height of fashion. Today, they are a tragically nigh-extinct breed. (Beloved cocktail shack Tiki-Ti continues to thrive on Sunset by remaining small and retaining demand; even flagship behemoth Trader Vic’s finally shuttered its legendary Beverly Hills location, though a modern-looking location opened at L.A. Live.) They simply don’t make ’em like Bahooka Family Restaurant anymore, and the city of Rosemead east of downtown along the 10 freeway is a perfect out-of-the-way excursion for a taste of suburban tiki cool. None of the taste treats at Bahooka (which opened in 1967) are going to blow your mind; the big platters of ribs, corn on the cob and coleslaw are tasty if not singular, and the mai tais and scorpion bowls aren’t as finessed as some. (This grog will get you good and tipsy, though.) What’s brilliant about Bahooka is the atmosphere — a dimly lit nautical theme with the classic blowfish-and-glass-floats tiki decor and its famous 100-plus fish tanks, with one separating virtually every table in the house. A real throwback to groovier times. 4501 Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead. (626) 285-1241; bahooka.com. —Nicole Campos
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