Clifton’s Pacific Seas is a Polynesian Tiki Palace

Pacific Seas is Clifton's Republic's newest bar, a tiki palace of island cocktails and campy decor.

These days, it might as well be considered a privilege if you’re able to sneak a peek into Pacific Seas. Otherwise, it’s likely you’ve been squeezed in lines cascading up one of the many hidden stairwells throughout the restaurant. Cliftons Tiki Room Pacific Seas

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Photo by Katrina Yentch

Originally a part of the 1960’s Clifton’s Cafeteria, Pacific Seas reopened up less than three months ago as the sixth addition to their collection of upscale themed bars, an ode to the Golden Age of Travel. The bar now regularly fills max capacity on weekend evenings, proving to be the most popular dwelling inside the restaurant yet.

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Photo by Katrina Yentch

The Pacific Seas tiki lounge is an extravagant cove of island culture. When guests first enter Pacific Seas, they are greeted by an Art Deco room of shiny leather couches, ostentatious chandelier lights and bright orange walls covered in  map prints, a true homage to the bar’s original travel theme. A giant canoe pokes outside the entrance to the next decadent room of life-size tiki umbrellas and bamboo walls and chairs. Upon entering the actual bar area, it’s hard to decide where to look first – the sparkling spotlighted pineapples, the shady palm trees, or the huge boat lying in the middle of the room. Accents of Polynesian culture are heavily sprinkled throughout the bar, kooky carved totems and old photo frames in overstock. Clifton’s has re-created the tiki experience and put it on high voltage, complete with a full menu of island-inspired cocktails to go with it.

Photo by Katrina Yentch
Photo by Katrina Yentch

On the cocktail menu, guests will find mostly rum and coconut-heavy drinks that are garnished with hibiscus flowers and pineapple slices. Sip on something candy sweet like the Blue Hawaii, a tropical drink of rum, pineapple juice, Curacao, and sweet and sour mix. Or, for a boozy experience, get lost in the Singapore Sling, a bite full of a gin-based cocktail mixed with fresh juices, Cherry Herring, Benedictine, and orange and Angostura bitters. A Scorpion Bowl of juices and various liquors is an appropriate concoction for groups that will send them spinning. A sweet and boozy experience, these treats are just a small part of experiencing the island delights of Pacific Seas.

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Photo by Katrina Yentch
Photo by Katrina Yentch
Photo by Katrina Yentch

While the visual experience of the tiki lounge may be pleasing, the visiting experience itself may be a hassle. As mentioned earlier, the space fills up fast due to its small capacity of 160 or so guests. If you’re planning on coming on a weekend, try making a reservation for a table or show up on the earlier side. Plan to dress up too; While the beachy theme may seem like it encourages sandals, you’ll probably be turned away if you dress too casually. Although the lounge originally served cocktails in kitschy tiki and barrel mugs, they are now served in standard Collins glasses since guests were stealing them. The joint is menu-less too, also thanks to theft. Guess we just can’t have nice things, can we? However, if you ask a bartender personally, there are a few stashed underneath the counters. The beverages are on the little pricier side too – the average price for a cocktail is $14.

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Photo by Katrina Yentch

While much of LA’s bars gives visitors a sleek impression of the city’s drinking scene, Pacific Seas brings back a campy theme in a glamorous, committed manner. However, your experience may be more aesthetically driven than cocktail driven when visiting the space.

Located At: Clifton’s Republic 648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014

213-627-1673

Hours & Other Info

Katrina Yentch
Katrina Yentch

Writer, coffee guru, audiophile, and L.A. native with a B.A. in Literary Journalism from U.C. Irvine. Other side passions and endeavors include public radio, hiking, and playing big Japanese drums.
IG: @ohnoitskatrina & WordPress: katrinatypes.wordpress.com