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What’s Up in Los Angeles


W RD ON THE STREET


The most ridiculous things we’ve overheard in Los Angeles lately


“I have Barry’s Bootcamp at one,


then Pilates, so I’ll probably be at the gym by three.”


“Third-wave coffee is really getting out of hand.”


“Families align IN CHARACTER


Ben “Bamboo Ben” Bassham 52, designer and builder of tiki bars


How did you get into building bars? I lived in Huntington Beach, and we’d put the bars on our lawn and have parties. People would drive by and say, “Hey, is that bar for sale?” I’d sell them and then build more, and that would last all summer long. One thing led to another. I did a bar for some Hollywood producer in Malibu, and then she had a party and her friends saw it, and everybody wanted one. I was doing a lot of backyards at the time, a lot of homes and stuff. Then I started doing commercial [work].


How has your aesthetic evolved? Everything I do, I try to do differently. I’m constantly creating new techniques, new looks. There are just a million options. In my lifetime, I don’t think I’ll be able to get to everything that I’ve ever wanted to do.


SHARE! Time Out Los Angeles July 12–October 10, 2017


What makes something “tiki”? It’s escape and layers. I have a bumper sticker that says NO WHITE WALLS. You can’t have bright, white lights or anything like that. Everybody wants to escape. That’s the best thing: fantasy. You don’t want to go into a bar with a bunch of TVs and see what’s going on in the world. You want to go into a bar and just disappear. ■ Michael Juliano


àFind Bassham’s work at bars including Pacific Seas (648 S Broadway; 213-627-1673, cliftonsla.com), Tiki No (4657 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood; 818-766-0116, tikinola.com), Don the Beachcomber (16278 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach; 562-592-1321, donthebeachcomber.com) and the Royal Hawaiian (331 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach; 949-715- 1470, royalhawaiianlb.com) or on Facebook (facebook.com/ bamboobencustomtropicaldecor).


with painkillers. Mine uses Advil, so I don’t even really know


what Tylenol is.” “It smells


like Los Feliz in here.”


“This is L.A.,


dummy, you can use whichever bathroom you want.”


“I would kill a man for Jerry Seinfeld.”


Overheard any wacky exchanges? Tweet us @timeoutla #wordonthestreet. 4


PHOTOGRAPH: ROZETTE RAGO


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