James has been meaning to take me to Bahooka for quite some time now. He drives by it every now and then and had checked it out on line and found out that there are a lot of fish tanks inside. I loooove fishies, so yeah, I was interested in going!
Baby sis was visiting for the weekend, and we were looking up places to go to for dinner for a good 30-45min. Luckily, James thought about Bahooka! We had such an awesome time there (well, at least I know I did!).
We arrived at about 8:30PM on a Sunday night and their big parking lot was full! I felt like we parked in a lot that wasn’t even part of their lot anymore, but we found a spot!
We walked in and the place was packed!!! I was just overwhelmed by all the fish tanks, the decor on the ceilings and walls, and the amount of people that were waiting in the waiting area.
The photo above is of their waiting area. It’s empty in the photo because I took it after our dinner and after the crowd was gone, but trust me, it was full of people waiting for their tables when we got there.
We were told that we had to wait 30 minutes for our table, so I suggested for us to walk around. The way the restaurant is set up, I felt like it welcomed us to walk around. Again, maybe because I was just overwhelmed and super excited to see all the fish tanks, but I definitely felt welcomed to explore the restaurant.
When you first walk in past the hostess booth, you’ll see their star, Rufus the fish – a 35 year old fish that eats carrots. (Darn! We forgot to ask them to feed Rufus a carrot so that we could witness that.) Again, since I’m still working on my photography, the photo came out too dark of James standing by Rufus in his tank, but trust me, he’s big!
So, after visiting Rufus, we decided to walk deeper into the restaurant. I swear it’s a maze! ..but again, maybe I was just overwhelmed and busy looking at the fish tanks instead of where I was going.
We walked all the way to the “back” of the restaurant and found a room with an event going on. We thought it was a private party, but peeped our heads in a bit to try to see what was going on. Lucky for us, the people there were super friendly and a gentleman came up to us and told us, “Come on in! Everybody is welcome to join the party!” We were so excited to be invited to what seemed like a Tiki themed party with fun and super nice people! It turned out to be a Tiki Magazine party!
The first booth that caught our eyes was The Art of Doug Horne. We loved what he had hanging up and so J decided to flip through his art work. J came across 2 prints that he really liked and asked me what I thought. I thought this one (that he’s holding up in the photo above) was soooo him! Sorry I cut off the bottom of the car in the print, but the car is a cross/mix of a few old classic cars. That’s soooo J! Also the architecture in the back and the huge tiki heads with the flames dancing on top of them screamed “James” to me too. James purchased the piece (YAY!) and here he is with the artist, Doug Horne. We chatted with Doug for a bit and he told us about the drawing and a bit about himself and the other pieces. It’s the first art piece we bought at a show and straight from the artist!
We continued down the room and checked out other things that people were selling. There were some cool salt and pepper shakers shaped as tiki stone heads. Too bad I forgot the blog/website name. (I think I need to start carrying a notepad too.) We were lucky because as we got to the front of the room, the band, Hula Girls, came back from intermission. So, we got a quick front row seat and caught the show for a few minutes. We then headed back to the back of the room and checked out the new issue of the Tiki Magazine. A few moments later, the hostess came in to look for us to seat us! I was pleasantly surprised by what great service they had that they would come look for us all the way in the back of the restaurant!
We were led to this table and I thought it was the best table in the section! We still had the fish tanks above/behind each of the banquettes, but we also had this painted wall lit up with Christmas lights! ..and yes, the table is held up by the metal chain.
Bahooka menu cover.
J ordered the Captain Cooke Goat (above and basically a virgin pina colada) and I had the Zombie. Apparently, from their reviews, they have a lot of flaming items on their menu, but this was the only flaming item we had brought to our table for the evening. Both drinks were yummy; my zombie was nice and strong.
I let J ordered since I was busy trying to take photos. He ordered the 1/2 Onion Rings & 1/2 Fried Zucchini and the Bahooka’s Special Exotic Ribs and Fried Shrimp dinner (above) with vegetables for the side. The food is OK, not bad, but not great, but it’s definitely a lot!
Baby sis had the grilled salmon with a 1/2 sweet potato for the side.
A view of our booth from the bar area – which has a turtle in the bar tank! Look at all the decorations! They have a lot of lit up parrots in this place!
View from where I was sitting towards the “jail cell” that has 3 tables inside.
The place seemed to have really cleared out (they close at 9PM) when we were done with dinner, so we decided to walk around the entire place. The staff was so nice and guided us through the maze.
I thought these long/big tables surrounded by these big tanks were cool. (2 photos above)
So, here we are, back to where we started at the waiting room (photo is looking at the hostess and cashier area and entrance to the dining ares). There’s definitely more to this place than what I could photograph and I can’t wait to go back again to see what we missed during this first visit!