Ray Buhen is a legendary bartender who specialized in tropical (tiki) cocktails. Born in the Phlippines, he began bartending in the early 1930s at the Beverly Hills Hotel. In 1934, he began working at original Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood, and then in 1937 moved onto the South Seas, also in Hollywood. He also bartended at Christian’s Hut on Santa Catalina Island. He would later bartend at such famous Los Angeles-area cocktail lounges as Sugie’s Tropics, Dresden Room, Seven Seas (again), Ching Hau, The Luau, Palms in the Jungle, and China Trader.
Buhen opened his own place, the Tiki Ti, in Los Angeles in 1961. The bar, with a wide array of tropical libations, continues to be run by his son and grandson.