This summer, my family has discovered “The Brady Bunch.” My elementary age boys are enjoying the bell-bottomed, wholesomeness that the family of eight (not including Alice) shares with its audience, capturing a whole new generation of fans. We’ve watched Peter’s voice change, Jan struggle as the middle child and Cindy go through the tattletale phase. We recently watched the episode where the family visited Hawaii. It’s the one where Peter discovers a Tiki idol and bad luck visits the family soon after. The early 70s depiction of Hawaii stuck in my mind when we visited Hula Mamas, in Humble, Texas.
The family-owned restaurant is inconspicuously situated in the Humble Plaza Shopping Center, neighboring a pet shop and a Korean restaurant. As the doors opened for buffet-style luau dinner show, we peeked into a Polynesian-themed getaway that would last for the next four hours, although a Tex-Mex vibe still lingers there. The rounded doorways and tiled ceilings confusingly mix with the bamboo Tiki lounge style.
What’s lacking in the establishment’s interior design is made up for with the music and entertainment. A three-piece band of ukuleles, guitar and keyboard players wearing Hawaiian shirts played Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwi’ole and other similar tunes. It was easy to picture the Brady’s swaying along to the soothing music. It would not have surprised me if an Elvis impersonator stepped on stage to croon a little “Blue Hawaii.”
The tour through the South Pacific began with traditional hula dancers, clad in grass skirts and male warrior dancers. Musicians narrate the tour from their grass shack stage, sprinkling unknown trivia facts about the island. The Samoan fire knife dancer was the high point of the show, as the tribal performer twirled the blazing knife while doing acrobatic stunts.
As we toured the islands, we ate authentic Polynesian fare, including Hawaiian dinner rolls, fresh poi, Kalua pork, barbeque teriyaki chicken, salad, green beans and a pineapple upside-down cake. (Hula Mamas is currently BYOB, with a cork and set-up charge.) A variety of non-alcoholic tropical mocktails are also available, including pina colada, ‘Limen De Coconut and Mai Tai. The restaurant also caters events.
The audience has a cruise-ship feel, ranging from young to old with the typical loud guy who was really excited to see a hula skirt. Overall, the luau was fun and the Hawaiian feast was delicious. While the Tiki theme can be trite, the family-owned Hula Mamas brings its own signature Aloha spirit to Texas.
19333 HWY 59 STE # 285
Humble, Texas 77338
For reservations, call 281.710.7110.
By Autumn Rhea Carpenter