FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar ( *Image Heavy* ), San Francisco, CA (restaurant)
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 Next Page )
The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar ( *Image Heavy* ), San Francisco, CA (restaurant)
JenTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 1822
From: An island in the bay
Posted: 2008-02-20 12:06 pm   Permalink

Hopefully they'll get that fountain fixed and do something with the ceiling! I vote for a Bay Area Ohana gathering when they re-open! I do remember one of the managers saying they had received approval for a large renovation budget (I can't remember the specific amount, but I do remember thinking it was enough to fix things up a bit) just about a year ago. Fingers and toes all crossed!

 
View Profile of JenTiki Send a personal message to JenTiki      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5507
From: Sin City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2008-03-03 2:48 pm   Permalink

Ooooh...I hope it will remain as wonderful as what those pictures show. I haven't been and plan on going in May. I hear it is oh so fabulous that I don't want to miss it. Thanks for the great pictures.

Just found this on the Fairmont website:

The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar is temporarily closed for renovations. We anticipate re-opening the Tonga Room on March 20th and hope you will visit us to experience some refreshing and exciting updates at San Francisco's favorite tiki bar and restaurant! Make your next visit to the Tonga Room a memorable and "WOW" dining occasion.

_________________
FATIMA BLUSH: Oh, how reckless of me. I made you all wet.
JAMES BOND: Yes, but my martini is still dry.

[ This Message was edited by: vampiressrn 2008-03-04 19:45 ]


 
View Profile of VampiressRN Send a personal message to VampiressRN  Email VampiressRN Goto the website of VampiressRN     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Otto
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 831
From: NorCal
Posted: 2008-03-16 12:35 am   Permalink

Let's show up on the 20th wearing aloha shirts to show support

I'll be there.


 
View Profile of Otto Send a personal message to Otto  Email Otto Goto the website of Otto     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
JenTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 1822
From: An island in the bay
Posted: 2008-03-16 01:19 am   Permalink

I'm in!

 
View Profile of JenTiki Send a personal message to JenTiki      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3489
From: HELL
Posted: 2008-03-16 09:51 am   Permalink

wow...i haven't been there since otto hosted "bongo's by the bay" tiki event way the hell back in the late 90's(?).....very cool place and if the economy ever gets better and airlines stop raising their rates and fuel goes back down to a reasonable price....i may damn well stop in for a revisit!!

 
View Profile of Tipsy McStagger Send a personal message to Tipsy McStagger  Email Tipsy McStagger     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
TikiGoon
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 82
From: The Exotic Isle of Mar "Maryland"
Posted: 2008-03-16 10:30 am   Permalink

Great Place! You West Coasters are so lucky to have so many great Tiki places to go to.




 
View Profile of TikiGoon Send a personal message to TikiGoon  Email TikiGoon Goto the website of TikiGoon     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-03-16 5:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-03-16 09:51, Tipsy McStagger wrote:
if the economy ever gets better and airlines stop raising their rates and fuel goes back down to a reasonable price


In other words, when hell freezes over?!


 
View Profile of GatorRob Send a personal message to GatorRob      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7417
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-03-17 8:33 pm   Permalink

A little fly landed on my shoulder today and told me it changed a bit. At least it's still there! Enjoy your local tiki bar.
_________________


Bamboo Ben
Custom Tropical Decor
I build Tiki Rooms for you! Just ask around ;)
http://www.facebook.com/bambooben


 
View Profile of RevBambooBen Send a personal message to RevBambooBen  Email RevBambooBen Goto the website of RevBambooBen     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Mr. Fishy
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 02, 2004
Posts: 11
From: Emeryville, CA
Posted: 2008-03-18 11:07 am   Permalink

A sneek peek at the renovation. Modern touches, but they seem to be minimal out of repect for the venue.


No more dusty fake foliage. The boat has been cleaned, the lagoon drained and scrubbed to sparkling white. The tapa cloth walls have been covered with red fabric:



The fountain behind is now covered up with frosted plastic panels with red lights behind them.



There's also raised bench seating (red upholstery) around the bar area, assumably to see the boat and dance floor more clearly. There are also nice new tables throughout.

I learned that the rain will still be there. Sure hope they bring back the lightning flashes instead of the disco lights that showed up earlier this year...

-Mark


 
View Profile of Mr. Fishy Send a personal message to Mr. Fishy  Email Mr. Fishy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Mr. Fishy
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 02, 2004
Posts: 11
From: Emeryville, CA
Posted: 2008-03-18 11:08 am   Permalink

Should be a great opening this week, despite the changes. The Tonga heart is still there!

[ This Message was edited by: Mr. Fishy 2008-03-18 11:09 ]

[ This Message was edited by: mr. fishy 2008-03-18 11:34 ]


 
View Profile of Mr. Fishy Send a personal message to Mr. Fishy  Email Mr. Fishy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
pariartspaul
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 20, 2003
Posts: 153
From: Martiniland, California
Posted: 2008-04-28 10:58 am   Permalink

Sorry you all, I have a scathing review of the Tonga Room:

I treated us to the Fairmont’s Tonga Room last Friday night and it wasn’t pretty. Here’s a Polynesian restaurant with no tropical music, (actually no music at all until the dreadful house band began at 9), no tropical foliage, and the worse food I’ve had for years at incredibly outrageous prices. We felt totally ripped off and shocked the Fairmont could run a place like this.

We’d heard it had been recently undergone a huge renovation. All I can say is it must have looked really awful before. It looks like they cleaned it down to bare bones functionality and then just stopped there. I felt like I was sitting in a stripped Polynesian village set. It is definitely an impressive room, but it feels really somber and dead. The rectangular pool in the middle of the room looked freshly white-plastered but there was no attempt to make it look like a lagoon. The main part of the high ceiling had been freshly painted black, and all the water pipes and other things were in plain view. Boy, a couple of nice big palm trees would have helped it a lot.

Anyway, the drinks were decent. We tried a banana Chi-Chi and a Hurricane. Then we ordered the pupu platter and everything on it actually was quite good. We should have stopped there.

For the dinner, we were intrigued by the tempura style lobster on the menu, but the waiter shook his head in horror when we asked about it. We asked him to recommend something and he recommended the beef fillets. Well, did you ever buy a box of those frozen beef fillets at Wal-Mart or Smart and Final and then promised yourself you’d never do THAT again?? That’s what they gave us. It tasted just like thick cardboard simmered in water. Okay, okay, if I was paying $5 for it I might not be surprised, but $35 each at the Fairmont?! Forget it. For the side dish, it was some kind of mixed rice for $7 a piece. It was nasty. It was fishy tasting thawed out baby shrimp mixed in several kinds of boiled rice. It tasted like one of my cooking mistakes. I couldn’t eat it.

We ordered a crème Brule for dessert, and it tasted like a box-mix butterscotch pudding. The waiter brought us a complimentary second dessert for some reason and it looked really cute. It was a flaming marshmallow volcano thing and he said it had raspberry mouse inside. Not. It was nasty. Right about then we saw the little band gathering to begin, so we thought that would be nice. They got on the little boat in the pool and it traveled out to the center. Then they started… oh my god. You’d think maybe they’d be playing some Hawaiian music, but no. It sounded like lounge lizard amateur night in hell, with songs right out of a white-trash wedding. The only way I could imagine listening to these guys play is…. if I was forced to. It was the last straw. We bolted.

I would not return to the Tonga Room unless they totally get new management and a new kitchen. I spend $250 on that crappy dinner for two. I don’t mind splurging on an expensive meal if I feel I’m getting something for my money, but I really felt ripped off by the whole Tonga Room evening.

The most shocking part of all of this is that the Fairmont itself is such a fabulous hotel. We actually stayed there on Friday night, in a beautiful corner room in the old section of the hotel. But the Tonga Room experience kind of tainted the hotel’s reputation for us.

My god, they’ve got a fantastic old place in the Tonga Room, but it’s a shame about how they run it. It needs Hawaiian music, a good decorator, and good food. It actually wouldn’t be that hard to make it fabulous again.

Write the Fairmont if you've been ripped off too. Maybe it was just a bad night, but I don't think so.



[ This Message was edited by: pariartspaul 2008-04-28 11:03 ]


 
View Profile of pariartspaul Send a personal message to pariartspaul  Email pariartspaul Goto the website of pariartspaul     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5507
From: Sin City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2008-04-28 11:49 am   Permalink

Wow...bummer...but thanks for the candid review Paul. I was planning on taking out-of-town guests there in a few weeks and it would be my first time. Sounds like a bust though, so will make other plans probably.

I am really dissapointed too that the revolving restaurant at the top of the Hyatt Regency is no longer in business...that was such an awesome view.

Anyone have a suggestion for a good bar in San Francisco (that also serves appetizers)?


 
View Profile of VampiressRN Send a personal message to VampiressRN  Email VampiressRN Goto the website of VampiressRN     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
pariartspaul
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 20, 2003
Posts: 153
From: Martiniland, California
Posted: 2008-04-30 12:33 pm   Permalink

Aloha VampiressRNN,

Just to let you know that I got a call just now from Sharon, the Tonga room manager, and we had quite a nice conversation. She tells me that normally there is tropical background music when the band isn't playing. It must have been off the Friday night we went. Also, she says the Mongolian Beef is fabulous.

I'd say, go ahead and take your friends to the Tonga room for Happy Hour and check the place out. And I'm sure they'd love to see the lobby and some of the public areas of the Fairmont, it's really beautiful. At the Tonga, they do have a reasonably-priced happy hour buffet there, and as I said the drinks were okay. It is worth seeing the place if you haven't. Be warned the band starts at nine except for Mondays and Tuesdays. I would just avoid the dinner.


 
View Profile of pariartspaul Send a personal message to pariartspaul  Email pariartspaul Goto the website of pariartspaul     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-04-30 2:49 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-04-28 10:58, pariartspaul wrote:
We’d heard it had been recently undergone a huge renovation. All I can say is it must have looked really awful before.


Quite the contrary. It looked great before.
See pictures here.

Too bad. Glad I got to experience it while it still looked good, even if nothing else about it measured up.


 View Profile of GatorRob Send a personal message to GatorRob      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11003
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-30 11:37 pm   Permalink

Can a San Franciscan Tikiphile who knows the Tonga Room shed some more light on the extent and effect of the renovations? Loss of Tapa does not sound good...

 
View Profile of bigbrotiki Send a personal message to bigbrotiki  Goto the website of bigbrotiki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 Next Page )
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2014 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation