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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar ( *Image Heavy* ), San Francisco, CA (restaurant)
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The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar ( *Image Heavy* ), San Francisco, CA (restaurant)
TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2007-04-08 8:32 pm   Permalink

Name:The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar ( *Image Heavy* )
Type:restaurant
Street:950 Mason St
City:San Francisco
State:CA
Zip:94108
country:USA
Phone:(415) 772-5278
Status:operational

Description:
After doing a Locating Tiki Search, I was astonished to not find an entry on this place!

As most of the regulars know, this place is located in the basement of the Fairmont Hotel. And is built around the Fairmonts old swimming pool.


The sign outside of the side entrance that leads to the Tonga Room.


Tiki located by the elevator, the first indication of something tropical.


Close up. There are sconces featuring his likeness also.


The Tiki that greets you as you enter the Tonga Room.


Some of the carved panels that adorn the walls.


Tiki just to the left of the entrance as you go in.


Great A-Frame with outrigger canoes suspended below it.


Close up of the A-Frame carving.


Looking towards the Hurricane Bar.


Looking towards the Captains table.The dance floor is to the right side of the picture.


A Maquesan looking Tiki.


A shot featuring some details of the carved posts and the floating bandstand in the background.


Floating bandstand. With thunderstorm in effect!


The Hurricane Bar.


Tonga Mai Tai! Tasty, Tasty!


TONGA ITCH!!! With drink menu in the shot.


How the Hurricane Bar looked after the above drinks were imbibed. I know I'm a light weight.

While heavy on the nautical for some, the Tonga Room was a wonderful stop on a whirlwind tour of S.F. You should be so lucky as to have somethng this cool in your town!

TG
http://www.exotic-tiki-gardens.com







[ This Message was edited by: TikiGardener 2007-04-08 21:17 ]


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sneakyjack
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 1032
From: NYC Area
Posted: 2007-04-08 8:53 pm   Permalink

I thought there were more shots of this place too but I could not find so I addded some of own

INJOY:
When you enter from inside (there are cool photos on the wall from back in the day on the wall near bathrooms)

same with flash

some very cool fish floats - they hang in side umbrella like huts

keepin it sidewayz

wall art

yep flaoting stage watch for rain showers

more all art

hope you injoyed it - go for happy hour and drink away!

_________________
idolmakerfilms.com


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-04-09 08:51 am   Permalink

Thanks for the pics gang. TG, the lighting on those is really nice. Did you use a tripod?

Nice timing on the post too. We'll be in SF in June and the Tonga Room is a must visit.


 
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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3736
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2007-04-09 09:14 am   Permalink

Aloha TG, I was surprised that The Tonga Room wasn't entered into "Locating" as well, until yesterday. We're slackin' on the West Side. One of my all time fave places. Mahalo!

 
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PockyTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 28, 2006
Posts: 556
From: central MA
Posted: 2007-04-09 09:20 am   Permalink

Wow, that floating bandstand is eye popping!! Never seen anything like that before. Thanks for the great pictures!
_________________


 
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Formikahini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1499
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2007-04-09 10:36 am   Permalink

Important note about your visit to The Tonga Room (passed on to me by many wise natives):

Get there for Happy Hour, but the *second* that the band starts floating out onto the water, FLEE!
Happy Hour is officially over, your drink prices go way back up, the free buffet disappears, and generally bad live music begins. If you're not ordering anything more, they want your table, so be nice and pay up immediately, leaving your space for others.

Lots of other lovely places in the 'hood to hit next!


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2007-04-09 11:34 am   Permalink

I'd love to dj that place. And it seems like such a cool spot to have live acts OTHER than a cover band.

And I used a tripod, with various time exposures. Generally about 2 to 3 seconds.

Great place all around.


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-04-09 12:26 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-04-09 10:36, Formikahini wrote:
Important note about your visit to The Tonga Room (passed on to me by many wise natives):

Get there for Happy Hour, but the *second* that the band starts floating out onto the water, FLEE!
Happy Hour is officially over, your drink prices go way back up, the free buffet disappears, and generally bad live music begins. If you're not ordering anything more, they want your table, so be nice and pay up immediately, leaving your space for others.

Lots of other lovely places in the 'hood to hit next!


Yeah, so I've heard. What a shame that such a gorgeous place has to have such a bad reputation for live music. But at least it's still around. Can't complain about that!


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2007-04-09 3:41 pm   Permalink

I noticed a little card on the table that stated something to the effect that once it hit 8 0'clock, and you were still on premises, you would get hit with a 5 buck "entertainment" fee. Made me keep an eye on the time!

But, I am still amazed that there was no Locating Tiki topic on this place! It was/is on the Tiki Bar Crawl list isn't it?

And what, no "Wednesday night at The Tonga room" Tiki Ti equivalent?



 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-04-09 10:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-04-09 08:51, GatorRob wrote:
Thanks for the pics gang. TG, the lighting on those is really nice. Did you use a tripod?

Nice timing on the post too. We'll be in SF in June and the Tonga Room is a must visit.



Those photos are magnificent!


 
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Herf
Member

Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 8
Posted: 2007-04-30 02:13 am   Permalink

Is the Tonga Room owned by the Fairmont Hotel? Or does some external party own the lease?



 
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progrocktv
Member

Joined: Oct 18, 2007
Posts: 5
Posted: 2007-10-18 1:33 pm   Permalink

HERE'S A QUICK REVIEW
My Wife and I finally made it over to the Tonga Room. After reading about it thanks to Critiki, I knew it was a place we HAD to check out while visiting San Francisco! We went on a Sunday night which had me a little worried that there would be no live music that night (thankfully they have music from Wed-Sun, so we were good).
THE PLACE
First off the décor is FANTASTIC. Here in the home base of Colorado we don’t have anything even CLOSE to something like this. All of the cool nightspots in Denver have either been replaced by Sports Bars (like the ill-fated and way too short lived Tiki Boyd’s) or there’s always a plasma blaring the latest ESPN news coverage) so it was nice to not only see a place like this, but to see an establishment that still keeps with the spirit of such a place (even thought there was an unobtrusive plasma by the bar;-) Even though it was a Sunday, we till made reservations, which sat us at a table next to the stage. There is a pool in the middle of the eating area, and the stage is an actual boat floating in the pool, REALLY COOL! The music was Fantastic! The Toga’s house band “Groove Island” had a fantastic mix of Classic Rock, Blues and Disco cover tunes (they were even able to put in a Tom Jones cover by request;-). These guys really nailed a diverse range of songs. On the far end of the pool was a ship’s deck that also served as a dance floor. The pool area also featured a pseudo rain storm which ended each set of the band.
THE DRINKS
A great selection of drinks ranging from Volcanos, Zombies and Singapore Slings. We went for the Volcano (in a place like that, you have to go for it) The drink for two was a bit small, but nice and strong which made up for it
THE FOOD
I read several reviews of the Tonga Room’s food and they weren’t that great, and a place like that, it’s almost expected, however, I can say this by far was NOT the case. The food was absolutely FANTASTIC (in fact the Mongolian beef was the best I’ve EVER tasted, anywhere) I understand the Tonga Room recently had a change in cooking staff and judging by the quality of our meal, it was certainly for the best!
THE BAD
The only thing that might be considered a downside is the price. It is a bit pricey (certainly not a place you could go weekly for dinner) However considering the quality of the food and overall atmosphere, it is certainly worth a monthly visit.
THE RANT
I’ve spoken to a few people and read some (non-Critiki) reviews that slam the place, saying it’s tacky, overpriced or cheesy, without really understanding what The Tonga Room really is about. Living in a state that is being overrun by sports bars (granted the Rockies are going to the world series as I write this) it is really sad to see “entertainment hot spots” and simple dance clubs going by the wayside. All too often people are now looking for a pickup joint, a place to bring the kids along or a place to get away from their wives. I, on the other hand, LOVE to take my wife out on the town for a nice night of entertainment. Sitting and watching a game on a plasma over a burger, to me that’s not my idea of a fun evening (can you tell I’m not a sports fan;-) A place like the Tonga Room, to me, is a great adult evening out. Many people will slam the décor, the rain storm, the prices, the drinks, etc. without even remembering what the place is. I’ve even heard someone say they need to put more TV’s in and make it more “Sports Oriented”. Fine, go to a sports bar, but there should be room for places like this as well right?

Overall we had a GREAT night at the Toga Room. The only downside was it was a bit pricey (not a place you could go every week for dinner) however, for what it is, and what is STILL is, it is absolutely worth it and will most certainly be an occasion to remember.


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8864
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2007-10-18 9:05 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the reviews.
I might try to grab a drink there this coming Sun. on the way to the airport, but no time or money to eat. But I do wanna see it while up there.
what drinks are recomended?

I usually like a Mai Tai and navy Grog at Trader Vics,
or a Zombie at Tiki Ti in Hollywood.

Thanks Jeff(bigtikidude)


[ This Message was edited by: bigtikidude 2007-10-18 21:06 ]


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2008-02-20 11:59 am   Permalink

Cross your fingers! The Tonga Room is closed for renovations! I just called them and they said the decor will remain the same and it should reopen around March 20th.

 
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Coco Loco
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 820
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2008-02-20 12:03 pm   Permalink

Yikes. Thanks Jab! They've gone through management like crazy...

 
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