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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)
tikigap
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jan 19, 2006
Posts: 836
From: Arlingtron Virginia
Posted: 2008-07-10 08:33 am   Permalink

I visited the Tonga Room about a month ago - it was really nice - but I have not been there before it was renovated, so I don't know what it looked like before. There were still what appeared to be old-school tiki there - tapa too, with clubs and other weapons

Menu


drink menu - Mai Tais were not really good - too acidic, and $10 a pop.


Thatch roof over dinner table


cool relief on the wall:


Raining over the pool (sorry, no band tonight):


Me (in the back-middle) and friends/coworkers at dinner:


The food was excellent. Sorry I didn't get better pictures...

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JenTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 1822
From: An island in the bay
Posted: 2008-07-10 1:31 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-10 08:33, tikigap wrote:
Raining over the pool (sorry, no band tonight):



Trust me! That's the only way you want to see that little band boat! The band that's usually in it is terrible!!! Unless you're into cheezy, "easy listening," almost karaoke, versions of disco and other bad pop tunes. Consider yourself lucky they weren't playing that night!


 
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KreepyTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 18, 2007
Posts: 193
Posted: 2008-07-13 11:39 am   Permalink

I was wondering why on Earth they'd want pure WHITE concrete on the bottom of their central pool, rather than a much more appropriately tropical-looking turquoise???

It seems to me that plain white would be sterile and ugly.

Of course, many actual swimming pools have white concrete bottoms, but those are deep enough that the water ITSELF naturally provides the illusion of bluish-green color.

But surely that pool in the Tonga Room is much too shallow to provide any significant color just from the water itself, right?

Someone who's been there SINCE the recent re-decoration please clue me in on this!

Mucho Mahalos!


 
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JenTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 1822
From: An island in the bay
Posted: 2008-07-13 11:52 am   Permalink

I was there with several other TCers the night they re-opened. I saw tiles on the bottom of the pool, not concrete. I think they're original, or at least were there before the remodel. Whether the color comes from the water, or the tile, is not something I considered, so I can't really tell you what color they were. But they were definitely tiles. You can see the grout lines if you look closely.



[ Edited by: hanford_lemoore - Fixed username - 2008-07-13 13:30 ]


 
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JenTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 1822
From: An island in the bay
Posted: 2008-07-13 1:15 pm   Permalink

nevermind!

[ This Message was edited by: JenTiki 2008-07-13 14:09 ]


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2008-07-31 12:37 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-04-30 23:37, bigbrotiki wrote:
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...



Here are shots I took last night at Happy Hour. My daughter and I had a great time, and from my prior visit, I didn't really feel that anything had changed. These shots will be full size, so be patient. Feel free to compare and contrast with my earlier shots.

Whatever changes were made weren't glaring to me and did NOT affect my visit there in any detrimental way. Not being a "regular" and only having visited once before the changes, don't dogpile me if you think the place has changed for the worse. Because in my humble opinion, the place rocks and should have its own Tiki Central weekly contingent day.

As to the loss of Tapa, at least the late 60's early 70's op-art wall hangings do not distract at all, and are quite fitting to the feel of the room.

I'll add captions later as I am doing this from work... And pardon me if I did a few repetitive shots, I just love shooting in this place. Until The Maitre D comes up and tells me very politely that unless you are photographing your party, that you are not allowed to take shots with people in them, "they don't like that". So my further pic. taking was on the sly... Sorry Tonga guy... I had to!




















































There ya go!!!




[ This Message was edited by: TikiGardener 2008-07-31 13:39 ]

[ This Message was edited by: tikigardener 2008-07-31 13:55 ]

[ This Message was edited by: TikiGardener 2009-11-16 16:56 ]


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-08-01 3:33 pm   Permalink

Well, I must say that the quasi-60s-70s print they picked out for the tapa replacement doesn't look bad. I was expecting the worst, frankly. Now, if they'd just fix the food, drinks and the band! But you are right, the place is visually stunning.

It's still a far cry from what it originally looked like!



 
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Humuhumu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3536
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2008-08-01 4:22 pm   Permalink

Triple argggghh! You probably had no idea I'm living in SF these days, but next time, please send up a flare! It would have been a treat to see you & meet your daughter. Are you still in town?

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Zeta
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Feb 13, 2007
Posts: 2049
From: Atlantis/Basque Country/Spain/Mexico
Posted: 2008-08-03 5:25 pm   Permalink

Aloha amigos!

A postcard from my collection.

From the back:
THE TONGA ROOM
San Francisco's most unusual restaurant, featuring Chinese and American Foods, Cocktails and Mixed Drinks, Enchanting Music.

The Fairmont Hotel

Z


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2008-08-06 12:35 pm   Permalink

As I posted in The DeYoung Museum Thread, I've been working with medium, format fil cameras for a few months now, so here are some clickable thumbnails of some black and white 120mm film shots I took while on a visit to the Tonga Room. More to follow as I can edit them.

Sorry for the Tonga Image overkill... I'm obsessive compulsive when it come to cameras... and a lot of other things...










Again CLICK THEM for larger versions... And I'll be adding more of course!

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

[ This Message was edited by: TikiGardener 2008-08-06 12:36 ]
added more images.

[ This Message was edited by: TikiGardener 2008-08-06 12:45 ]

[ This Message was edited by: TikiGardener 2008-08-06 13:03 ]
Added one more image...

[ This Message was edited by: tikigardener 2008-08-08 12:27 ]


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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2008-08-07 11:54 pm   Permalink

I have been in SF for the past couple of days and had the opportunity of visiting the Tonga twice. While I am truly amazed that a place like this is allowed to exist and thrives in such a great city (the Tonga would be gone by now if it was in New York), I can't say that I was thrilled with the drinks. I only had the Mai Tai and the Zombie. Good, but a little on the sugary side. Anyway, I probably shouldn't be complaining. This place is top notch good times. A simulated thunderstorm AND a floating bandstand? Are you kidding?? The Tonga is amazing just on that alone. Not to mention that gorgeous bar. I am headed back to LA day after tomorrow and will be drinking Trader Vic Mai Tais until the end of August. I cringe at the $14.00 price but it's the best Mai Tai anywhere and does edge out the Tonga's drinks.

 
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JenTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 1822
From: An island in the bay
Posted: 2008-08-08 12:23 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-08-07 23:54, donhonyc wrote:
I have been in SF for the past couple of days


You're in San Francisco for more than a day and not coming across the bay to Forbidden Island in Alameda or Trader Vic's in Emeryville?!? If you want good drinks you gotta cross the water! If you don't have access to a car, there are lots of other ways to get over to this side and you won't regret the 20-30 minute trip!

PM me if you want to know your transportation options. And put up a thread if you want some of the locals to meet up with you at either of those locations. Frankly, the Tonga Room looks cool, but most of us who had high hopes for the "redo" were sadly disappointed that the drinks, food, and service still suck, yet cost even more than before, and we haven't been back since re-opening night. If you want more than just history from your tiki experience in the Bay Area, the East Bay has much better options.


 
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donhonyc
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2008-08-08 11:12 pm   Permalink

Quote:

You're in San Francisco for more than a day and not coming across the bay to Forbidden Island in Alameda or Trader Vic's in Emeryville?!? If you want good drinks you gotta cross the water! If you don't have access to a car, there are lots of other ways to get over to this side and you won't regret the 20-30 minute trip!

PM me if you want to know your transportation options. And put up a thread if you want some of the locals to meet up with you at either of those locations. Frankly, the Tonga Room looks cool, but most of us who had high hopes for the "redo" were sadly disappointed that the drinks, food, and service still suck, yet cost even more than before, and we haven't been back since re-opening night. If you want more than just history from your tiki experience in the Bay Area, the East Bay has much better options.



I should have opened my mouth sooner, but I am leaving tomorrow to go back to LA for 2 weeks and then back to (ugh!) NYC. Like I said, I have already been to TV at the Beverly Hilton, but I plan on going to Tiki Ti and Damon's. Also today by accident I stumbled upon Trad'r Sam's in the Sea Cliff area of SF. Didn't even look for it, just happened to find it while riding on the 38 bus out to the Cliff House. Fun place, drinks weren't bad.


It's amazing to me that in the last week I have already been to three, yes THREE Tiki establishments on the West Coast without even really trying. This could never happen in the New York area. Well, maybe if all the Tiki establishments you go to are Chinese restaurants or new bars that are fair-at best- imitations of Tikiana.


 
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Billbot
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 18, 2006
Posts: 20
From: California USA
Posted: 2008-08-10 9:53 pm   Permalink

So I finally got up to the city to go to the Tonga Room. The place looked great, and most of the drinks were ok; however the zombie I got was truly terrible. The big downer was the music. There was a band playing, which I was forced to pay a $7 cover for. They were playing bad 70's covers way too loud. I could not talk to my friend over the cacophony.

The only vegetarian item on the menu was of poor quality, and way too expensive. The food, in general, is terribly overpriced. I think I would have enjoyed it still if it were not for the auditory assault on my ears that lasted the whole evening. I can only recommend the place if there is no band, and you just go for appetizers and drinks. Even then, don't expect much except very cool decor. Could have been much, much better.
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atomictonytiki
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1275
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-08-12 03:45 am   Permalink

The good-lady-wife and myself were in the Tonga last Tuesday, the stupid steep hill getting up to the Tonga was the worst thing about it.

We luckily missed the buffet and were too early for the band, so we got to experience the bar in a not too offensive form. My Mai Tai was over sweet but loaded with rum and the wife's Singapore sling was acceptable. I found the bar staff friendly and we had a good time.

The decore is something else, but i think i prefer a lower celling on tiki bars, the height of the Tonga rooms was quite surprising.


 
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