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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Events California Events 8/2/2013 - Testing the Waters at the Tonga Room
8/2/2013 - Testing the Waters at the Tonga Room
BuzDeadwax
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 07, 2012
Posts: 20
From: S.F., CA
Posted: 2013-07-16 6:13 pm   Permalink

The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar claims to have a "new and improved" Cocktail Menu (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151553408268757), so let's go check it out on August 2nd and see if they've hopefully taken a step backwards toward their good old days of Tiki glory.

Happy Hour is 5:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m and there's an optional all-you-can-eat buffet of "Pacific Rim delicacies" ($10.00 per person with +1 drink min) and the cocktails are at "Happy Hour prices". Odds are we'll be there a while before so we get in (Friday can be cramped), and we'll be there after 8.

Full Disclosure: After 8pm there is a $7 per person "Entertainment Charge". I'm going to just pretend that they're as good as The Tikiyaki Orchestra so I'll be happy to help support them. If not, I'm bringing earphones.

Wear your best Tiki/Aloha/Retro attire, take a cab, and let's give them another chance, and at least thank them for not tearing it down!

https://www.facebook.com/events/149345335260378/

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[ This Message was edited by: BuzDeadwax 2013-07-16 18:24 ]


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BuzDeadwax
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 07, 2012
Posts: 20
From: S.F., CA
Posted: 2013-07-17 09:12 am   Permalink

This just in:

Martin Cate /
martiki (if you don't know who that is, why are you here?) sayeth...

"Well folks...It's time I told you all: I have a drink on the new menu. Look for the Smuggler's Golden Bowl and let me know what you think! Pretty excited to be featured! Haven't even tried it there yet myself!!"
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mhathawa
Member

Joined: Apr 25, 2011
Posts: 8
From: Richmond, CA
Posted: 2013-07-17 3:14 pm   Permalink

I actually was there for the very first time two weeks ago with my wife, and we were amazed by both the food and the quality of the drinks. For years, all I've heard is how terrible the food was, so my expectations were very low, which might have had a lot to do with it. But I also was expecting an overly sugared mai tai, and was pleasantly surprised at how great it tasted. Sailor Jerry's rum and what tasted like a "real" mai tai like Trader Vic's "Original '44". Had none of the "pre-made mixed cocktail" corn syrupy taste that I was expecting. I will definitely be going back

 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2201
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2013-07-17 3:19 pm   Permalink

That's great to hear! Every time I've been there, it's been on the low side of mediocre.
The decor keeps me coming back though!
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www.facebook.com/thehulagirls
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8944
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2013-07-17 3:20 pm   Permalink

Hate to bearer of bad news,
But a real Mai tai from Trader Vic's, or
Don the Beachcomber, doesn't use Sailor Jerry's Rum.
:-/

Jeff btd


 
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Woodtiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 20, 2013
Posts: 94
From: Oakland,CA
Posted: 2013-07-18 11:56 am   Permalink

Love the tonga room, even if only for the decor and pool! Will try and make it to the meet up on the 2nd.
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3093
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2013-07-18 12:40 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-07-17 09:12, BuzDeadwax wrote:
This just in:

Martin Cate / martiki (if you don't know who that is, why are you here?) sayeth...

"Well folks...It's time I told you all: I have a drink on the new menu. Look for the Smuggler's Golden Bowl and let me know what you think! Pretty excited to be featured! Haven't even tried it there yet myself!!"




This is great news! So glad to hear that the Tonga Room is improving their cocktail menu and there's no better person than Martin to somehow be involved with it.


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 277
Posted: 2013-07-18 9:04 pm   Permalink

I've been going to the Tonga room a few times a year for the last few years and have always been served great food in the restaurant. On the other hand don't expect as much from the $10 "all you can eat buffet". It is fine for what it is but don't forget you are getting "all you can eat" for $10 in one of the swankiest hotels in San Francisco. In moderation it is good but if you try to make a meal out of it you may be left with a funny taste in your mouth!

I think some of the drinks are very good, and don't think I haven't had ample opportunity to compare them with the best Tiki drinks the Bay Area has to offer. The Pineapple Royal is my favorite and their Lava Bowl and Scorpion Bowl are good as well. I had a really stiff Zombie there once (although I think it was the bartender's mistake) and although it wasn't a 1934 Zombie Punch it was an honest strong drink. The Bora Bora Horror is also O.K. Some of their other drinks are too sweet for me but I am overjoyed to hear they are upping their game.

The venue is wonderful and the hotel is spectacular. The music is O.K. for 80's pop but too loud for conversation, although I love the Polynesian background music they play before the band performs. I prefer to eat early and then go across the street to the "Top of the Mark" at the Mark Hopkins Hotel next door for an after dinner cocktail. I'd rather pay the $5 cover for their piano player but if you like to dance to 80's pop music the Tonga Room entertainment is very good.


 
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Naval Groggy
Member

Joined: Apr 24, 2014
Posts: 2
Posted: 2014-04-24 05:06 am   Permalink

I'd just like to add to this (old) thread, that the Mai Tai at The Tonga Room features Appleton V/X, Denizen Rum, Senior Curacao, Sm. Hands Orgeat (Oakland) and fresh lime juice. **Not Sailor Jerry
: P
The new Tonga Room bar program, eliminates all of the Finest Call (high fructose corn-syrups), Rose's Lime, canned pineapple juice, Etc. in favor of all fresh juices and quality ingredients all around! It also includes about 60 rums, and the collection is growing. There are now dedicated bartenders who are interested in the history and accuracy of Tiki drinks. Feel free to order off-the-menu Tiki and contemporary classic cocktails, or "Dealer's choice" from the them.

I know this is a far cry from some of the recent days of sugary hangover-inducing concoctions. I hope people will appreciate this new change!

: )

[ This Message was edited by: Naval Groggy 2014-04-25 03:53 ]


 
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Longboard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 25, 2012
Posts: 149
From: Twain Harte, CA
Posted: 2014-04-24 09:16 am   Permalink

I was there a few months ago and the Room was great as always.

Drinks = low brow tiki holiday Inn style

Food = even worst

If you want a great drink, just go to Smugglers Cove. Then eat most anywhere in SF, we have great restaurants.

-Longboard


 
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SandraDee
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 11, 2011
Posts: 929
Posted: 2014-04-24 4:57 pm   Permalink

Love the drinks at Tonga Room--they have improved drastically especially with the addition of Martin's bowl.

Heading to the Tonga Room tonight --its been awhile and can't wait!


So glad they have improved on the food as well. Since every time I go TR is crowded hopefully that keeps it around for years to come.


Oh and Buzz if you see this you should organize another night there for happy hour. It was a blast!

[ This Message was edited by: SandraDee 2014-04-24 17:00 ]


 
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