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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Bali Hai, San Diego, CA (Restaurant)
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Bali Hai, San Diego, CA (Restaurant)
Tikirari
Member

Joined: Jun 07, 2004
Posts: 7
From: Cincinnati, OH
Posted: 2004-08-18 9:32 pm   Permalink

I am hitting LA in early September. I have already warned my non-tikiphile friends that a trip to Bali Hai WILL be part of our San Diego visit. Too bad to hear that there are no T's or other souvenirs. I will probably be forced to pick up a mug or two or...

 
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Stainless Steel Tiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 30, 2004
Posts: 17
Posted: 2004-08-19 12:06 pm   Permalink

I didn't get to check out the gift shop when I was there, as it was closed. I did score the Mr. Bali Hai mug (he's frowning down at me even as I write this).






[ This Message was edited by: Stainless Steel Tiki on 2004-08-19 12:09 ]


 
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2993
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2004-09-14 1:39 pm   Permalink

Just an update to say the 50th Anniversary special is continuing 'til the 2nd week of October: "for every table (minimum of 2 per table) one person can select a 1954 special. Dinner only. No substitutions. Served Sunday through Thursday."

_________________
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., Th.D., D.F.S


 
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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 821
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-09-14 11:59 pm   Permalink

Stainless Steel Tiki wrote:
Quote:
I didn't get to check out the gift shop when I was there, as it was closed.


It wasn't open at the posted hours when I was there but they happily got ahold of the gift shop manager, who opened it for me. I got the impression they were rather casual about the hours, for better or worse.


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2004-09-26 11:55 am   Permalink

From an August 1969 WESTWAYS magazine:

"As interesting as Shelter Island is by day, it is at night that it becomes truly enchanting - the South Sea paradise it strives to be. The Polynesian architecture of the restaurants, the light-accented palm trees, hibiscus blooms, tiki torches, the Hawaiian music - all set against a background of moonlit water and sailboats gently rocking at the dockside - bring both tourists and natives back again and again."

[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy on 2004-09-26 11:56 ]


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2004-09-26 12:28 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-09-14 23:59, tikijackalope wrote:
Stainless Steel Tiki wrote:
Quote:
I didn't get to check out the gift shop when I was there, as it was closed.


It wasn't open at the posted hours when I was there but they happily got ahold of the gift shop manager, who opened it for me. I got the impression they were rather casual about the hours, for better or worse.



The Mr. Bali Hai mugs are also available at the bar.


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2004-09-27 8:27 pm   Permalink

Are those bathroom door handles Mayan tiki?

 
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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 821
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-09-27 11:41 pm   Permalink

tikijackalope posted

Cristiki295 asked
Quote:
Are those bathroom door handles Mayan tiki?


I'm no expert, but it looks like you're right, especially about the one on the left. Of course, we tend to look at things through the lens of our preferences so I see the lines under the mouth and think of Maori tattoos.
Its funny you'd mention this; I was just reading about August Holland (artist of the Pearl of Wisdom, et al) and noticed that many web references to the print refer to the figure in it as a "Mayan god", when it looks tiki to me...and now you call our attention to apparently Mayan/Aztec/Olmec inspired hardware in a Polynesian restaurant.
Maybe in addition to "poly-pop" we need the more general "archeo-pop" or "ethno-pop."

[ This Message was edited by: tikijackalope on 2004-09-27 23:42 ]


 
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dirkjan
Member

Joined: Nov 19, 2002
Posts: 2
From: D-J
Posted: 2005-01-31 7:17 pm   Permalink

Name:Bali Hai Restaurant - according to Charles Phoenix
Type:restaurant
Street:2230 Shelter Island Dr
City:San Diego
State:CA
Zip:92106
country:USA
Phone:619.222.1181
Status:operational

Description:
From Charles Phoenix's Slide of the Week:

*********************************************

BALI HA’I RESTAURANT, SHELTER ISLE, SAN DIEGO, 1962. On the marquee: EXOTIC CANTONESE CUISINE – DANCING TONIGHT – POLYNESIAN FLOOR SHOW - near the marquee: A 1959 Rambler.

Last week I couldn’t leave San Diego without enjoying a tiki-taste-treat sensation of the highest order- the lunch buffet at the Bali Hai. Architecturally the restaurant is a cross between a Tiki hut and a flying saucer.

You may arrive by boat. They have a dock. It is on Shelter Isle after all. But I arrived by car. The first thing you notice when you get out of the car is what they call “The Goof” on the roof. Upon closer inspection he seems to be half man-half tiki donning a chef’s hat and large hoop earrings similar to those worn by the lord of the manor, Mr. Bali Hai himself, a half Mr. Potato / half Tiki God who greets customers at the front door. Like countless others and I have been before, I was charmed by his big wide eyes, red lips, hoop earrings and friendly spirit (you can see him on the left in the slide).

Once inside, I ogled the vintage décor until it was upstaged by the lunch crowd that I would be dining with: a group of sensible seniors that were most likely bussed in from somewhere far less exotic. Together we lined up at the bank of chafing dishes helping ourselves to sweet and sour pork, chicken chow mein and macaroni and cheese - which by the way are especially good when stirred together on your plate into a pan-Americana goulash. And when washed down with a big gulp-scale mai tai served in a Mr. Bali Hai souvenir Tiki mug – your stomach will thank you. If you can bear to take your eyes off of your plate or the buffet table, the view across the bay to the city’s skyline is absolutely picture perfect. One wonders (but not out loud of course) how this space age Polynesian restaurant has survived on this perfect plot of land for more than five decades.

After I piled my final plate high with a slice of lemon cake decorated with real live orchids and cottage cheese garnished with rip kiwi slices (I eat healthy), I stumbled into the gift shop and just couldn’t resist a pair of Mr. Bali Hai salt and pepper shakers. Yes, any restaurant with a gift shop is VERY special. And the Bali Hai is no exception!

Here to you and another 50 years of the Bali Hai!
Charles Phoenix
http://www.godblessamericana.com



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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2005-02-01 10:58 am   Permalink

Charles Phoenix's Slide Of The Week:





 
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Sneaky Tiki
Member

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 8
From: CA
Posted: 2005-02-01 1:25 pm   Permalink

I have never been to the Bali Hai restaurant but think I may have occasion to go there this coming Saturday. My parents told me they went there years ago (1970s probably, maybe 1960s) and said the food was "senior citizen food" and everybody working there seemed old and doddering. Before they told me that I had been thinking of taking a date there but now I'm not so sure. Can anybody alleviate my concerns or am I better off checking it out when I'm not with anybody I'm sort of trying to impress? I don't drink so I'm mostly concerned about quality of food and overall tiki atmosphere (my haole parents met at a luau in 1964 so tiki is in my blood).

 
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2993
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2005-02-01 1:43 pm   Permalink

Why not take a peek at the Dinner Menu? Check out Kona Cuisine & Chef's Corner sections. The view's beautiful, the drinks are strong, the menu's been updated a dozen times since your parents were there, but it's up to you as to whether you want to go. You could always go to Mr. Tiki's Mai Tai Lounge or The Islands Restaurant at the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel instead. Also, click on the Critiki icons above for any of these places for Humuhumu's take on these places.

_________________
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., D.F.S

[ This Message was edited by: freddiefreelance on 2005-02-01 13:47 ]


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Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2005-02-02 10:07 am   Permalink

Sneaky,
Im here to belay your fear! I grew up in SD and I visit the Bali Hai every time I go to the fair city. I was just there 2 weeks ago. The Bali Hai is not a "retirement community" restaurant at all. The bartenders are young guys, the wait staff is mixed but on the younger side. I had an older asian woman waitress once, and she was very nice. The view is spectacular--panaramic of downtown SD from across the bay! The food is pretty good-I've had some great dishes and some ok, nothing terrible though. Do yourself a favor and get a Mai Tai. The BH's mai tais are the strongest and tastiest ones I've found! Their "Mr. Bali Hai" drink is good too and you can order it in their signature headhunter mug. Its a very relaxed atmostphere, but not geriatric by any means. You'll dig it.


 
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Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2005-02-02 10:44 am   Permalink

Freddie,
I'm not too sure about Mr. Tiki Mai Tai Lounge. My wife and I must be the only couple who had a terrible time there. We went last month for the first time. The interior is nice, the food and drink menues looked impressive, but we had the worst service there--and we were only sitting at the bar! There only a few people at the bar; not crowded at all. The four bartenders were too busey talking about themselves to pay any attention to us.

[ This Message was edited by: Digitiki on 2005-02-02 10:45 ]


 
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freddiefreelance
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2993
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2005-02-02 11:54 am   Permalink

Wandering a little farther off topic, I've only gone to Mr. Tiki the one time with the TC ohana and I think they went out of their way to make us happy to build Word of Mouth. I'm planned to go back again several times, but my wife keeps wanting to go to the Bali Hai instead (I'd say that's a mark on the plus side for the Bali Hai, don't you?). I remember our group saying that the food at Mr. Tiki was really good but they had to work on the drinks (most of the complaints were of the "not tart enough" variety), and I've read the SD Union-Tribune foodwriter review of the place that basially said the oposite (the food was ho-hum, but the drinks were great & brought her back to the good-old-days).

I personally love the Bali Hai's food, everything from Chicken of the Gods & Evil Jungle Prince to the Pepper & Coriander crusted Seared Ahi & the Furikake Salmon.

edit: Let me clarify, In my previous post when I mentioned Mr. Tiki & the Islands I was only listing 2 other respected Tiki places in San Diego, I personally love & prefer the Bali Hai. I like the fact that the Bali Hai has kept the old favorites like Chicken of the Gods & Evil Jungle Prince while updating the menu with more authentic & modern fare like Pepper & Coriander crusted Seared Ahi & the Furikake Salmon.

If Sneaky is still worried about the Bali Hai being "senior citizen food" he could try Mr. Tiki, if he's worried that the dining room's ambiance isn't very Tiki (most of the Bali Hai's Tikis are in other places than the dining room) he can go to either of the 2 I mentioned & sample their tikiness. But I think he would be happy with the menu, and I don't think that he can do better than the Bali Hai's view of the Bay.

Personally I'd suggest a personal mini-crawl: The Islands for Lunch, Mr. Tiki for Pu-pus, Bali Hai for dinner.
_________________
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., D.F.S

[ This Message was edited by: freddiefreelance on 2005-02-03 09:41 ]


 
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