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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Travel » » Visiting San Francisco
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Visiting San Francisco
rbeyer68
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 17, 2015
Posts: 51
From: Plano, TX
Posted: 2016-11-28 07:27 am   Permalink

A great read. Thanks Mike.

 
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CosmoReverb
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 19, 2016
Posts: 66
From: Southern California
Posted: 2017-03-16 4:54 pm   Permalink

(First off, an apology. I wasn't sure which was the greater sin, to hijack an existing thread for a similar topic or to start a new one. Since Mike's trip seemed like such a successful one, I picked good mojo over visibility but if it's a faux pas lemme know and I'll be happy delete this post and start a new thread.)

My gal and I are embarking on a tiki-centric trip/pilgrimage up to the Bay Area the end of this month. Strictly with the intent to crawl through some of the best tiki-esque locations that the Bay Area has to offer. We plan to spend 2-3 days in San Francisco and then cross the bridge and spend a couple of days in the East Bay.

In San Francisco our priorities are the obvious ones:

-Smugglers Cove
-Pagan Idol
-Tonga Room

But if we have time, we might hit up Bar Agricole and maaaybe Bamboo Hut(?)

The hotel we are staying at is right around the corner from the Tonga Room and about a 5min walk from Pagan Idol. We'd really like to limit our destinations to places within a half-hour walk/45-minute drunken stumble from our hotel.


Once we cross to the East Bay we will be more open to travelling farther though. Our hotel is pretty near Trader Vic's and so far our list of destinations for that region are:

-Trader Vic's
-Forbidden Island
-Kona Club

(We're mad as hell that Longitude decided to shutter their doors a couple of weeks before the trip we planned a month previously.)

Lot's of great advice already in this thread, but is there anything that's out of date (like Longitude's closure) or has any groovy new sites popped up since Mike's trip? Any great advice or cool ideas are welcome!

Mahalo in advance!!!


 
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HopeChest
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2015
Posts: 274
From: East Bay, CA
Posted: 2017-03-16 7:20 pm   Permalink

Skip Bamboo Hut and get a 2-hour table reservation at Bourbon & Branch. Such a nice drinking experience. You are right by Rickhouse as well. Stumble up to Li Po Lounge for a Chinese Mai Tai. A quick happy hour libation at Harry Denton's Starlight Lounge is nice for the view, as is Top Of The Mark and that place in Marriott Marquis. Redwood Room for a real throwback thing of beauty. Palace Hotel to see The Pied Piper. And Cask on 3rd for your hotel bottles.

 
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JenTiki
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 2345
From: Home of the best rum collection in NC
Posted: 2017-03-17 09:19 am   Permalink

Skip Bamboo Hut unless you really have time to kill after seeing everything else. I highly recommend a visit to Whitechapel, the gin bar co-owned by the owners of Smuggler's Cove, and just a few blocks away. Whitechapel has the same amount of focus, immersion, and education for gin as Smuggler's Cove does for rum. They also have robust food options.

 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 917
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-03-17 3:44 pm   Permalink

White chapel was honestly the highlight of my trip. It's the only place I made a point to revisit. Make sure to add it to your list. If I had another day I would have done Pagan Idol again as well. Those are the two that left the most lasting impressions on me.

 
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CosmoReverb
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 19, 2016
Posts: 66
From: Southern California
Posted: 2017-03-17 4:17 pm   Permalink

Groovy!! Thanks so much for all the great recommendations! (And for letting me hijack your thread Mike!)

Yeah, the Bamboo Hut did not look very inviting and was really only on the list because it looked within our target area. Somebody offline told me that Bar Agricole had changed its format and is less "rum oriented" so it looks like that's off the itinerary as well. (Although one might say that they should consider changing the name of the bar if they are going to do that...)

I was already hip to both Whitechapel and Bourbon & Branch but since this trip was pretty "tiki specific" I was saving those for a longer, less targeted drinking excursion. (Also the missus is fairly gin-averse, so it might take some "talking into" if I want to go to Whitechapel, but you guys certainly do make a very persuasive case...) Li Po Lounge looks to be within stumbling distance from our hotel so that certainly might be in the cards and our hotel is right next to the Mark Hopkins so I am confidant there will be at least a quick, non-tiki visit to the Top of the Mark, even if it is just for hair-of-the-dog Mimosas or Bloody Marys.

Does anybody have an opinion on The Den? It's way out of bounds for our target area, but if folks think it is worth it enough we might be persuaded to make the extra effort.

Somebody also mentioned to me that The Slanted Door in the Ferry Building, while not a tiki location by any means, has some tasty tiki classics on its drink menu. Any thoughts?



[ This Message was edited by: CosmoReverb 2017-03-17 16:18 ]


 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 917
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-03-18 12:28 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-03-17 16:17, CosmoReverb wrote:


I was already hip to both Whitechapel and Bourbon & Branch but since this trip was pretty "tiki specific" I was saving those for a longer, less targeted drinking excursion. (Also the missus is fairly gin-averse, so it might take some "talking into" if I want to go to Whitechapel, but you guys certainly do make a very persuasive case...)

[ This Message was edited by: CosmoReverb 2017-03-17 16:18 ]




For many years I had an aversion to gin as I'd only ever tried gin and tonic which didn't appeal to me. But my wife had a Ramos Gin Fizz at a cajun-style restaurant here in Austin which got us hooked and prompted us buying our first bottle of gin. I started experimenting with Saturn's and other gin based tiki style drinks, fizzes, etc and developed an appreciation for the spirit. Anyway, Whitechapel wasn't a priority on our list as I was trying to stay tiki-specific like you, but it was literally on the same block as our hotel so we gave it a shot. So glad we did. The menu is vast and dare I say, daunting, but just tell the bartender what flavors y'all like and they'll make recommendations and whip up something you and the missus will love. I just think there's a terrific vibe and excellent staff at that bar and it would be silly to skip it.

I've heard excellent things about Bourbon & Branch but unfortunately didn't get to try it on my trip.


 
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JenTiki
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 2345
From: Home of the best rum collection in NC
Posted: 2017-03-20 11:58 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2017-03-17 16:17, CosmoReverb wrote:
Also the missus is fairly gin-averse,


Whitechapel likely has a few non-gin drinks on the menu if it's an actual allergy kinda thing, but with (I think) around 100 drinks on the menu, I'm sure they'll find something she likes. The bartenders there are really good about asking what flavors you like and recommending the right drink for you.

Quote:

Somebody also mentioned to me that The Slanted Door in the Ferry Building, while not a tiki location by any means, has some tasty tiki classics on its drink menu. Any thoughts?


It has been quite some time since I've been to Slanted Door, but I do recall there being some very good tropical drinks on the menu. The bar also has terrific views. But you either need to get to the bar right at 4:30 on a weekday to get a seat, or make a lunch or dinner reservation weeks in advance. That place is super busy.


 
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mikehooker
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 917
From: Austin
Posted: 2017-06-10 12:15 pm   Permalink

Had to revisit this thread to remind myself of something and realized Cosmo never gave a recap of his visit. Which bars did you end up hitting?

 
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Hamo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2016
Posts: 282
From: Colorado (via Iowa)
Posted: 2017-11-05 12:47 am   Permalink

I’m really torn about making a trip to SF the first weekend in December to go back to Smuggler’s Cove, and experience Pagan Idol, Forbidden Island and the new Kon Tiki for the first time (in addition to the Dickens Fair and the Walt Disney Family Museum’s Christmas offerings). I can’t decide if it would be worth it, or whether I should save my dough for the TCM Classic Film Festival (plus Tiki-Ti and Disneyland) at the end of April next year....

 
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bamalamalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 20, 2006
Posts: 918
Posted: 17 days ago; 6:24 pm   Permalink

Does anyone have any updated or additional suggestions for hotels? We have flights booked for a trip with friends in January but I'm having trouble finding convenient but more affordable rooms.

With tax, The Phoenix is close to $300 a night, which is more than we'd like to spend. Kabuki is close in price, plus about $50 a night to park.

We'll mostly be using BART/cabs/uber/etc, but unfortunately will have a car we'll need to park (I assure you, I didn't plan this trip.) I've never been to San Francisco, so am basically lost.



Would someplace like this be a terrible idea?

http://www.coventrymotorinn.com/index.html


Thanks!



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Hamo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2016
Posts: 282
From: Colorado (via Iowa)
Posted: 17 days ago; 8:59 pm   Permalink

Not terrible at all, depending on your (and fellow travelers’) expectations. When I’m visiting a city for sightseeing, ritzy accommodations are the least of my concerns, so I look for a decent, clean, inexpensive place to sleep. $125 per night is about the most I can bear to pay. Smaller “boutique” hotels seem to fit that bill (or Motel 6...).

When in SF a year and a half ago, I stayed at La Luna Inn, about six blocks west of Coventry Inn, which was about $115 per night. It was a convenient spot for walking to the Palace of Fine Arts and Presidio, and for bus rides to the Wharf, Chinatown, and Golden Gate Bridge (I never used Uber/taxis, but that shouldn’t be a problem). The only thing that might be of concern is traffic noise; Lombard is constantly busy, which might be an issue for light sleepers. But it’s a city, so you can’t really escape that; plan how to handle it and you should be fine.

[ This Message was edited by: Hamo 2017-11-28 21:15 ]


 
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bamalamalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 20, 2006
Posts: 918
Posted: 17 days ago; 9:31 pm   Permalink

Thanks, Hamo!

That's reassuring. I did hold a room at the Coventry Inn after doing some more research. We're also just looking for something safe & clean and it looks like it should do the trick.

But I can cancel without penalty, so I'll check La Luna Inn for comparison!

Cheers!


 
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Joshua Bell
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2006
Posts: 129
From: San Francisco
Posted: 16 days ago; 3:25 pm   Permalink

Far away from everything else in the city except the zoo and the beach and usually covered in fog, but http://www.oceanparkmotel.com/ is a bit of a treasure.

Definitely away from the tourists in the Wharf, the traffic on Lombard, the expense of Union Square, and the sketchiness of most of the other hotel locations. Just bear in mind it'll take 30 minutes to get to anything else in the City.


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