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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge, San Diego, CA (restaurant)
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Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge, San Diego, CA (restaurant)
GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-03-25 09:21 am   Permalink

More like Suffering Customer.

 
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TikiJosh
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 01, 2005
Posts: 735
Posted: 2007-03-27 2:29 pm   Permalink

I've noticed the same thing the last few times I went there. The drink quality has definitely been declining, and the food portions seem to be getting smaller. Plus the tiki mug selection has been dropping. Very sad. And the Libbey's that they do have weren't even marked with their logo. That would have been good at least.

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Matango Derek
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 22, 2007
Posts: 47
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2007-06-30 5:05 pm   Permalink

My wife and I were in SD at the beginning of June. Mr. Tiki's was on the (long!) list of places to visit. It won't be on the next list. Yes, the decor was fantastic. That's about all I can say. The vibe was terrible. I felt like I was in some way-to-hip ultra lounge. You could tell that no one there (save us) was there for a tiki experience. Like many of you, we had one drink and left. I asked our server if they had mugs for sale, and I got the deer in the headlights look. Next time, we'll just go to the Bali Hai twice!!!

 
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Ghost
Member

Joined: Jul 02, 2006
Posts: 10
From: Inland Empire - So. Cal.
Posted: 2007-07-03 7:58 pm   Permalink

Me and my lady went to Mr. Tiki's about 3 weeks ago. It was our first visit and most likely our last. The service was terrible as our bartenders sat at one end chatting up some locals. The drinks menu was sparse at best and when I asked if they had any mugs the bartender replied with "Naw. I'm not sure who does but we don't". The decor was decent but I wasn't really wowed by the setup. Located in the Gaslamp District of San Diego, occasional hipster couples would wander in, order one drink, and leave. The only upside was when the bartender asked up "Did I mention that drinks are all half-off tonight?". Besides that, the trip was a wash.

 
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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1286
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2007-07-05 08:42 am   Permalink

It's too bad about Mr. Tiki. It started off great -- good service, good food and drinks, and certain drinks with mugs you could take home with you. But the Gaslamp is a bad place for a place like this, in my opinion. It's usually overrun with tourists with young hipsters arriving at night for all the nightclubs. A lot of people point to the Gaslamp as a great example of urban renewal, but to me it's just become another gentrified entertainment district like in just about every city. Most of the places that used to have live music with local bands are gone. There are now about 857 Starbucks. Even the last remaining dive bar (the Star Club on E Street) left over from SD's Navy town past now charges a cover on weekends!
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2008-06-27 12:48 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-10-21 12:34, PiPhiRho wrote:
I was in San Diego yesterday and instead of going over to Shelter Island and the Bali Hai this time I made a special trip to the Gaslamp to check this place out. I was very impressed! This is a wonderful neo-tiki spot with great decor. Both the drinks and the food were excellent.




I went there last night. I am really impressed by how thoroughly decorated the interior is - even on the ceiling. I love the use of batik and bamboo framing. There is an extraordinarily high TIPSY rating here. My favorite tiki is that with a Moai cariving.


 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 204
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2009-10-14 01:06 am   Permalink

Okay, time for my review. Knowing I'd be a tipsy torch, I asked for paper and wrote things down. And remember, I'm no pro, I can't say exactly what certain drinks "should" taste like, etc. This is all opinion.

I went to Mister Tiki three times, not counting the night I had dinner there. There's a big (I'm 6'4 and he was over my head by an inch) carved tiki out by the hostess stand, a huge Easter Island head behind the bar, and tall carved wood tiki poles in corners, plus a lot of bamboo and dark red, some funky wall fixtures made of shells with cut-acrylic flowers having spun-glass 'starlite' bulbs as the stamens, and clusters of blown-glass puffer fish (wearing sunglasses - look closely, that's easy to miss) over big tables, bamboo cylinders over smaller ones, and clusters of glowing blue glass floats in netting. The ceilings were decorated with lots of neat stuff, and the ceiling fans had woven rattan paddles. The bar had bamboo high-seats with small backs. Many of the tables had a working Lava Lite standing on them. I honestly don't remember the music, but the big flat-screens (very high up on the walls) were playing surfing documentaries, with the sound very low.

All the staff I met were friendly, and dinner service was prompt. My friend got a drink with dinner. Food was a bit pricey (bill for 3 with 2 drinks and pupus was about $100) but extremely tasty - all three of us really enjoyed it. The menu listed specialty sushi rolls as well, but they would also bring you a paper all-sushi menu with the nigiri, maki etc.

Bar review: I dealt with two people here. My notes help. First was Tony, a tender with wild black hair. Didn't really know true authentic perfect tiki drinks, but knew about what they had and was helpful. Other was Darryl, the bar manager. Same details apply to him, though he knew a bit more about traditional stuff. Both had heard of, but not seen, TikiCentral. Over the three nights, I stuck with the three most traditional-type drinks: the Mai Tai, the Zombie and the Navy Grog.

Mister Mai Tai: Cruzan Estate Light, Mount Gay Eclipse, Myers' Dark + "house mai tai mix" (I did not find out what's in it, but they make it there). Very balanced, no pineapple juice or grenadine. It was a warm cinnamon-brown color, and was extremely tasty and potent but not killer. On two occasions, I had them add a float of their 151, Ron Antigua, which they were happy to do - just as they were happy to answer *all* of my questions. $9, came in a tall glass.

Navy Grog: Appleton Special, Ron Antigua Light, Lahaina Dark, Grand Marnier, lime & grapefruit juice, dashes simple and ginger syrups. Very tangy and tart, hint of a bitter flavor, as good as but different than what I've had at TV's. The tartness varied, and I found out why: the ginger syrup is made fresh daily, and can vary depending on the strength of the ginger they get that day. $10, in mug (described below)

Kiwiki Zombie: Cruzan Estate Light, Ron Antigua Gold, Lahaina Dark, Laird's Applejack, Torani passion fruit syrup, orange, pineapple & lime juices. VERY potent, yet flavorful, and not too much sweetness - just enough to balance the burn a little bit. $12, in mug (see below)

All were mixed consistently, save the variations in the ginger syrup, garnished with lime wedges, cherries (one in the Mai Tai) and thin wedges of pineapple (Mai Tai). None of these were shaken - they were poured into a mixing cup and back into the mug, or in one case - I forget which - just stirred once with a bar spoon. All were begun in glasses/mugs filled with finely crushed ice. All were good enough that I kept coming back.

The "Haole Mai Tai", I was steered away from when I said I wanted traditional. It says it's a Mister plus an "extra twist" which (I asked) consisted of Grenadine, orange & pineapple juices, and a float of Lahaina Dark rum. I didn't try this.

They currently have six mugs, but two are discontinued. I asked, and Darryl put one example of each, plus a bowl, on the bar for me to examine for my notes. The mugs are $12 each, and they hand you a clean one. --Warm brown tiki full-body, marked "Made in China DW 114"
--Tan with all-over vertical bamboo pattern, marked "Made in China DW 115-L"
--Warm brown Maoi head, "Made in China" sticker, marked "DW 128" (Navy Grog comes in this)
--Leaf green, short and rounded, evil-looking head with nosebone, marked "Made in China DW 128" (Zombie)
The following two have been discontinued - is Libbey out of the mug business? They are available while supplies last, and are thicker and heavier than those above:
--Dark brown with green showing through, three-segment bamboo, smooth, marked "Libbey"
--Terra-cotta orange showing through green glaze, evil tiki face, marked "Libbey" (I got this one)
Not sure which drinks the other mugs go with - I think the full-body brown tiki is with the Horny Monkey. There is currently no Mister Tiki mug.

Bowl drinks: They have one bowl drink, the Killa Kilauea for two at $19, in a big bowl with hula girls and palm trees and a built-in volcano. This consists of Cruzan Estate Light, Seven Tiki Spiced Rum, Cruzan Coconut, Myers' Dark, + Torani passion fruit and "all the juices in da house" ( asked: grapefruit, lime & pineapple). The volcano is filled with 151 by the tender, and lit by the server before heading to the table with long straws. The bowls are not sold. Shows how tipsy the Torch Guy was: under this, I scribbled "Fire! Fire! Fire! Heh heh heh"

Also, Mondo Martiki for 4: Cruzan Coconut, Ron Antigua Gold, Cruzan Estate Light, Captain Morgan + orange, pineapple & grapefruit juices. This isn't served in a bowl but, rather, in a gigantic martini glass. $35

Had a good time, enjoyed the food and drinks, and will go back. It's not really too traditional all-around, but I enjoyed it a lot. Was only 1 1/2 blocks from the hotel, too. Torch Guy out!


 
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TikiMookie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 12, 2007
Posts: 177
From: No Cal
Posted: 2009-12-16 11:04 am   Permalink

Just got back from San Diego trip. Loved Mr. Tiki! We stayed at the Indigo hotel in the Gaslamp District and walked around downtown. We just happened upon it and had drinks at the bar.

Went again for dinner and loved their dining room. High back booth in the corner, awesome decor, kind of upscale. Loved the glass fish lights, they were beautiful. They played surf music and surf movies.

Dinner: parts were great, the sushi was very good. We shared lettuce wraps with chicken which were ok. Matt's dinner was really delicious, spicy with red peppers. Mine was too sweet, I asked them to make it spicy and they didn't. I had to steal peppers from my husband to spice it up.

Matt had the mai tai and enjoyed it, although it wasn't as good as others such as Trader Vics. I ordered the passion fruit mojito and they served it in a tiki mug. It was fresh and wonderful! I'm going to try to make it at home. (If you have the recipe, please share it)!!

I would go back again. The staff was friendly and accomodating. I like that they serve drinks in tiki mugs. The decor was great


 
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arriano
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1286
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2009-12-16 1:45 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-12-16 11:04, TikiMookie wrote:
I ordered the passion fruit mojito and they served it in a tiki mug. It was fresh and wonderful! I'm going to try to make it at home. (If you have the recipe, please share it)!!




Not positive about the recipe for the Lilikoi Mojito, but I think it's your basic mojito recipe using 3/4 oz each of Mount Gay Eclipse and Cruzan white for the rum component, and using passion fruit syrup rather than simple syrup or sugar.
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skootiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 04, 2009
Posts: 457
From: fallbrook,ca
Posted: 2010-01-31 09:40 am   Permalink

I'll start off with the disclaimer that I'm not any sort of food, drink or restaurant critic. Last night my wife and I and another couple went to Mr. Tiki for the first time. I have driven past it probably a hundred times and have always wanted to try it out. The bottom line is.....we all liked it. The decor is great ,with tikis everywhere. I wish that I had a camera with me, I would have gladly looked like a tourist and taken a lot of pics to study for inspiration for projects at home.
We got there in time for Happy Hour and enjoyed some $5 drinks that were pretty good ( limited choices for Happy Hour, the only mai tai is called Haole Mai Tai and is a little sweet, but for $5 and with all the ambiance I would return)
The food was pretty good.....no complaints. Next time I will probably just get drinks and try some pupus.
The hostess was friendly as was the waiter. the bartender kind of ignored us for a while, however it was towards the end of happy hour and he was swamped with drink orders.
As I said before, I am no pro but I liked it and I loved Boskos' decor so I'll be back for more.


 
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hodadhank
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 1686
From: Mission Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-03-13 12:19 pm   Permalink

RIP Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge.

I was just visited by a customer who dined at Croce's in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and noticed Mister Tiki's was shuttered. Croce's hostess told him that while the Cohn group is retaining the property "...Tiki just wasn't making it for them" and a complete overhaul is in progress as of march...


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Central Poet Laureate

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-03-13 10:01 pm   Permalink

Very sad.

Smoke Tiki up North and now Mr. Tiki.

What will happen to those amazing glass puffer-fish lamps?




 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11157
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-03-13 10:24 pm   Permalink

Bummer. I wonder if Bosko can get his carvings back....

 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2708
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2010-03-14 12:19 am   Permalink

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I liked that place. They supposedly had a new manager who was more into tiki.

Man, what a bummer. Yea. Bosko needs to go reclaim his work. Great stuff in there.



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11157
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-03-14 05:22 am   Permalink

It probably was too much of a headache for the Cohn Group to find management and staff that cared enough about the details, specifically the mixology --especially since the majority of the customers were most likely not able to tell the difference. And the "new cocktailians" wave has not come to its full height in San Diego yet, I would assume.

 
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