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Visiting San Diego

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I'm on a business trip in San Diego -- Are there any knowledgeble Tiki Socialites who could suggest places to visit while I am here? Keep in mind it would be nightime places, since I'm working 10hr days...

Thanks in advance!


Here are some old post about San Diego
Tiki superstore.
1240 N Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas CA 92024

"Momalani's Island Traditions"
A great Hawaiian shop.

1906 Oceanside Blvd O-side CA 92054

Fantastic plate lunch.
Close to my place.
207 N coast Hwy Oceanside CA 92054

"Sam Choy's Bali Hai"
Cool Tiki Bar
We plan on going down on friday night with Tiki Hula, any one else?.
2230 Shelter Island Drive San Diego, California 92106
619-222 - 1181

"Island Room"
Cool Tiki place.
Drink in the restaurant, not the bar. look around the pool. very close to the Bali Hai
Red Lion Hanalei Hotel
2270 Hotel Circle North San Diego, California 92108

[ Edited by: alnshely on 2002-10-08 11:37 ]

thejab posted on Tue, Oct 8, 2002 1:06 PM

Here's an my post from the old Tiki Central Yahoo Group:

I recommend spending an afternoon seeing Trader Morts liquor store, Humphrey's Half Moon Bay Inn (amazing polynesian architecture at the entrance), and the Bali Hai for a drink or 2 (they have good drinks and I hear the food is good), all on Shelter Island.

For dinner I recommend the Islands at the Hanalei Hotel in Mission Valley (Hotel Circle North). The drinks aren't that good and the food is OK but the decor is wonderful and their are more tikis inside than at the Bali. The waterfall with rocks and huge clam shells is great to sit next to and water flows through the restaurant. This is their best bang for the bucks tiki-wise.

If you are into unique older restaurants and bars that aren't tiki I can recommend some:

Albie's Beef Inn restaurant and bar, 1201 Hotel Circle So., close to the Hanalei Hotel. There are dozens of paintings of nude women in gold frames throughout the bar! The entertainment is provided by a piano player and singer of classic standards. When I last visited there were some folks from the audience coming up and singing, too. You'll probably be the youngest people in there. They serve steaks and they have a happy hour.

The Turf Supper Club, 1116 25th. St.
Here you can cook your own steak in the bar! The atmosphere is great old-style (hate using the word retro) horse racing theme.

Pacific Shores, 4927 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach.
Terrific original underwater theme bar.

The Red Fox Room & Steakhouse, 2223 El Cajon Boulevard at the Inn Suites hotel Amazing wood-paneling from 1642 (honestly, it was moved and installed sometime in the 1930's, I think), cool piano player (Shirley Allan) appears regularly, stiff drinks, must visit! Too bad the nearby Mississippi room is only open for private events.

As far as stores go, there are lots of thrift shops and antique stores to check out for tiki stuff but I can't think of one that has many tiki items except that store in Oceanside that was mentioned by someone else.

Has anyone visited the Cataraman resort in Mission Bay lately? It was once very polynesian but I didn't have time to check it out when I was there recently. I stayed at the Hanalei, and I recommend staying in the wing that has the central courtyard with waterfalls, koi ponds, and many tikis (the courtyard is pictured in the Book of Tiki). I heard a rumor that the Town and Country Inn in Mission Valley (near the Hanalei) has a tiki or 2.


Thanks to everyone for the help, this should ease email migration.

Thor posted on Mon, Jan 13, 2003 11:08 PM

My lifepartner took me to dinner at the Bali Hai thingy-restaurant on Shelter Island a few months ago. The view was astounding, although most of it was taken up with water and sky. There was some skyscraper in the middle, though, luckily.

The fish was overcooked and the salad was made up primarily of the inner layers of a head of iceberg. Is that tiki style salad?

I do have to echo previous comments and say that pirates are the "new" Tiki. Hop on the bus, y'all.

Dude! You got a "tiki style salad" and didn't like it!!?? What's wrong with you? Tiki salads rule!!!



I have not had a chance to talk about my trip to SD a few weeks ago, or to thank El Jabbo for his many fine suggestions. This seems as good a time as any.

The good people collectively known as Alnshely gave us the full tour of Shelter Island, and I can say that you must get to the Bali Hai to pick up a souvenir mug and try one of the sledgehammer strength mai tais. Humphrey's entrance and Mort's liquor store also make great stops.

Do try to get to the Islands room to see it, as well as the grounds of the hotel. Even if the restaurant is closed (as it appears to be freqently), there ain't no door, so wander around.

Jab- Albie's was fantastic! They REALLY don't make them like that anymore. What a classic. The boudoir paintings are priceless, and our waitress was even named Dixie. Plus, they make a great Ramos Fizz. Where else can you get a good Fizz anyomore? Killer Prime Rib sanwich, too.

Pacific Shores was a great bar, and the drinks were very attractively priced. Close to all the antique stores in Oceanside. Don't get your hopes up for tiki finds, though. There were only scraps left, and I bought most of them. But there's always new stuff, so you never know.

Red Fox room was also a classic, though my gimlet was awful. And The Catamaran has a nice lobby, but is de-tiki'd otherwise.

Tiki superstore.
1240 N Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas CA 92024

Is a little pricey, but great. Try to get there. Also check out this Solea Bamboo Store in SD- nice place.

Have fun!


deja vous! thanks for asking the question n posting answers.. we'll be going to SD in the beginning of march ~ this new thread (and references) saved me lotsa searching time!

bali hai continues to be a little disapointing for food, especially since they're now a Sam Choy restaurant. i have a higher expectation for Sam's. still, its an awesome view and drinks to curl your toes!

we will most likely stay at the Hanalai ~ if they're still a red lion. hopefully they're not going through yet another management change.



Martin wrote:
"Plus, they make a great Ramos Fizz. Where else can you get a good Fizz anyomore?"

I'm glad to hear that you were able to check out all those places! The next best thing to visiting old joints is to pass on the info to someone else who appreciates them.

I also love Ramos Fizzes. The best made ones I have found in the Bay Area are at Fisherman's Grotto #9 at Fisherman's Wharf (yes, locals can go there too!). Head upstairs to the bar filled with blue naugahyde booths and chairs. It's a classic! See picture on their home page:


Thor posted on Wed, Jan 15, 2003 12:31 AM

my "tiki style salad" reminded me of that SNL mock commercial about the lettuce and mayonaise sandwiches at FKC or something. Anyone remember that?

All I know is that my salad at the Kahiki had some green things in it that were too big to be boogers and too small to be dragons. I assume they were pieces of lettuce.

Long live Epcot Center!

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