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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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T

Name:Kona Kai Bamboo Grill
Type:restaurant
Street:10000 Roosevelt Blvd.
City:Philadelphia
State:PA
Zip:19116
country:USA
Phone:(215) 673-5002
Status:defunct

Description:
Named after the former original Kona Kai Restaurant that was in the Marriott Hotel on City Line Ave. (See BOT pg. 143) The current KK has two dining rooms each decorated with bamboo, thatching, tribal masks, some glass floats, ect. In the main dinning room they serve Polynesian style dinners. There is a large koi fish pond with small waterfall and fake parrots. The second smaller dinning room is a Japanese Teppanyaki Grill Bar. Were your dinner is grilled in front of you by trained chefs who juggle knives and expertly slice up your entrees.

There are a few tikis around and the familiar "tiki string patio lights" They have a small bar with mai tais and scorpians on the menu. It ain't the Mai Kai, but hey this is exotica-starved Northeast Philly. It's definitely better than the alternative... nothing.

[ Edited by: tikimug on 2003-10-09 11:35 ]

edit - now defunct

[ Edited by: tikimug 2006-05-24 04:48 ]

T

I found this, not a lot of info on their website...

Click Me

8T

Ran across this article and figured it should be added here.
http://www.northeasttimes.com/2004/0226/konakai.html

My wife and I went there for dinner lastnite , the food was great and the drinks were even better. Made my way down the drink list pretty far before calling it quits(had an hour drive back to DE) the Lelani's kiss is deadly that watermelon pucker seeks up on you . If anyone is close the next hawaiian party is feb.19th the 3rd sat. of every month dancers and singers supposely very tradional. I haven''t seen it yet but the 19th is coming

HT

Really? You liked it? There must be a new cook, and a non-russian import bartender. Maybe it's just me. The drinks I had there were aweful, and almost the entire menu is frozen shit a la TGI Fridays or Bennigans or something. The food was watered down american/polynesian, and well, the service sucked. I've been there twice, and haven't had a good experience yet. Maybe I'll go on the 19th and give it a try, but the two times i've been there for dinner, and the 3 times I went for just drinks, well, the drinks were REALLY lacking. Maybe 3rd time's a charm.

R

Greetings...this place hadn't been too reviewed on here, so we went to Kona Kai on Monday, January 24, 2005. It was a decent enough place - the decor in the main room was quite tiki-ish, very bamboo with a round fountainish thing that had a fake parrot hanging on a trapeze. The drinks were good, the food okay - had some prime rib (which I ordered forgetting how fatty it tends to be). The puu puu platter was good.

We had the unusual fortune to be there the day after the Eagles clinched their Super Bowl berth and which found Philadelphia still gripped in some serious snowfall. As such, we had the place to ourselves from roughly 7:30 until 9pm apart from the gent setting up the evening's karaoke. Thusly I cannot speak as to whether the place's normal crowd is raucous or not, as we experienced it under abnormal circumstances.

In the main room there's also a small stage with some tikis on it. The stage apparently supports the venue's karaoke nights. Off the main room there' a Japanese-looking area with some Benihana-style hibatchi tables. Since the place was empty, these were not in use the night we were there.

There's a small case back towards the bathroom entrance in which some evidence of the original location can be found. There are t-shirts and golf shirts for sale, and allegedly "tiki glasses" too. An inquiry with our server turned up no results on that front, though.

The mai tai is on the sweet side, but I'd recommend the Scorpion - it's a bit stronger. Drinks tend to be served in hurricane glasses. Overall, I'd rate it 7/10. My recommendation: if you're in the area, it's worth stopping by. If you're more than 2 hours away, though, I would not recommend coming to Philly just to hit Kona Kai. It might be a bit disappointing in that regard.

Cheers,
Rupe


[ Edited by: rupe33 on 2005-01-31 14:47 ]

[ Edited by: rupe33 on 2005-01-31 14:49 ]

HT

I will attend the next dance night and take pictures. And perhaps give the food a second chance. But not the Mai Tai. I can tell you right now that it's pineapple juice, orange juice, sweet and sour, rum, and grenadine. I've sat at the bar and watched many be made. Aloha!!!!

hey hale tiki maybe we can catch up the nite of the 19th me ,my wife and some friends plan on going for the show . we will probably be the large crowd of tattooed people . don't know too many other people with the smae interest in tikis (the wife just puts up with my addiction)

T

On 2005-01-31 15:45, Hale Tiki wrote:
I will attend the next dance night and take pictures. And perhaps give the food a second chance. But not the Mai Tai. I can tell you right now that it's pineapple juice, orange juice, sweet and sour, rum, and grenadine. I've sat at the bar and watched many be made. Aloha!!!!

Bingo, on that drink that they call a Mai Tai, I certainly wouldn't call it one.

I'd love to attend the dance night, I'll have to see if I'm off.

It sounds like they might have changed a few things since I was there, it was VERY generic looking... oh yeah the food was a small step above generic tasting, drinks I wouldn't brag about either... but still I'd go back!

I mean where else could I go? Tiki Bob's?

HT

We were suppose to go on 22 of Jan. but snowstorm kinda thru us off . There was going to be 16 of us but I'm pretty much the only one into tiki full on ,wife puts up with it but she does have a huge tiki tattoo on the whole back of one of her calves and a hula girl on the other . As for the 19th as of now about 10 of us or close to it are going if not more

HT

NEW REVIEW TO COME SOON. THE FOOD HAS CHANGED, AND THE POLYNESIAN FLOOR SHOW, THOUGH SMALL, WAS FULL OF SPIT AND VINEGAR. NEW REVIEW TO COME SOON.

R

Got some photos here of our January 2005 visit:

Palm trees in the Pennsylvania snow:

Looking back to the main road:

This one's blurry, but it's looking out into the hibachi-style dining area--a sort-of porch:

Tiki in the main dining area:

This little birdie hangs out all the time:

Good overview of the main dining room:

Random no-flash tiki shot!

Hope you dig 'em...
~Rupe

Is this place still open? I wasnt able to open their website last week...

On 2006-02-21 09:08, TikiMikeNJ wrote:
Is this place still open? I wasnt able to open their website last week...

Any news on this? I'm in Philly for a week soon and need somewhere to drink and eat.

Cheers

bump

T

I haven't been down to the Northeast in a while, but I just tried to call and the phone number is disconected.

So I'm guessing the Kona Kai is bye, bye! I am going to try to head down there and see what's up with the building, I'm just not sure exactly when I can head over there...

Just come back from Philly and the Kona Kai Bamboo Grill is shut and boarded up. :(

Pity as the hotel I was in was 10 minutes from it.

Luckily I bought a couple of litres of Coruba duty free,

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