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Hey guys I've got one night to hit a Tiki Bar in San Francisco. And sadly it will be a Monday night -- I read some of the Tiki Road Trip choices and the recent reviews weren't necessarily glowing...what's the input from the board?

Thanks in advance.



Even if the service sucks, you HAVE to hit the Tonga Room. It's right up there with the Kahiki for sheer tiki audacity and grandiose over the top decor.

I've been several times - the service is apalling, but I keep going back!


I'm with tikifish. Tonga Room first, Trader Vic's (Emeryville) second.

Be sure and wear some flowers in your hair.


I agree: Tonga Room.

If you make it to the East Bay, the Club Mallard's tiki lounge ain't bad,

Tonga Room, too. Great tiki/nautical decor, bad service, mediocre happy hour buffet, cool fake rainstorm, and Monday Night Football all in the same room!


Mrs. Seamus and I had one night to hit the town this summer too. We did both. The Tonga was awesome for it's mood and decor, but a bit stuffy. We stayed for one drink and soaked up as much as we could, then crossed the bridge for Vic's. We were thinking we'd just have a couple of MaiTais and that'd do it. We ended up staying for 3hrs or more. When I took a peek at the dining room, that was it. We stayed for dinner, and more drinks. The place was hopping, people were having a great time, the service made us feel like royalty, and the food and drinks were amazing. The decor? Stunning.
It's just my outa towner opinion, but if you only have one night, try to do both, but if you can only do one, you want to eat, and want a real experience, the choice has got to be Trader Vics hands down. You gotta do Vic's if only for the MaiTai alone. The best I've had.
We also did one of my famous clandestine parking lot deals w/some TCer customers which helped finance our evenings indulgence. Thanks friends!!(if you happen to be reading this please Email me. I lost all my old Email addresses in a recent crash)

Thanks all -

Any input about Trader Sam's?? I doubt we'll go to Trader Vic's, I know they're all a little different but we support the one in Los Angeles/Beverly Hills quite a bit - so I'm probably looking to do some of the more "local" Tiki Bars in San Fran. I do appreciate the input - this board has never steered me wrong.....and if the board has steered me wrong it's because I wanted to be there.


Drink a couple at the Tonga Room early, they close the cool dining areas at night sometimes. If you want good meals and San Francisco Mai Tais go to Vic's. Vic's sells some cool souvenirs as well. I found some awesome bamboo of China mugs in a China town shop as well.


Don't bother...it is a mostly lame frat bar and an overly lit one at that. Some of the decor is still there, but...uhh, just skip it.

On 2003-11-14 13:44, Tiki Baron wrote:

Thanks all -

Any input about Trader Sam's??

The Huge Magazine Tiki Collection, Desktop Patterns, Pics and Links: http://www.hugemagazine.com/html/tiki.html

[ Edited by: kingslod on 2003-11-15 20:51 ]


They are not open on a Mondays, but the Conga Lounge in Oakland (across the bay) is awesome.
They've only been open a few months and are not on any tiki bar list just yet - but it's fast becoming my favorite neo-tiki bar.
Great drinks and live entertainment on occasion.
I was there for an event named Forbidden Island, hosted by Otto of TikiNews.
They had live hula and I think, 3 dee-jays spinning lounge and exotica all night. I thought I'd been transported to a tiki bar in the 50's.


Everyone is a Sam-Hata! Grrr....

If you're in town for one night, no, don't go to Sam's. But early in the evening before the frat slobs get there it's pretty nice. Once you figure out which drinks are good, the place is great.

Anyway- when eating at Vic's, look for the dishes from the Chinese Oven. Particularly the Pork Chop and the duck. Not everyone agrees with me on this, but I also suggest steering well clear of the Chinese dishes- unless you like corn starch fueled 1950's Chinese food.

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