The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Ah-Oooo-GAH! My wife and I had cocktails and dinner at the Tonga Room a few days ago and were very happy with the experience. The room has been around since 1945 (it was the pool in the earlier part of the last century) so it's been around for a while; and is in great shape / under great management.
POSITIVES: The ambiance is wonderful, with the small lagoon and floating stage that resembles a boat. I loved the tropical downpour / thunderstorm effects that presage the beginning of the evening's entertainment. The Mai Tais were good & strong, so they do not skimp on rum. The food was also good, but not great. I loved the decor: with the thatched roofs, ""lagoon"" and the dance floor that looks just like the deck of a ship- complete with rat lines, block(s) and tackle etc...
NEGATIVES: The music, while pleasant enough had nay neither a surfing tune nor a lounge lizard song anywhere in the repertoire! Alas! The songs were mostly old disco tunes (Donna Summer, Bee Gees etc...) so that marred the ambiance somewhat. And as wonderful as the decor was / is, there weren't enough tikis! To those tiki aficionados looking for a kitschy tiki experience- this may not be the place 4 you! There are no Japanese glass floats, dried blow fish etc... While the Mai Tais were good, the taste of the canned pineapple juice lingered somewhat unpleasantly. I know- if they used genuine juice the price would go up 20% or more so there is that :-) And I wished the wait staff had more colorful / tropical attire. Dressed as they are / were in standard black / white uniforms they did nothing to add to the Polynesian theme.