The Kahiki right outside Bexley, Ohio was the greatest restaurant ever.  Truth.  See that picture above?  That is the Kahiki.  Huge flaming tikis and an inside that was Polynesian meets Salvador Dali acid trip. Tons of fish tanks, a rain forest and crazy music added to the effect.  Sure the food was garbage but the place was stone cold awesome.  So with great anticipation The Monster heads to the Tonga Room in San Francisco.  It’s Polynesian heaven in the basement of the Faremont Hotel.  Flaming drinks and poo-poo platters here we come.

When you walk through the hotel this feels like the last place this restaurant and bar should be.  The Faremont is old-school elegance while a tiki bar and restaurant is new school hipster palace.  The line to get in is crazy long, be wise and make a reservation for a table.

 Sadly, only the desserts are lit on fire The Monster soon discovers.  However there is a boat.  In a pool.  With a band.  And it rains.  Also, there is really bad food.  Nearly inedible.  So we devour it with our tiki drinks.  Hangover city tomorrow.  The Monster hates straws.  Never uses them.  Unless they are eight feet long and lead to a drink with more fruit and sugar than legal limit allows.  The Monster uses a straw on this night.

The crowd is visiting fireman, hipsters and old people who went on their first date forty years ago at a Polynesian restaurant without irony.  The Monster wants to gallantly ask one of the blue hairs to dance.  Problem being coordination.  Drinks with large amounts of alcohol and twirly umbrellas will do that to you.  Also, The Monster may be approaching drunkenness.  Let’s dance!

So here are some pictures of food you should not eat under any circumstances:

Scallop salad.  After eating The Monster is sure he is going to get sick.

Chicken skewers with peanut sauce.  Literally the worst version ever.  Rock hard, nasty chicken and a sauce that is foul.  Dig in!

Dumplings that were at least less filthy than the other food ordered.  Horray!

Ordered duck spring rolls and got veggie instead.  Awesome!

Never before in the history of man has this dish tasted so foul.  Kudos!

Best bet, come to the Tonga Room to drink too much and get a  flaming dessert.  Leave the food for those willing to risk their tastebuds forever. 

Why go:  Polynipsters galore.

Monster rating: 0/5 Food, 5/5 Ambiance and Drinks

The Fairmont Hotel
950 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 772-5278

Tonga Room on Urbanspoon


Filed under Reviews, The Tonga Room (San Francisco)


  1. Pingback: REVIEW: THE TONGA ROOM AND HURRICANE BAR | Feed The … « emecovakep

  2. I miss the kahiki … and in no way shape or form miss the food. Next time you’re in SF try Trad’r Sam out in the outer Richmond. It’s in a russian/chinese semi-suburb and doesn’t take credo cards (last I was there) and thus a little like a set piece from Blade Runner, but it’s brilliant.

  3. We didn’t eat here but came for a cocktail and I have to agree in that its location inside a swanky, old-skool hotel is surprising but oh my word, if you are looking for undeniable tack covered in cheese sprinkled with disbelief and served in a ceramic pineapple, stop searching because this is the place!

    I think my boyfriend was over it pretty quickly (!) but I have to say the worse it got, the better it got! I thought the tiki lounge decor was awesome…then it started to rain and I nearly died…then the worst covers band I’ve ever heard floated into view and simultaneously my ears started to bleed and I rushed to the dance floor for a better look and a cheeky wiggle to Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’!

    Definitely not the place to go for class, style, elegance or understated charm but so very much the place to go for one drink and a bit of a giggle…they just don’t have indoor thunderstorm bars in London so I need to soak up these kinds of things when I get the chance!

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