When Don the Beachcomber, credited for inventing standards like the Zombie and Navy Grog, opened his tiki bar in Hollywood in 1934, he unleashed a mania for Polynesian drinks, food, and culture. It didn't take long for other enterprising folks across the country to get in on the "exotic" drink actio ... More >>
Anthony Bourdain loves to come to San Francisco on a travel show budget, make fun of its citizens for being snobby, weirdo hippies, and then declare he loves it here and eat all our food. It's his pattern. He was in fine form when he visited with The Layover, his new Travel Channel show where he ... More >>
Harvey knows how to party
Well, it's officially cold outside, but that doesn't mean you need to stay in! Far from seeing a slowdown, this weekend's offerings are some of the strongest the city has seen lately. Highlights include another massive blowout at Public Works, and a rare chance to c ... More >>
via yfrogSo as we posted yesterday, No Reservations star Anthony Bourdain is in town, tasting some local fair, barhopping, and tweeting about it for our enjoyment.
Yesterday, after finishing up a photo shoot, his No Reservations director of photography, Zach Zamboni, had the huge, delicious- ... More >>
From this week's Bouncer column:
I suppose the argument could be made that the world needs another tiki bar, especially after the sad demise of the Tonga Room. Cocktail purists will decry the idea as sooo 1990s, but who needs them and their faded Gearhead tattoos, anyway? S.F.'s latest has s ... More >>
Like smoking at work, camel hair coats and a budget surplus, tiki bars are relics of a bygone era, of when Cesar Chavez Street was called Army, when nobody in San Francisco knew what a bike lane was, and organ meat was nothing more than fodder for the cows that we turned into delicious 15-cent ha ... More >>
Zemistor/FlickrTake another hit, dude: You've got plenty of time.How long did it take to lash the ships' ropes and assemble the thatch for the Tonga Room back in 1945? We bet it was considerably less than the long years it'll take to decide its fate. At our sister blog The Snitch, Chris Rober ... More >>
The past 24 hours in gossip, innuendo, and cold hard facts about the San Francisco restaurant scene.In the "It's about time" category of restaurant openings (cf: Bar Agricole), Urban Daddy SF announces the arrival of Grub (758 Valencia, at 18th St., 431-4782) on Friday. The pitch: Upscale din ... More >>
Zemistor/FlickrLava bowl for four ― the bar's fairly extensive happy hour spread offers its share of deep-fried, sweet-and-sour landmines.The place: Tonga Room, 950 Mason (at California, in the Fairmont Hotel), 772-5278
The hours: Wed.-Fri., 5-7 p.m.
The deals: All-you-can-eat $10 buffet ... More >>
Doug Letterman/FlickrIt seems odd that the Fairmont wants to close the Tonga Room just as neo-neo-tiki is blowing up in artisan-cocktail circles. (Today, for instance, the New York Times reported on the opening of yet another rum bar.) Though it has been a while since we've been to a birthday par ... More >>
You and I are passing through history. But the Tonga Room? It is history.The term "only in San Francisco" is overused. That's a given. But, honestly, in how many cities would one open the paper to read about a brewing preservation battle between developers and tiki bar enthusiasts -- with the cit ... More >>
We like, we like to party.When your bus gets delayed you can pout or you can throw a party. [Muni Diaries]Are you between the ages of 12 and 23? Do you love civic duty? Have we got the non-paying gig for you. [Richmond District]Did somebody bomb Duboce Park? [haighteration]Site hawking San Franci ... More >>
The big news -- in print, on television, and here on the Internet -- is the one thing that even a deaf, illiterate caveman would realize if he bothered to poke his head out of his dwelling: It's raining. It's raining hard and people are getting wet. And if you take your dog out for a walk, it's g ... More >>
eenwall/FlickrMai tais at the Tonga Room: Evanescent as summer itself?Summer arrives this weekend, and with it a crying need for all those tropical cocktails that deceive San Franciscans into believing that balmy evenings are on the horizon. The mai tai, a signature example of the genre, has a speci ... More >>
They look like cops. They carry guns like cops. They can even arrest you like cops. But San Francisco's patrol special officers are a different breed of police - one marked for extinction by the SFPD and powers that be.