Luau Lounge: Hidden Tiki Bar in San Francisco

Had a sort of impromptu visit to Pier 39’s Luau Lounge on Saturday. Mrs. Mai Tai and I were in the city at the Walt Disney Family Museum and then went downtown to look at the “Let’s Glow SF” lights. In between we had dinner at Fog City and had a little shopping stroll at Pier 39.

Luau Lounge is a “hidden tiki bar” inside the Players Sports Grill and Arcade all the way at the end of the pier. You have to walk through the arcade to get the Lounge, which is a moderately themed tiki bar with Hawaiian leaning food. Some great views of the bay out back, along with tropical/reggae music and staff that’s usually pretty friendly.

Our past experiences with drinks have been hit or miss. Some of our cocktails have been truly terrible, while others were more reasonable. This is a place where you don’t expect “craft” but the sliding scale only goes so far. If I can’t taste the rum or if the only thing I taste is lime, well, then that’s not a good Mai Tai even here. Our hit rate is maybe 40-50%, and most cocktails are made via count-pours, so some variance is expected.

This time the 1944 Mai Tai was actually pretty good. Made with Cruzan and Mount Gay rums, I could taste the lighter style rums along with a balanced cocktail that leaned just slightly sweet. Just like I like it.

Luau Lounge remains an appealing option to get away from the Pier 39 crowds, or just to take a break from walking all around SF like we did.

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