Quality Cocktails are Still a Thing at San Francisco’s Tonga Room

After the San Francisco Giants home opener, we headed to The Tonga Room for a Friday night dinner and drinks. I’m pleased to report that the refreshed cocktail menu from October is still being used and that the quality hasn’t degraded at all. We will note that prices have increased $2-4 per cocktail, putting these firmly as the most expensive in town though. The Mai Tai and Hand Shaken Colada cocktails were big hits with our friends and Mrs. Mai Tai liked the tropical Mimosa-style Tiny Bubbles cocktail.

Tiki Hunter at The Tonga Room

The Tonga Room’s Zombie features five different rums with falernum, grenadine, Don’s Mix, along with a bit of pineapple juice. It most certainly packs a punch, and I found it to be pretty good. I also liked the Wiki Wiki cocktail, a juicy blend of rums, spices, and just the right amount of Allspice Dram. Meanwhile, the Tiki Hunter remains the most interesting and flavor-forward tropical cocktail – don’t let the listed Jäegermeister component scare you off, it’s delicious.

The band plays on the floating stage starting at 7:00 pm, with the players this time featuring two female vocalists. This worked great on a stellar version of Fleetwood Mac’s mellow hit “Dreams.” But we continue to feel that 80s pop songs like “Crazy for You” don’t play as well as those from earlier decades. If pop must be played, the Sixties and Seventies feel more organic and connected to this retro leaning Polynesian palace.

Our dinner and service were as stellar as always. The Asian-inspired dishes are really good here, though I wish there was a little bit more variety on the menu as this is very seafood forward. The prices are fairly high, though not outside what you’d expect from a fine dining restaurant in The City. And you can’t beat the gorgeous interior with the pool and the thunderstorm that comes every 20 minutes. But remember that it’s a $1000 fine for jumping in the pool. Staff told me they’ve already had one person do this so far this year, which seems like way more than one too many.

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