This sublime, vast, one-of-a-kind bar and restaurant is the pinnacle of classic San Francisco kitsch. In this dim Polynesian-themed fantasia, decorated with rocks and 12-foot tikis, every half-hour lightning strikes, thunder rolls in, and rain falls above the pond in the middle of it all (once the hotel’s indoor pool). If you’re lucky, you’ll be here late enough to see the band playing on a raft right in the middle of the thing. Yes, it’s gimmicky, and yes, you’ll pay a lot for a cocktail here, but it’s pure fun anyway. During happy hour (Wed–Fri 5–7pm), there’s a list of strong tropical drinks sold at a discount, and for just $10 you get the run of a heat-lamp-lit buffet of egg rolls and other grub, served beneath the rigging of an imaginary ship’s deck. There’s a full menu, too, but people tend to take advantage of that later in the night.
San Francisco› Nightlife
The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
In the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St (at California St)
Our Rating Hours Wed–Thurs and Sun 5–11:30pm, Fri–Sat 5pm–12:30am Phone 415/772-5278 Web site The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar