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« Restaurant Yakata Part 1 | Main | Pho Hoa-Huong Restaurant: Fastest Pho in the West? »

Monday, 25 September 2006


Joseph E

I never thought I would see the day, Kirk. Thank you for trying out this place - so we don't have to. "Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge...." The kitsch just builds and builds with each word in that name.

If you don't have plans for that other $50 card, may I suggest The Prado? The food is no better, but the location in Balboa park is simply stunning, especially if you reserve a table next to the terrace.


Man! those are some crazy looking drinks :) Somehow, gift cards always makes food tastes (slightly) better, no? hehe. Lol. Though not wonderful, you definitely got a bargin fr $3!


Hi Kirk, I've been an avid fan of your site since about a year ago. I'm ashamed that it's taken me this long to post a comment though! Anyway, just wanted to let you know that if you ever win something like that again, please try Island Prime on Shelter Island. Their lamb chop is to die for! I've moved away from SD recently, but I still daydream about their lamb...


I haven't eaten a meal there but one late night my husband and I had their shrimp "tempura" and while it's not actually's fantastic. Seriously, that's all we tried so that's all I could recommend. Sorry to hear their dinner isn't so hot.


These polynesian theme restaurants reminds me of plastic leis. that said, the $18 pokai platter is on the expensive side, but they did bother to include avocado slices and geez, taro chips too.


Looks like a fun place to hang out with friends. I think these places don't make quality food simply because it would be wasted on the folk who would be mostly there for the alcohol? That said, there is good drunk food and bad drunk food :) I also would have though 18 was a bit on the dear side for that plate. Although I am someone who likes a bit of this n that so I would probably have ordered that too. The cocktails were a bargain though!


Oh dear--glad you only had to pay $3 for that train wreck! I have to say I'm deeply prejudiced against all high-concept restaurants, especially anything in the Gaslamp. I am told that there is genuinely good eating to be had somewhere in that area, but all the marketing glitz and theming just gives me the hives so bad that it would interfere with my enjoyment of even a great meal. (And the pricetag wouldn't do much for my digestion either). This is why I usually stick to nice unpretentious joints that concentrate on the food. I'll take gritty authenticity over a "Food Disneyland for drunks with money" joint any day. :-)


Bad food, notwithstanding, I'd pay $3 bucks for that just because it looks new to me...but for an ex-pat Kama'aina like yourself, I could see how it wouldn't elicit more than a ho-hum.


Yeah, tiki! and for only 3 USD! this just looks like so much fun.

My first ever Asian food experiences were at the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee MA

Real authentic tiki and PuPu platters too! taking me back...


Hey Kirk,

Ugh. West Coast/Fusion cuisine, and from a corporate chain, no less. I agree with you completely. Usually a hodgepodge of mismatched flavors and strange tastes. I've had some really good fusion cuisine before, but those occasions have been rare. Just wait for my Saltaire review from my last visit to West Vancouver.

- CP


As a kama'aina myself and a fan of tiki culture, I was very excited to see Mr. Tiki open in the Gaslamp. My wife and I used to go rather frequently. But after an absence of about 9 months, we went back a while ago and discovered that the menu had changed for the worse (no more grass skirt shrimp tempura or duck pot stickers!) and the cocktails weren't as good. The service was also seriously lacking. It was depressing, so we haven't been back since and really don't plan on returning.


Hi JosephE - Yeah, I think it's between the Prado and Blue we'll see.

Hi Kathy - Yep, I'd say we got our money's worth on this one. ;o)

Hi Diane - Welcome and thanks for (finally!) commenting. Been to Island Prime, and thought it was nice(though over-priced)...though we may use our other card for that, I'm not quite sure.

Hi Kady - I don't think it's on the menu any more. Mr Tiki seems to be in cost cutting mode.

Hi RONW - Plastic leis..... LOL! Haven't even thought of that in years.

Hi Rachel - Funny thing is, the Missus didn't hardly recognize the menu, from Her previous visits with Her friends. And if you're not there for Happy Hour, the drinks are twice the price!

Hi mizducky - If I had to pay 60+ bucks for this, I'd be pretty disgusted. All concept and no real substance.

Hi Elmo - To be honest, the bogus superficiality, and the not so great food kind of insulted me in a strange way. Still we did have really good service.

Hi Emily - That place cracks me up! Sort of Chinese-Polynesian??? One of these days when I get back "home" I'll post on some REAL pupus.

Hi CP - Even worse, it's West Coast-Asian-Fusion......

Hi Chimay - The Missus said the same thing, about 9-10 months ago she had a great time with friends at Mr Tiki.


Actually, this brings up an issue: I'm planning on going to a friend's gig at Dizzy's (on 7th, exactly across the street from Petco) on an upcoming evening in mid-October. Now Dizzy's is (in)famous for having no food or drink service whatsoever. So any recommendations I can get for a non-hyped-up, non-wallet-busting dinner within a few blocks' walk would be heartily appreciated. Last time, I went to Soleil@K for the happy hour special in the bar, and was only moderately irritated at the glitz and hype. Surely there's something else between that and getting a sandwich at Subway!


Hi mizducky - As you can tell, I'm not really into the Gaslamp, but maybe Howie or someone can have some suggestions????

Scott J.

Looks like I’m late to the party here. Don't they have happy hour food specials to go along with the drink specials?

I had heard before from non-foodies even that the place was pretty average. Still with that gift card you can't go wrong. I've heard good things about Blue Point - and it's pretty much the only Cohn restaurant I haven't been to.


Hi Scott - They have "Happy Hour "specials", but it really didn't look promising. You're right though $3 is pretty cheap. BTW, the service we got was very good.

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