Bali Hai Restaurant

San Diego, CA
Bar & Restaurant
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2230 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, CA
Opened in 1953
Mon-Thu 11:30am-9pm
Fri-Sat 11:30am-10pm
Sun 9:30am-9pm
(619) 222-1181

Critiki ratings

Bali Hai Restaurant



by 279 people



Everyone You
Decor 7.8
Drink Quality 7.6
Drink Selection 7.8
Food Quality 8.2
Food Selection 8.1
Mood 7.6
Music 7.1
Service 8.5
Tikiness 7.9
Tilt 8.1
Vibe 8

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Humuhumu’s description

When Bali Hai first opened, it was called The Hut, and was a subsidiary of Christian's Hut
Christian's Hut
Newport Beach, CA
Bar & Restaurant
in Newport Beach. The business didn't do well initially, until the manager Tom Ham took it over and renamed it Bali Hai. Atop the building, you can still see "the Goof," a funny-looking guy who was the mascot for Christian's Hut. Bali Hai developed their own mascot, Mr. Bali Hai, whose droopy-lidded face can be seen at the front door, and on the tiki mugs. Today, Bali Hai remains a popular Polynesian restaurant, with many fine examples of Polynesian art both indoors and out.


thermann9 has visited Bali Hai Restaurant.
January 1, 2019, 1:43 PM
We made our maiden voyage to San Diego and had to check out the Bali Hai.

I'm sorry to say, it was pretty mediocre. The building itself is spectacular. There are a few trinkets on the wall as you enter and a map of Polynesia. That's it.

The place is barren, with nary a tiki, bamboo pole or palm frond to be found.

We were there while they were serving Sunday brunch. The spread was just basic offerings from the 60's and it was very ordinary.

The salmon was well prepared for a buffet service. They did have crab available which was a nice thing to see. The chicken was just average, same with the fried rice and beef ribs.

The prime rib was way too gristly, short ribs were virtually inedible. Desserts were standard fare.

They had bottomless Champagne so we didn't get a chance to try any of their cocktails.

Free parking and our waitress was fantastic. Very attentive, upbeat and positive.

Overall, after visiting Trader Vic's in Emeryville and the Jungle Bird in Sacramento, this was just okay.

They could definitely use some help from a designer to make the experience more Tiki-like and make the space more intimate.

Also would benefit to bring in a chef to modernize the food and take advantage of all the local seafood and produce.

I wouldn't say not to go, but just know going in that this is a retro Tiki destination. If you'd like to experience the upgraded modern version of Tiki, this isn't it.

Heckboy has visited Bali Hai Restaurant.
July 21, 2018, 6:40 PM
Like the Mai Kari in Fla., this tiki palace is feeling a little tired. Dings in the walls and neglected furniture point to them riding on reputation. It felt more like a tiki themed bar than a tiki bar.
Tikiwolverine has visited Bali Hai Restaurant.
June 3, 2018, 12:41 AM
Found this place looking for tiki. Reserved a table for Sunday Brunch buffet with bottomless mimosas. Would highly recommend! It’s a tiki building with tiki sculptures. It’s the location that sets it apart, amazing views of the water! Great food! Awesome service!
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Upcoming Visits
visiting on
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Regulars & Visitors
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  • Klockwork
  • Fuzzy
  • Freddie Freelance
  • LetThereBeRums
  • ClassicSanDiego
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  • DottieDeville
  • RoberttheWayne
  • dustinukulele
  • Chris-Tiki
  • arriano
  • Critikied
  • tropicalihoney
  • Aquatic Safarinaut
View all 625 Bali Hai Restaurant regulars & visitors