Bali Hai Restaurant

Bar & Restaurant
2230 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, California, United States
Ph: (619) 222-1181 - Website
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Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm
Sun 10am-2pm
Opened in 1953
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Humphrey's Half Moon Inn, San Diego 0.1 mi
0.2 km
Trader Mort's Liquor & Deli, San Diego 0.6 mi
0.9 km
Islands Sushi and Pupu Bar, San Diego 3.5 mi
5.7 km
The Islands Restaurant, San Diego 3.5 mi
5.7 km
Crowne Plaza, San Diego 3.5 mi
5.7 km
ad, 134
matchbook, 126, 133
mug, 131
picture, 52, 130-132
text, 82-83, 130-131, 133-134
picture, 14
Postcard from Bali Hai Restaurant in San Diego
date unknown, from the collection of Mimi Payne
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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 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.

Bali Hai is located on Shelter Island in San Diego, along with Humphrey's Half Moon Inn and Trader Mort's Liquor.

How to find it:
When you arrive at Shelter Island's large roundabout, take it to the left, to the island's north-east end.
Bali Hai has its own free parking lot.
There are 9 comments.
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September 28, 2008, 4:27 PM
So sad...killer location and history; nice classic decor but the drinks and food have fallen so far from what they used to be. The most undrinkable Mai Tai! The other drinks were also more about lots of liquor and little about flavor. The food selection was good but of ten guests, none had anything they would rave about. They should send the bartenders and cooks to the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale to rediscover what great drinks and food are like. You should come here as a tribute to one of the oldest Tiki's in America but be prepared to enjoy the nostalgia more than the present.

February 6, 2009, 10:03 PM
Right on the mark Doktor Tiki! They do have a great tiki oriented gift shop on the ground floor just to the right of the main entrance and I recommend it highly - as prices and selection can be surprising both up and down.

September 4, 2009, 4:29 PM
the historic importance makes this a must to visit...the photos of the place as it is being constructed are great to see...
Builtiki has visited Bali Hai Restaurant.

November 5, 2009, 12:37 PM
Bananabobs posted this on TC a while back, but it's worth checking out if you're a fan of the Bali Hai. Here is a You-Tube video of a Chrysler Turbine car that's driving around Shelter Island back in the early days of the Bali Hai (stayed tuned around 1:40):
Slacks Ferret has visited Bali Hai Restaurant.

July 15, 2010, 12:27 AM
The food was good (I had chicken of the Gods) and I also like the drinks (especially Goof Punch) with the souvenier glass. The place seems too modern for my taste, but overall it was a great expirience and I'd go again.
PackmanWSU01 has visited Bali Hai Restaurant.

November 9, 2010, 1:37 PM
i took my other half here for our 5 year anniversary and I gotta admit, it was pretty nice. The staff was super nice, the food was good, the drinks were very strong, and we left pretty drunk & happy. I think that's a good thing wouldn't you?

Happy overall with it's whole experience, but could use a bit of a pick me up! It was awfully quiet in there!
carlosrossi has visited Bali Hai Restaurant.

June 20, 2012, 9:47 AM
I went there last August for my anniversary and it was an amazing experience. They had soft hawaiian music on when i was there, the food was AMAZING! yeah its a bit pricey but for a special dinner to me its worth it. Staff was really friendly and what am i forgetting....... DRINKS they were very strong and very reasonably priced. I always make a point to go when im in SD. But if you want a romantic dinner or a good happy hour in San Diego and your a tiki head i highly highly suggest it.
The tiki pinstriper is a semi-regular at Bali Hai Restaurant.

July 4, 2013, 10:17 AM
The Bali Hai is very cool. Food is good and the drinks are ok. Plus you get a great view of the entire bay. There is some great history too very the accomplished Tikiphile. Aloha!!!
forgotten tikiman has visited Bali Hai Restaurant.

November 20, 2015, 9:50 PM
We go to San Diego at least every 2 years, and sometimes more often. Bali Hai is one of the very few must-do's on every trip.

I went a number of times when I was single and living in SD.

The food has always been excellent, and the drinks are killer. WHen I was young, I like the drinks cuz they were strong. Now, I love them cuz they're well-crafted, flavorful, and strong. At least I added to my criteria.

I can not recommend this location highly enough!!
Shop99er is a semi-regular at Bali Hai Restaurant.

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