Tiki Tom's

Bar, Rental Facility & Restaurant
300 29th Ave
Oakland, California, United States
Ph: (510) 532-9202 - Website
This location is not open.
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Sun-Thu 11:30am-12am
Fri-Sat 11:30am-1:30am
Opened in 2008
Closed in 2010
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, Alameda 1.5 mi
2.4 km
Longitude, Oakland 2.8 mi
4.5 km
Trader Vic's Final Resting Place, Oakland 4.2 mi
6.7 km
Kona Club, Oakland 4.1 mi
6.5 km
The Conga Lounge, Oakland 4.8 mi
7.8 km
Mosaic by Laurel True at Tiki Tom's in Oakland
January 2009, photo by Mitiki
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Humuhumu’s description:
Tiki Tom's was a Polynesian/Caribbean restaurant, bar and banquet facility on an estuary in Oakland. This Tiki Tom's location opened in late 2008, two years after its owner sold his share of the original Tiki Tom's location in Walnut Creek; the two locations were otherwise unconnected.

Tiki Tom's burned down under "suspicious circumstances" shortly after their liquor license expired and the power was cut off, in October 2010.

There are 8 comments.
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March 1, 2009, 2:59 PM
I'll admit this was not as bad as I expected ... in some ways ... in other ways it was worse. To begin, the food and drink menu is identical to what I remember of the Walnut Creek menu, and that was after the change of ownership. That is not a good thing. The drinks are primarily vodka based "tinis" that have nothing to do with tiki. The rum drinks all use Bacardi and the rum on the top shelf behind the bar was Tommy Bahama. If you've had that rum, you know how disappointing it was to see that was their "premium" rum.

The service, however, was surprisingly good. We were seated immediately, and our server had no issues with moving us to a window table when one opened up. Our server also volunteered to remove my "Mai Tai" from our bill when she saw that I found it undrinkable. Sadly, the other two drinks we tried were also quite disappointing. The food was not bad at all, with once exception. Why would anyone dust sweet potato fries in powdered sugar if they're meant as an appetizer rather than a dessert?

They did have a trio of musicians playing Don Ho type tunes with a rather traditional Hawaiian sound. Unfortunately, they ended quite early, leaving us with top 40 from the sound system for the rest of the evening.

The decor could have been very nice had they used well-made traditional tikis rather than brightly-colored, big-toothed, hot rod style ones, with the Tiki Tom's requisite balinese masks strewn throughout. The surf boards suspended from the ceiling over the dining area are an interesting choice, not quite tiki, but better than the neon beer signs and sports-blaring TV in the bar area.

I went during the evening, so did not quite have the benefit of the view of the estuary, plus their "party boat" was docked right outside and did block much of the view. I expect the view will be nice on a sunny summer weekend with boats going by.

In summary, service was a win, drinks were a loss, food was worth revisiting, decor is unexceptional. Overall experience = meh. Probably a good place to take the kids and people who don't realize how bad the drinks are.
JenTiki has visited Tiki Tom's.

March 31, 2009, 8:45 PM
Okay, I'm a bit biased. I'm a semi-regular and I enjoy the place so much that I'm getting married there in a couple of weeks [the wedding has some tiki history; our first date was at Forbidden Island].

The drink menu is relatively large and heavy on the tropical. I dunno where Jen found all the vodka drinks, because the bar emphasizes rum. The rum selection is not nearly as broad as I woud like [a dozen or so] but as long as they feature Zaya and Mt. Gay, along with some coconut rums for afternoon sipping, I'm happy. The bartenders are all experienced, friendly and fun. Incidentally, they recently switched from Bacardi to Don Q as their primary well rum. It's good for a well brand, and the distributor was kind enough to let me try the not-yet-available coconut blend. Granted, their mai tai recipe is non-traditional and, depending on one's taste, could be as unliked as Jen found it.

The servers, like the bartenders, are all great. Service is always fast and friendly. It's a fun atmosphere. Food is good but inconsistent. Some recipes seem ideosyncratic, but the quality is generally very good. The kaluha pig and other pork dishes are highly regarded. Not being a pork eater myself, I go for the mahi mahi and the steak. Burgers are also great.

I like the decor. Surfboards and beach ambiance work great for me. Three TVs in the bar area, and one neon sign, don't really add up to the kind of sports bar atmosphere implied by Jen. Tikis and little touches like the Sailor Jerry hula dancer add up to my kind of bar. The water view is a big plus. This place and the Emeryville Trader Vic's are the only places in the bay area which combine tiki with water - the perfect combo.

One Fridays and Sats at dinner hour, and all day on the third Sunday of each month, they have Hawai'ian bands. On the second and fourth Sundays, there's a nice blues jam.

All in all, a fun place to hang, as long as not too many people take Jen's advice and bring kids.
chiwito was a regular at Tiki Tom's.

June 29, 2009, 2:32 PM
This place was packed, packed to the gills when me and 2 friends showed up. I luckily made a reservation earlier and we got to the table fairly quick. The place was loud and was still the same uncomfortable decibel level when we left. The service was a bit slow but considering how many people were there it was excused.

The drink menu looked promising with a good looking presentation, although we had to ask for a drink menu. We ordered a Mai Tai, Shark's Bite, and the Aku Aku. The drinks were served in clear plastic picnic cups. We had to stir the drinks ourselves with spoons from the table. I felt like I was at a beer garden. All the juice was at the bottom all the liquor on top. The Shark's Bite was extremely disappointing and the other drinks were a bit less disappointing but too sweet. I think the Mai Tai had guava juice in it? My feeling is if I pay the same amount for a drink that I would for an appetizer, I would at least like it to be properly made. Shaken or stirred in a glass. Maybe I'm picky maybe I'm a snob, but I know for a fact I can make better drinks at home.

The menu is very meat heavy which if you have a vegetarian in your group it is a bit difficult to order. We ended up ordering appetizers only. A few veg appetizers out of respect to our friend so we could all share. But we did end up ordering coconut shrimp, a must, and the crab cakes. The shrimp were disappointingly small and very few. Maybe it was the large plate they served the shrimp on that seemed to accentuate the minuscule proportions of our fine aquatic friends. We also ordered the sweet potato fries. As JenTiki says above, the sweet potato fries did have powdered sugar on them and we were all a bit surprised by this choice. They really should try some other coating or give the option for plain.

On the website it states every Friday and Saturday there was to be Hula/dancing girls. My wife is a Tahitian dancer and was pretty excited about the dancing. Frankly, I was a bit excited about the dancing girls too, but for different reasons. Our excitement disappeared very quickly when no dancing girls appeared. Maybe they got ship wrecked on the way from the South Pacific? I know things happen, but if you advertise on your website and I think it even says Hula on Fridays and Saturdays in the East Bay Express ad for the world to see and don't provide the goods. Well we all know where I am heading with this.

The decor...does this really need to go on? If you're a Tikiphile, don't waste your time or money. If you are a cocktail or food connoisseur, don't waste your time or money. I visited, I observed, I ordered and ate. I left sober and felt slightly swindled out of $75.
I will not be back.
Kukuthi has visited Tiki Tom's.

March 27, 2010, 8:54 PM
I've been to all the East Bay tiki bars, so I was pretty excited when this place opened in our neighborhood. But wow, what a disappointment. The drinks are the worst of any of the local places, the food is absolutely horrible and the patrons are trashy. There was a group of loud drunks stumbling around the parking lot when we got there, and they were the classiest people we saw during our visit. The server got everything wrong -- food, drinks, the bill...everything.

In addition, we have several friends who live in the condos next door, and it has been a nightmare being neighbors of Tiki Tom's. Motorcycle gangs revving engines at all hours, loud music at 1 a.m. during the week, drunken drivers damaging the fence. Awful, just awful.

If you take nothing else from this review, take this: DO NOT GO TO THIS PLACE!
fordstreetfellow has visited Tiki Tom's.

May 3, 2010, 4:15 PM
The place should be banned from using the word Tiki in the name.

The last time I was there the burgers were burnt, the fries deep fried until golden black and the desert was kinda dry (like eating a bowel of flour). The attitude of the owners or who ever was there was a shrug of the shoulders and "have a good day."
Mitiki was a regular at Tiki Tom's, and was usually there Lunches.

October 8, 2010, 9:27 AM
On Thursday, October 7, 2010, Tiki Tom's in Oakland burned down. The restaurant was closed that night, so it appears that no people were harmed in the fire. Good riddance to bad tiki.
JenTiki has visited Tiki Tom's.

October 9, 2010, 1:38 AM
Tiki Tom's never had truly great drinks [though some of the bartenders were able to do much better than the "official" recipes] and it didn't try to be true tiki revival a la Forbidden Island, but it was for most of its life a solid waterfront restaurant with significant tiki trappings. As far as I am concerned, the loss of all that is something to be mourned.
chiwito was a regular at Tiki Tom's.

October 26, 2012, 4:42 PM
I had a beer there. Once. Mostly I was there to participate in the Tiki Tom Outrigger Canoe race that was being held in the estuary. It was fun, however I do remember ordering food and it took a long time getting to the table. When it did, it wasn't much better than the fare at a chain restaurant. The decor wasn't very tiki, more like someone's commercial version of Margaritaville. I don't miss that place at all.

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