The Downtown Tiki Lounge

San Mateo, CA
Bar
10
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144 South B St.
San Mateo, CA
Opened in 2010
Daily 4pm-2am
(650) 401-3705

Critiki ratings

The Downtown Tiki Lounge

4.8

Overall

by 10 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 5.2
Drink Quality 3.5
Drink Selection 5.8
Mood 4.9
Music 3.1
Service 6.3
Tikiness 5.3
Tilt 3.9
Vibe 5.2

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 18 The Downtown Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

The Downtown Tiki Lounge was opened by two friends, Jim Wilkinson and Dennis Romero, in 2010. The decor in the bar is a mix of beach, Caribbean and Polynesian (many of the carvings appear to be Indonesian imports), and the music is typically reggae. The place is full of surfboards provided by Seven Tiki Rum (who also provide the glassware). There is a comfortable seating area near the front, and the rear has a small raised seating area.
The drink menu appears at first glance to have a few classics, including a Sidewinder Fang from the long-gone San Mateo power palace, The Lanai
history
The Lanai
San Mateo, CA
Bar & Restaurant
9
. The tribute is a wonderful gesture, but sadly anyone who is excited to have that great drink will be disappointed: what they are serving has the same name, but not at all the same recipe. The drinks tend strongly to the sweet and chemical side, and could perhaps use an upgrade in ingredients.
If one is seeking to recreate a modern Hawaiian bar experience, this does line up fairly well with what one encounters in the islands: sweet drinks, reggae, beach decor. If that's what the owners want, they're probably very happy, and that's what some folks are looking for. But the average Critiki reader may find this falls short of the standard for tiki in the Bay Area.

Comments

KevinCrossman
KevinCrossman has visited The Downtown Tiki Lounge.
June 9, 2019, 11:44 AM
Tiki Bar number 27 for me in 2019 is the Downtown Tiki Lounge, in San Mateo.

I tried to visit this place last year but they were closed for a private holiday party. The hours are notoriously inconsistent. And it does not have a good reputation.

Nonetheless, I wanted to check this off the "have visited" checklist. We arrived around 7 pm on a Saturday and the attendance was pretty light. One couple was drinking heavily and were in "get a room" mode. Others were casually drinking and watching the Giants on one TV under the bar, and UFC on the other. Shortly thereafter a large group of young people came in and sat in the booth behind us. That group was having a great time.

Drinks here are all "free pour" with supposedly fresh lime juice, assorted other juices, and the typical low/mid range rums (where Myers's is near the top of the list). They had a few higher range spirts (Cointreau, Grand Marnier). Drinks were predictably not great.

My Mai Tai was a mess thanks to the OJ and Guava, but Julie's Blue Hawaiian was sort of passable. I had better luck with my Scorpion, especially after I asked for Dark Rum to sub for the Light Rum. Julie enjoyed her Chocolate Martini as well. It's too bad they don't have crushed ice or an attempt at shaking/flash blending; I think that would improve the quality of the drinks. Service was prompt and courteous.

Music was all Reggae, though we didn't hear any Bob Marley so at least it felt more authentic. Decor is a mishmash of tikis (mostly around the bar) along with surf and Hawaiian decor. Large surfboards are courtesy Seven Tiki Rum (though the Santa hats seemed a little out of place).

This place seemed very similar to Tiki Tom's in Walnut Creek: a dive-ish bar in an otherwise upscale neighborhood, with no effort to appear to cocktail snobs whatsoever. Which means that this snob was glad he went but not likely to return anytime soon.
Robot Tiki
Robot Tiki has visited The Downtown Tiki Lounge.
July 30, 2017, 7:50 PM
Tried for a 3rd time and not open.
Megatron
Megatron is a semi-regular at The Downtown Tiki Lounge.
July 26, 2017, 5:19 AM
Why is it never open 😫
View all 5 comments
Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
  • Burritoboy
  • Will Hawkins
  • Megatron
  • Humuhumu
  • Tiare
  • bobtiki
  • Malakina Kalei
  • Tiki Mark
  • KevinCrossman
  • pyrothiakit
  • joncx
  • Fmatthes
  • Robot Tiki
  • Laguna
  • Bungalow Robb
  • alohaAnneEO
View all 18 The Downtown Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors