Since its opening in 1945, The Tonga Room has been a San Francisco landmark. Originally a closed-terrace swimming pool, the space was re-invented in 1945 by Mel Melvin, a movie set designer. Mr. Melvin converted the pool into a lagoon and gave the restaurant a South Pacific feel. From the decorations to the lighting, The Tonga Room creates an atmosphere that is only enhanced by the tropical
rain showers that delight restaurant guests every 30 minutes. Stepping in to The Tonga Room is truly like stepping into another world.
As an icon of Tikis in ’40s and ’50s pop culture, the Tonga Room has seen a resurgence in popularity with locals and tourists alike. The restaurant has recently undergone an extensive restoration, complete with an updated lounge and bar area to accommodate the increasing number of people that come to the Tonga Room to sip on their famous libations like the Mai Tai, the Lava Bowl (which comes in three sizes!) or the Pineapple Royale.
If you are lucky enough to be around Wednesday – Friday, a stop by The Tonga Room for Happy Hour is a MUST. This award-winning Happy Hour features a buffet of South Pacific delicacies such as edamame, mini egg rolls, chicken wings and tonga fried rice just to name a few. At only $10 per person, this is definitely one of San Francisco’s best kept Happy Hour secrets. Open five nights a week, the Tonga Room isn’t just a place to grab dinner. The Island Groove Band, housed on a barge floating in the lagoon, keeps people grooving on the dance floor every night with their Top 40 and island music offerings! P
Patrick Dockry, publisher of Health Beauty Life, was lucky enough to spend some time with JP, The Tonga Room’s Restaurant manager to sample some of the amazing food. Although gluten-free options tend to be scarce at Asian restaurants, JP explains to us that The Tonga Room only uses the freshest ingredients that are wok-fried one order at a time. This allows the kitchen team to prepare dishes to accommodate many food allergies. Since Patrick does not eat gluten, The Tonga Room prepared Mongolian Beef for him using a clean wok, virgin oil and gluten-free soy sauce. He then finished his meal with a gluten-free Tofu Cheesecake with white chocolate tuille, raspberry and lemon curd and a grapefruit suspension. With these and many other south pacific-inspired dishes offered nightly, you are in for a treat with dinner and drinks at The Tonga Room.
Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
950 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94108