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“Worth the trip”
Review of Hula Bay Club

Hula Bay Club
Ranked #119 of 2,400 Restaurants in Tampa
Cuisines: Sushi
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
576 reviews
336 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

This used to be Rattle Fish, but changed names about 4 years ago. It's hard to find (south of Gandy and West of Westshore in Tampa, near the Lazarra Yacht factory). The Hula Bay and attached Duke's Retired Surfers Club are on the water.
The menu was rather limited, and most items are about $10+. Lunch for two with one drink, an appetizer, burger, and entrée (no dessert) was $50 with tax and tip.
BUT....the food was excellent! Service was prompt and friendly. We sat on the outdoor porch and enjoyed the water even though the wooden rail blocked our sight line. There are many tables inside too.
FOOD: the best fried shrimp I ever ate! They (6) were large and fried with a coating of crushed macadamia nuts, almonds, and coconut; and they were served with a sweet dipping sauce. The "naked" hamburger and chicken breast burger were large and cooked perfectly. (Add on ingredients cost additional to the $8.50 basic price.) They also were served with delicious potato petals, greaseless fried and then baked.
We also ordered an appetizer of cheese bread planks which was good but nothing special and did not come with any dipping sauce.
Drinks: the pina colada did not appear to have any alcohol, but the friends' bloody Mary and margarita were ok they reported.
Parking: limited spaces in front. You may have to park on the other side of the 4 story boat storage building. The pavement is shells so some people may have trouble walking there.
We will go again because we had nice views of the many yachts in the marina, and the food was excellent.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank wacotx46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike F, Manager at Hula Bay Club, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Hi there,

Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. We appreciate being able to hear all of your positive feedback and are happy to know that you enjoy all aspects of the restaurant. We look forward to your company in the future.

Cheers!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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267 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Always pleased!”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

My wife and I try to get to Hula Bay once every other month or so. We feel it's Tampa Bay's hidden gem on the water. First and foremost, the service has always been top notch. What's more, the customer service exhibited by Mike and the entire management team has been outstanding. There are a couple of improvements that can be made in my opinion and they both have to do with outside seating. Outdoor tables are split among two tiers. One can't beat the upper tier for view of yachts usually docked just adjacent, gazing out into the Bay, watching as boats come in/out of the neighboring marina, or even for a glimpse of a rare dolphin. Additionally, the tables on the upper tier are "counter top" height, which lends to the better views and better breeze! The lower tier is a bit larger (only 6-8 four-top tables up top) but water views are limited b/c the tables are standard height. And even though there are large fans above you, less natural Bay breezes make their way to lower tier seating. We always request (and wait if we have to) to sit up top. I'd love to see the outside seating area expand, especially up top. More square footage for the upper tier plus higher tables (or elevated) within the lower dining area would bring us out more. Both tiers have ample HD TV's in case there's a desired sporting event. (As you might be able to tell, we've never dined inside.) The menu is wide-ranging and dynamite! From ceviche to sushi to oysters, to fish, chicken and steak, to bar food and awesome burgers - there really is something for everyone. Parking can be cumbersome during peak hours (Closed Mondays, BTW). Bring a few bucks for valet just in case. Also.. later in the day both men's and women's bathrooms have an attendant, FYI. Also... Hula Bay seems to get the importance of customer relations. It does wonderfully in person, on the phone, via email and social media. In fact, it occasionally runs photo contests asking "fans" to submit their images taken on sight. It's pretty cool to be voted winner, if I do say so myself!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Justin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike F, Manager at Hula Bay Club, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Justin,

Thank you for that glowing review. We appreciate the feedback, especially knowing that our loyal customers are pleased! I'll be sure to note the issues you raised with the outdoor seating. Hope to see you again soon!

Cheers!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Casual Bayview Dining near Marina - We love it”
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Our family loves sitting outside at Hula Bay. Great place if you are the laid back beach type. The food is good. We like the Fish or Shrimp Tacos. The frozen drinks are great. The Coconut Creme Brulee is awesome - $8 shared with my husband.

My husband and I go there for a date nights.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SBA546
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike F, Manager at Hula Bay Club, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Hi there,

Thank you for the review! We appreciate you sharing your experience. Hope to see you again soon!

Take care.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Province of Vicenza, Italy
Level Contributor
63 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The view could have been better.”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

I am a regular at Hula's and there was no problem with the food, or the sunset or anything like that but the management waws an issue.

Very disappointed with the management last night. Everything started out fine at dinner (8:00pm) until my kid asked me if the guy behind us was naked. Upon closer inspection there was a 300lb guy sitting in the restaurant with no shirt on. He was accompanied by another skinny kid with no shirt on who apparently works as a food runner there. I was so shocked at first I had to take a picture. The waiter (Rick) said there was a dress code and asked the guy to put his shirt on at least twice and then told the manager. When I asked to see the manager (Mike) his response was, "We asked him to put a shirt on or leave but he won't comply."
Are you kidding!?! A manager at Hula Bay doesn't know how, or is too spineless, to remove a patron who doesn't comply with the rules of a dining establishment. I told Mike to call the cops if he didn't want to do it and I would give him the number. He said, "I know the number" but he just stood in front of us mumbling and blithering about how sorry he was. I guarantee a manager that spineless is letting the staff run him over completely. The bottom line is you can still get a decent meal at Hula's but if anything is wrong don't expect any help from the management just call the cops yourself. Our waiter, Rick, did a fine job. The poor decor and service rating are directed at the manger.
Very disappointed with the management last night. Everything started out fine at dinner (8:00pm) until my kid asked me if the guy behind us was naked. Upon closer inspection there was a 300lb guy sitting in the restaurant with no shirt on. He was accompanied by another skinny kid with no shirt on who apparently works as a food runner there. I was so shocked at first I had to take a picture. The waiter (Rick) said there was a dress code and asked the guy to put his shirt on at least twice and then told the manager. When I asked to see the manager (Mike) his response was, "We asked him to put a shirt on or leave but he won't comply."
Are you kidding!?! A manager at Hula Bay doesn't know how, or is too spineless, to remove a patron who doesn't comply with the rules of a dining establishment. I told Mike to call the cops if he didn't want to do it and I would give him the number. He said, "I know the number" but he just stood in front of us mumbling and blithering about how sorry he was. I guarantee a manager that spineless is letting the staff run him over completely. The bottom line is you can still get a decent meal at Hula's but if anything is wrong don't expect any help from the management just call the cops yourself. Our waiter, Rick, did a fine job. The poor decor and service rating are directed at the manger.

I was truly surprised to learn that McDonalds, 7-11, and Wal-mart now all have more stringent dress codes than Hula Bay and have manger with cajones to enforce the rules.
Next time Hula's should consider getting some of Tampa's local talent to up the quality of it's casual topless dining atmosphere.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank marcdog4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike F, Manager at Hula Bay Club, responded to this review, May 6, 2013
Hi there,
Thank you for the feedback. We hope you give us another shot sometime!
Take care.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collingswood, New Jersey
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Hula Bay..made me want to dance as far away as possible.”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

I LOVED the Chicken Katsu. And our wait service was very attentive. But it was noisy and distracting and chaotic inside . I disliked pretty much everything about it..I do not do well in atmospheres like Hula Bay . If I could get the same dish somewhere else ...win win situation. But it's pretty predictable ...sort of Jimmy Buffetty ...and fake sea shore themed ...if the decor matched the quality of the food ...it would be great .

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ursousa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike F, Owner at Hula Bay Club, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Hi there,

I'm glad you enjoyed the food and service. I appreciate you taking the time to write us a review! I do hope you choose to join us again in the future.

Take care.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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