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“A great place to drink in the views”
Review of Bali Hai

Bali Hai
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Ranked #89 of 4,773 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Scott or Rosecrans
Description: Exotic Pacific dining on an enchanted tiki island.
Wilsonville, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A great place to drink in the views”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

This large, retro tiki-bar on Shelter Island is a perfect, tranquil place to sit waterside and enjoy the views of the city and bay while enjoying table-side service and tasty pupus.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank BlueHighwaysGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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658 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Memories Updated”
Reviewed February 19, 2014

I stepped in to Bali Hai, a restaurant that I had not been in for at least 35 years. It was as lovely as I remembered it if not lovelier as it was updated. My wife and I went for lunch, arrived promptly and we were seated as promptly. We were seated next to the windows and were treated to a commanding view of San Diego. The view was stunning and I remembered what it looked like at night with the lights of the city shimmering on the water. We started, and sort of for fun, with the coconut shrimp a dish that harkened back to the more tiki days of the restaurant. The shrimp were hot, crispy and crunchy served with a delightful sweet and sour sauce. My wife ordered for her lunch the shrimp tacos. They were very good. I ordered the hamburger medium rare and by jove it came out medium rare. The french-fries were hot and crispy but potato soft to the bite. I wish I could talk to the extensive menu of rum based drinks but unfortunately I am not drinking presently. Unlike some of the other posters I can only say, not only did my wife and I enjoy the view but the food as well. After lunch we sat and just gazed upon the view. If you have the time to dally then this place is definitely for you.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Hugh L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, USA
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“great view adequate food”
Reviewed February 19, 2014

if you are on Shelter Island at night, the view across the bay is good. Food was inconsistent- some very good; some just adequate. Service is excellent.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank D M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Level 6 Contributor
180 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Dorky Cool, with awesome views”
Reviewed February 18, 2014

Had never heard of Bali Hai, but stumbled upon this place on Shelter Island when we discovered that the nearby Fathom Bistro isn't open for lunch. Bali Hai isn't trying to be a kitschy tiki-bar type place, but it totally is, which makes it kind of sneaky fun.

On the northernmost point of Shelter Island, Bali Hai has commanding views of the harbor and the San Diego skyline. With views like that, not as much attention needs to be paid to the food. Between my wife and myself, we had the coconut shrimp, Thai caesar salad with chicken and turkey club. Each satisfied our hunger, but not much more. The prices also remind you that a view that great doesn't come free, with a $13 Turkey Club and $15 cheeseburger on the lunch menu.

Since the restaurant appears to cater more to older people and families, their beer list hasn't exactly kept up with the times, but they at least had a couple of Mission beers by the bottle. I have a hard time stopping when I drink Mai Tais, so I regretfully (but probably wisely) declined to try their world-famous one.

Bali Hai is kitschy cool, even if that's not what they are going for. The food is average and the prices are high, but the views are pretty darn great. I'm glad we ate there, but I doubt I'll go out of my way to visit again the next time I'm in San Diego.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Come for the view”
Reviewed February 17, 2014

The food was good, but not great. Considering the price, we expected better tasting meals. They do offer a nice variety. The view is spectacular! Our server was very friendly and we received quick service.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Totosma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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