Bali Hai Restaurant, San Diego

4.5 out of 5 stars 5 Reviews

2230 Shelter Island Drive (619) 222-1181

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  • Say it fast. Bali Hai Mai Tai. Drink it slow.
    Say it fast. Bali Hai Mai Tai. Drink it...
    by travelgourmet
  • View from Bali Hai
    View from Bali Hai
    by lmkluque
  • Bali Hai from the garden
    Bali Hai from the garden
    by lmkluque
  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    Bali Hai restaurant: Here I am, your special Island

    by travelgourmet Updated Nov 30, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Come to me, Bali Hai
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    "If you try, you'll find me Where the sky meets the sea" words from the song "Bali Hai by Rodgers and Hammerstein and the words hold true for the restaurant by the same name "BALI HAI" located on Shelter Island where the sky meets the sea. The decor is pure Hawaiiana and the view is pure San Diego. Everywhere you look, it seems there is a reminder of Hawaii. The dining room is located upstairs so that the view is unobstructed of the San Diego Bay and city skyline. Sail boats glide by on the bay and you are captivated by the wind in their sails, but make sure to look around the dining room to see the wonderful wood beams and the semi-circular room. Service was good and the room was not that busy, but it was a Tuesday. I am told that the weekends get very busy. If you have time to walk around the property, the outside view is impressive at night.

    Favorite Dish: Bali Hai has been around a long time, in fact I first visited this restaurant in 1959 when the Tiki ruled the Island. So in honor of the Tiki, I enjoyed a Bali Hai Mai Tai and it was potent. I almost burst into Bloody Mary's song from the Movie/Play "South Pacific", Bali Hai. I needed to order more than the delicious Hawaiian Poke (raw ahi tuna) to calm me down. One dish out of the many mouth watering Hawaiian sounding dishes caught my eye. Chicken Portuguese, boneless chicken breast stuffed with Portuguese sausage and sourdough stuffing, panko breaded and fried, served on a pineapple cream sauce and a side of Bali Hai mashed potatoes. It was so good, I ordered another Bali Hai Mai Tai. If you are longing for that faraway place, then go for a bit of the tropics at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Seniors
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Bali Hai!!: Sam Choy's Hawaii at the...

    by lmkluque Updated Mar 13, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bali Hai from the garden
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    The Bali Hai is another of San Diego's older favorites. Shelter Island was constructed to hold hotels, restaurants and marinas for the droves of tourists coming to San Diego.

    One of the first restaurants that became popular was the Bali Hai, originally opened as a Tiki Temple. Tom Ham--of Tom Ham's Lighthous fame--took it over in the mid 1950's and offered a fun evening with good food and Polynesian entertainment. It was a great hit with tourist and residents alike. The place to go for a romantic dinner, an evening out with friends or for a special occasion. As with most restaurants, over the years the Bali Hai lost some of its popularity to newer construction.

    Sam Choy owns it now and has tried to bring back some of the Tiki theme. What he has done is give the Bali Hai new life. These days it is the site of many weddings and other celebrations as well as a place for a great meal with an awesome view from almost every table in the place, upstairs and down.

    During the bright light of day the Bali Hai may look a bit shabby, but the food is well worth a visit and at night, shabbiness gives way to the look of a tropical island by torch light. The atmosphere is wonderfully relaxing.

    Just outside of the restaurant is a small garden overlooking the San Diego Bay. This is a great photo opp stop for those who like a tropical background for their pictures. Also, for those with disabilities Bali Hai offers a small elevator to reach the top floor of the restaurant.


    Shabby looking, no more! A nice job of redecorating has been done lately and the place looks great!

    Favorite Dish: I've been to several special events at the Bali Hai in recent years and always the food is excellent. Sunday Brunch is the usual meal I have here and it is one of the best.

    My favorite item for brunch and on the dinner menu is Salmon Wellington, $17.95. The soy butter sauce served with it is mouth-watering delicious and I always order extra.

    Whether or not you order the salmon, you will surely be satisfied with the flavor of your meal.

    Related to:
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    • Business Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • caseyso's Profile Photo

    Bali Hai Restaurant: Bali Hai Restaurant

    by caseyso Written Aug 10, 2008

    Bali Hai is a Polynesian Restaurant, located on Shelter Island in San Diego, California. Here, you can dine while enjoying the fascinating view and breeze of the waters, and the rhythms of Tahitian chant.

    One of its unique amenities is its boat dock at the back of the restaurant, wherein during Sundays, many boat owners dock here to have Sunday brunch.

    Operating Hours of Restaurant:
    Monday-Friday - 11:30-5:00 pm

    Sunday - 10am-4pm

    Monday-Thurs - 5pm-9pm
    Friday - 5pm-10pm
    Saturday - 4:30pm-10pm
    Sunday - 4pm-9pm

    Operating Hours of Bar:
    Monday-Thursday - 11:30 am-10:15pm
    Friday - 11:30 am-11:15pm
    Saturday - 4pm-11:15pm
    Sunday - 10am-10:15pm

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  • RAINBOWWINGS's Profile Photo

    Bali Hai Restaurant: Great setting

    by RAINBOWWINGS Written Apr 15, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Restaurants own photo
    1 more image

    Right out on its own island, the Bali Hai even has a boat dock should you want to arrive in style in your yacht. This is a busy exciting restaurant, always packed with great young staff only too willing to serve you. Perhaps by being very busy you might just have to wait a little longer than usual between courses, but who cares...when you are on holiday sit back and order another of their delicious cocktails!

    Favorite Dish: Try the Mahi Mahi, scallops,shrimp and vegetables steamed in Ti leaves with a soy butter sauce...I did and loved it!

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  • BLewJay's Profile Photo

    Bali Hai Restaurant: The majesty and mystery of the South Pacific

    by BLewJay Updated Nov 22, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Enjoying dinner to its fullest

    One of the most famous restaurants in the Pacific Basin (and San Diego), Bali Hai was the location where we had a VT meeting for tropicdiver, his son (a recent Marine Corps Boot Camp graduate) and susieq04. Also in attendance were VT members Yubert, lmkluque, oldmonk_92129, lauriejeanne and spartan.

    Favorite Dish: We started off with the Volcano Pupu Platter (Pele's Nachos, Bali Hai Egg Roll & Crab Cake, two Coconut Shrimp, & Bali Hai Ribs). For dinner, LJ had the Salmon Wellington (salmon fillet with a spinach & crab stuffing wrapped in puff pastry, garnished with roma tomatoes & green onions, and served with soy butter sauce) while I had the Shelter Island Noodle Mania (vegetables, shrimp and chow mein noodles served in a giant tortilla shell).

    Of course our meal would not be complete without the famous Bali Hai Mai Tai (made with Puerto Rican Rum, Jamaican Rum, Orange Liqueur, Fruit Juices and Orgeat Syrup).

    Related to:
    • Music
    • Food and Dining

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