Bali Hai Restaurant

4.5
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3838 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Polynesian
Exotic Pacific dining on an enchanted tiki island.

The Bali Hai Restaurant has been a favorite in San Diego for over fifty years. Our spectacular views of the San Diego bay and the downtown skyline make us the perfect location for any special event. Along with our dining room upstairs, our premise possesses three different and versatile private rooms. The flexibility of multiple private facilities allows us to accommodate any type of party. We host weddings, class reunions, birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, memorials, festivals, fundraisers, business meetings, seminars, and corporate events.
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Private Dining

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What 3838 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 8 hours ago
Overall3food2service1ambience5

Great drink prices, amazing view and that’s about it. The service was so bad we stopped ordering to leave and the food was ok at best.

CA
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Ambiance very nice, food ok. I ordered waipuli poke stir fry. Way too much fat, I couldn’t even chew it. I was very surprised and disappointed with quality of meat. Service very good.

s
Hawaii
17 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food2service5ambience5

the ambiance and drinks are beyond compare - food not so

NM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Waiter pushed most expensive items. He even went as far as telling me that what I wanted to order was no good. It happened to be one of the less expensive items. I ordered the Korean Chicken and it was delicious. Just did not appreciate being told I had made a bad choice.

G
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience5

I put done that we were celebrating a birthday and it was never acknowledged.

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food, service, and ambience, as always!

HM
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Went to the brunch and all of the food was great, as was the service. When I made the reservation, I noted it was a special birthday brunch for my husband’s milestone 40th. But no one on the staff acknowledge this or wished him a happy birthday. That’s the only letdown to note.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We arrived a little early and I was reminded how loud the indoor seating area can be, especially on a Friday night. Luckily they were able to seat us outdoors, with the heating lamps so that we could hear each other over dinner. Especially with one of our members being hard of hearing, this made our experience more enjoyable! Tasty food on their new menu!

b
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very enjoyable meal, ambiance. Especially good French fries.

B
San Diego
56 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always a great dining experience!

MN
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our anniversary on a Monday night and they offered us the best window seat with a surprise dessert. Josh was a great, knowledgeable, extremely friendly server! Thank you for everything.

B
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great place to bring someone, sunday brunch is pricey but worth it.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful location with a beautiful view while you enjoy the exquisite buffet. The only thing that was a bit overwhelming was the noise level. It's such a nice place and people get loud. Our group of three were unable to have a conversation because of the overwhelming disturbance. I would definitely come back, but would highly request a table on the patio.

MA
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food1service4ambience5

Service was friendly and well paced. The Crispy Calamari was very tough with a lot of tentacle compared to the pictures I saw of the dish being mostly rings. Spicy Cauliflower appetizer was unexpectedly bad. I assumed it would be blanched or cooked and than served cold, but it was raw cauliflower with a green sauce that tasted nothing like avocado and not tasty. Plus, we had Coconut Shrimp, but I had to search for the coconut flavor and they were very small compared to other places who would give you jumbo sized shrimp. To top off my wonderful not wonderful birthday dinner, the Wok Fried Bass was ok, but lost its crispiness when drenched in gravy with the presentation being unappetizingly brown. This review could have been the product of what I ordered, but for the price I paid for all of these subpar dishes, I would be hesitant to risk going there again.

M
Miami
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The location is beautiful. The food was awesome and the service was even better.. My server was absolutely nice... I'm glad i chose this restaurant for my birthday dinner. :-)

RH
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been eating at the Bali Hi 2 to 3 times a month for the last ten years. I sail over with friends and use their dock. We've always received first class service. The harbor view is one of the best in San Diego. The prices are reasonable and the food excellent. This restaurant has been a San Diego landmark for many years, dating back to when I was in Pt. Loma High School (1955). If you haven't tried it recently, give it a try.

HJ
Little Rock
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My fiance and I loved the atmosphere, service and food. Highly recommend.

KB
Grand Rapids
12 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was excellent. Our waiter did an excellent with recommendations and explanations of dishes and their flavors. A fabulous view of downtown San Diego. The experience all around was wonderful!

JS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An awesome view of the San Diego skyline with great food & cocktails!

OT
San Diego
62 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience2

We went to celebrate my 70th and my grandson’s 20 birthday. Not the exact date, but he will be away at college , o this was to be our only time to celebrate together. We wrote that in the reservation, we told the waiter upon arrival and NOTHING!!!!!!!!!! VERY disappointing! Why ask about special occasions and then ignore them!

l
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The variety of food to choose from was awesome! (Brunch buffet), with free flowing champagne. What can be better than eating leisurely with a nice view of the sea?

DB
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Sunday brunch at Bali Hai is amazing! The food is wonderful and the free-flowing champagne is a perfect pair with the food. We’re starting to make this a yearly tradition!

JC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super fun. Great for large groups and an intimate date night. The food was incredible and the drinks were stiff!

MR
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

First of all the atmosphere is great, it's hard to get a better view, and I've always been a fan of the Tiki ambiance. And to preface this review, I realize that this must be a very high price per square foot operation to run.

Given that, we asked for a view table for a special occasion. We made reservations several days in advance, not a last minute reservation. What we got was a view of the other diners on the patio, not a view of the water. We were told it was difficult to get a table for 11 in the area that we wanted, but come on folks, it's a circular restaurant, there's no reason why we couldn't have had a table with a nice water view.

Secondly, our waiter was very good, but the upsell to higher priced items was extremely obvious. We were steered away from the lower priced entrees saying they were "50/50" by the waiter, and he recommended the highest items on the menu. Also the appetizer "sampler" was a bit pricey for the size. I would expect a few items to sample, not just two.

The quality of the food was acceptable, but the beef (sorry guys) was horrible. From the beef pupu's on the appetizer platter which had bones and sinew, to the rib-eye which was low quality (lower than Vons) and not entirely edible due to the amount of gristle. Tasted like Montreal seasoning perhaps? Again, I'm sorry guys, better quality from your supplier, or better selection/preparation from your line will fix this.

Again, love the atmosphere, I can't remember my first time at Bali Hai, but I believe it was in the early 80's. However if we're spending over $1K for a family dinner, I expect more. Yes, I have food industry experience so I may be a littler more critical than the normal customer, but the issues here are easy to overcome. Still love this place, it has the best Mai Tai's in town, and we will be back. My advice to management, please remember that this is not just a tourist destination, but a treat for locals as well.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exelente comida , lugar , y servicio . Único .

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ND
San Diego
25 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very pleased to be put in a window seat as requested! Out of town friends were very impressed with the view and menu! Our servers: Josh and Kaylah were excellent. They tended to our needs, and while professional, provided a warmth and friendly nature. The evening was quite nice as a result of all the attention given to us!

AG
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience5

This recent visit reminded me of why I don’t like coming here. After being sat in a stuffy section between a large party with kids using my bf as a stepping stool and table of four with hardly any room, our server who never came to greet us for 15 minutes, had the audacity to ask us if we would mind moving our table back so the table behind me could have space. Let me remind you there was hardly any room to begin with. I asked to move tables instead as this now became just as inconvenient for my bf and I, as it was for the table of four behind me. After being sat at the new table, the next server asked us why we moved. Then we were moved again and the last server was okay only because she noticed a chip on my glassware and replaced it. The service was such a disappointment as we came here celebrating my bf’s end of service in the military. I should have insisted we go else where. I will not be returning.

F
Las Vegas
14 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I ate here with my family for my birthday! The restaurant is beautiful and right in the water. We were seated quickly and our waiter was so helpful with suggestions. I ordered the Korean chicken and it was delicious! Of course I ordered a couple fun drinks as well. Best part was even though it was winter we were able to sit outside on the heated patio. It was lovely.

KB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

BEST BRUNCH IN CALIFORNIA!!

i
San Diego
17 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The view of course is amazing. Especially at sunset. We loved the guy playing music during the happy hour till 6:00. Food was very good but a few items were not as great. Loved the wok fried sea bass dinner and everything that came on the Alii sampler platter for 2. The salmon and mashed potatoes were just warm and not hot enough for me. The flavor was a bit plain as it was poached and under seasoned with no sauce. The dessert was delicious though - Mexican chocolate creme Brulee. Would have been better with a bit of vanilla ice cream. Our server, (Mary I think) was great.

JB
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was loud do to the large parties but the food was excellent!!

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere and delicious food. Always a destination for beautiful vistas and fine food.

LZ
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Started a new Holiday Tradition of treating the extended family to a wonderful Champagne Brunch. The selections are not your run-of-the-mill buffet items. Everything had a little "Bali-Hai twist" to them. The restaurant was packed but the service couldn't have been any better. $45 per person well spent. We were there for four hours grazing off the buffet and never did we feel rushed to finish and leave. The view is absolutely mind-blowing. We agreed that we will be back more often, but definitely the first Sunday of December each year.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Food selection was minimal. The restaurant has an island atmosphere but the food wasn’t specific to island food. They should’ve had more of an island food selection or more of a brunch selection rather than trying to combine the two

D
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome experience. Wonderful food and drinks

c
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Kept cruising by this place going out on fishing trips so we gave it a try. It was a Thursday night and were able to be seated immediately even though we arrived an hour earlier than our reservation. As we were seated at a window table looking across the bay at the San Diego skyline was beautiful. Being on the second floor gave an even better view I believe. The staff were very friendly when you could get them, but a couple times we needed assistance and our waitress was no where to be found. The appetizer (sampler for two) was well prepared and what we liked best. We had salmon and airline chicken and neither of us was overly impressed with the flavor. The worst part of the experience was the table next to us was so loud it was very annoying. So I started listening closer and I realized I could also understand people who were talking fairly loudly at many of the other tables. The noise level really detracted from our experience. Of course if you know about the infamous Bali Hai Mai Tai you might understand the noise level. I was warned, but ordered one anyway. It is a fairly large glass filled almost entirely with rum. You could order a full cup of straight rum and get the same experience. I left 2/3s of mine behind. I like rum drinks, but I don't find straight rum that appealing. That said, I think this could be the cheapest drunk in town if that is what you are after. All-in-all, a nice restaurant, with fairly nice staff and fair food with a phenomenal location and view. I would recommend it for a one-time dinner experience, but we will trying somewhere else next time we are in the area.

RR
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Had not been there for many years, but out-of-town guests compelled us to return. We were pleasantly surprised by the ambience, service and food. We particularly enjoyed the Polynesian cocktail menu.
We visited on a weekday for lunch. The place was quiet and the bay view was spectacular. We could have stayed for hours.
The food was good, not amazing. They allowed some of our party to split their food orders at no additional charge and provided ample side dishes for both. The shrimp appetizer was memorable.
We will return soon without our out-of-town guests.

C
San Diego
33 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Hannah is the best! We love Bali Hai and especially during Tiki Trader!

SA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

So good. Excellent Poke and wonderful views of San Diego. Fun place for a date or family outing

OT
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was excellent. Cocktails were amazing. The view outstanding. The food was very tasty and the service superb. Can’t wait to go back!