We walked up California Street, our goal being the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel. Near the top we passed three guys in a group that had been broken up by the steepness of the hill. The stout guy who was in last place stopped every 10 feet to take a drag on his cigarette.
I thought there was a Trader Vic’s at the Fairmont, but it turns out Vic hasn’t worked there since the 1930′s. The bar at the Fairmont Hotel is known as the Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar.
We sat at the bar while the TV was tuned to the playoffs. TV seems to ruin a lot of bars. I knew the Oak Bar at the Plaza (where there used to be a Trader Vic’s) jumped the shark when a TV appeared at the end of the bar.
I couldn’t bring myself to pay the $7 for the Happy Hour all you can eat “Pacific Rim” buffet (including, chow mein, cheese and crudites). The food looked very tired at 7:00 PM, especially since we were thinking about going to Yuet Lee, a couple of blocks away.
Then the thunder, lightning and rain started.