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Balhi Ha'i

San Francisco, California, United States

Balhi Ha'i is the home tiki bar of Critiki and Ooga-Mooga creator Humuhumu. Her original home tiki bar, The Humuhumu Room, closed when she moved away from Seattle in 2003. Balhi Ha'i made its debut in 2011.

Balhi Ha'i occupies half of the lower level of Humu's home, roughly six times the size of the Humuhumu Room. Visitors pass through a dark jungle area, with nighttime wildlife sounds, before entering the main area, which plays an Exotica soundtrack. The room includes a built-in wet bar (vintage circa 1968) upholstered in avocado green vinyl in tribute to the green upholstery found in golden era Trader Vic's locations. There is a good amount of vintage rattan seating, and the room has its own bathroom. A rain lamp birdcage, decorated in tribute to Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room, hosts a bird named Mimi. A large, firelit shelving unit showcases highlights from the mug collection. A dramatic, towering rattan chair with a scooped "wave" top has a hanging lit pufferfish named Jack. A floor-to-ceiling dimly-lit panel is covered with tapa cloth. Most of the carved pieces in the room are in a traditional style. Highlights include several large authentic Papua New Guinea pieces, a Maori-style plaque carved by Basement Kahuna, and a couple of Witco tikis. One wall has an arrangement of smaller pieces of art, including carved Maori plaques, some Coco Joe's "lava" pieces, and a few pieces of modern Tiki art. Balhi Ha'i has its own logo, imprinted on custom zombie glassware. Stemmed drinks are served in vintage Noritake Bamboo pattern coupes. A rotating selection of tropical drinks is presented on a carved Marquesan-style tiki drink menu. There is a growing selection of sipping rums available. She hosts a party on the second Saturday of every month.

When not in use for bar entertaining, a projector screen comes down and the space becomes a home theater with surround sound.


San Francisco, California, United States


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