In his side-item column on Inside Scoop this week, the Chronicle's princely food critic made a trip to everyone's favorite place to take their grandmother: the Fairmont Hotel's historic Tonga Room. It's worth a read if you can get past the fact that he calls the tourist-laden tiki bar "under the radar" even though it was nearly full on a weeknight. (Pro-tip: it doesn't hurt to check Yelp before your go, Mr. Bauer)

His final verdict is more or less what many an amateur reviewer before him has found: The greasy food could "use an overhaul," and the drinks are "so sweet they're the liquid equivalent of fudge." (Fruity mai-tai fudge?) But in the end it's still "an endearing place that never fails to lighten the spirit." Of course, Bauer is a restaurant critic and not a critic of places that are great for birthdays and/or bachelorette parties, so we suppose his critique is allowable.

[Inside Scoop]