Ski Inn is the only restaurant or bar in the small town of Bombay Beach, located on the east shore of the Salton Sea. The food is delicious, the prices are inexpensive, the staff and patrons are friendly, and the atmsophere is priceless.
As with all of my reviews, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: At 225 feet below sea level, the "World Famous" Ski Inn bills themselves as the "lowest bar in the Western Hemisphere," and that is a true statement. Back in the heyday of Bombay Beach, during the early 1960's, the Salton Sea was just across the street, so you could practically water ski up to the parking lot. But that was, "back in the day," and on this late Wednesday afternoon, October 19, 2017, the water is a long way from the bar.
Photo: Ski Inn is the only restaurant open in Bombay Beach, and it's advertised as the "Lowest Bar in the Western Hemisphere." No joke, as our GPS measured the elevation as 225 below sea level. As you walk in the restaurant, you'll notice that signed dollar bills are pasted everywhere, but my photo seems to surprise these friendly local patrons.
Photo: The daily specials on the menu. Since today was Wednesday, we couldn't resist ordering the "Chicken Fried Steak" dinner. Scroll down, and check out our visit last year; the menu prices haven't changed. The food is delicious, and the prices are bargain-basement reasonable.
Photo: My brother, Michael, sits at the bar, and processes the many dollar bills pasted everywhere, and the several varities of beer on tap.
Photo: Bombay Beach is located MILES from anywhere, along the east side of the dying Salton Sea, but that does not mean that you have to suffer! Ski Inn offers a full-service bar, along with top-shelf liquor, and all of your favorites. Bring your "green stamps," as this is a cash only restaurant.
Photo: On this early Wednesday evening, it was a rockin' good time, as the locals were singing, and rockin' to the sounds on the juke box. The music was traditional country and 1960's rock, which makes for a good mixture in my "book."
Photo: I look around, and get a peek into the kitchen, where photo-shy Michelle is busy preparing our meal.
Photo: Meet Dave, the owner of the restaurant, the guy who tends the bar, a great conversationalist, and an all-around good person.
Photo: My brother, Michael, and I enjoy identical dinners on this early Wednesday evening, which just happens to be the special of the day... "Chicken Fried Steak," oh my...
Photo: Today's "Wednesday" night special dinner: Chicken fried steak, green beans, mashed potatoes, roll, gravy along with butter. At $7.50, it's a bargain, and it's a delicious dinner.
Let's go back to Tuesday, October 18, 2016, where we enjoyed dinner at the Ski Inn...
Photo: As you walk in the restaurant, you'll notice the full-service bar to your right, and a large, raised table, which makes for a great view. Oh yes, you'll notice dollar bills, with many of them autographed, plastered everywhere, including on the ceiling. The operating hours of Ski Inn vary, but the bar usually opens at 7:00 AM, and closes in the evening at 11 PM, with the restaurant being open from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily. Ski Inn is the only remaining bar or restaurant in the once bustling resort town of Bombay Beach. It's the place to be if you want an ice-cold beer at 7 in the morning...
It's 5 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, October 18, 2016, and we're ready to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Photo: Just a few of the many dollar bills pasted to the ceiling. The ceiling fan is whirring, and even it's blades have dollar bills pasted to them.
Photo: As you walk in the door, look to your left, and you'll see the main dining room, along with posters and photos of famous visitors, and more dollar bills. I wonder how long it's been since this restaurant has been fully seated?
Photo: Ski Inn is the hub of night life in Bombay Beach, and is the "only game in town." To the rear of the dining room is another room that contains a pool table, and a really out-of-tune upright piano. I attempted to play the opening bars of "The Sting," but gave up, as the piano was so out of tune that I could barely tell a "G" note from an "F" note. I would guess the instrument hasn't seen a tune-up since the 1970's.
Photo: The lunch and dinner menu is nearly identical, as the restaurant is open from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Note the very inexpensive prices. I must hand it to the management of Ski Inn, as most restaurants, as "the only game in town," and, like Bombay Beach, many miles from supplies, would charge high prices - such as restaurants in the Lake Tahoe area - but Ski Inn's prices are some of the lowest that I've seen in many years. Not only are the prices low, but the service is friendly, and the food is delicious. On my next visit, I just have to sample their fish and chips...
Photo: Three locals, along with Steve, the friendly bartender, enjoy dinner and drinks at the bar. Check out the dollar bills, pasted everywhere! Ski Inn is the social center of Bombay Beach.
Photo: One of the friendly local patrons sitting at the bar pointed out a dollar bill, with a naked woman pasted on it, and suggested it would make a great photo. She was correct, and I took a photo of it.
Photo: I managed to get a peek into the kitchen, and get a look at the deep fryer, which gets a lot of use, judging from the menu. Even the kitchen has dollar bills pasted to the walls.
Photo: Our friendly server and cook, Jessica, smiles as she brings Greg's chicken salad, and my double burger to our table. Greg seems happy too, as he has a smile on his face. Ski Inn is colorful, unique, and will definitely put a smile on your face. It was interesting to note that Jessica not only took and delivered our orders, but she did the cooking duties. She and bartender Steve were the only staff on duty, this late Tuesday afternoon.
Photo: Thanks, Jessica for not only cooking us a great meal and serving it to us, but for taking our photos as well. From left-to-right, Greg Wilson, Michael Rench, and your author and photographer, Eric Rench.
Photo: I ordered a double cheeseburger, and it came with fries, two slices of cheese, along with sliced pickle, tomato, onion and lettuce. The burger was served open-face, which allowed us to add the condiments of choice from the squeeze bottles on the table. I added mustard and mayonnaise on my burger, and I dipped my fries in ketchup.
Photo: My assembled double cheeseburger, fries and an ice-cold mug of draught beer. Such a delicious meal priced at under $10.00!
Ski Inn is a one-of-a-kind place to enjoy great food, friendly conversation, along with beer, wine and mixed drinks at rock-bottom prices. Considering the average age of Bombay Beach residents is 64, if you want to experience the "Lowest Bar in the Western Hemisphere," you need to make a trip to Bombay Beach, and enjoy the friendly hospitality of Ski Inn, stat.
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