SAN FRANCISCO -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip spent Wednesday night like many Bay Area tourists -- having dinner and drinks at Trader Vic's.
The queen treated first lady Nancy Reagan and 50 members of the White House staff and royal entourage to dinner Wednesday night at the landmark Polynesian restaurant three blocks from the St. Francis Hotel, where they spent the night.
Before the meal was served, the queen enjoyed a Tanqueray martini while Mrs. Reagan sipped vodka and orange juice. They then dined on Indonesian lamb, finishing the meal with rum ice cream topped with pecans.
'The queen was laughing a lot,' bartender Jack Wong said. 'A Secret Service man said it was the first time he had seen her smile.'
Dinner at the restaurant was a last minute arrangement made after the queen was forced to fly to San Francisco rather than chance stormy seas aboard the royal yacht Britannia.
Head waiter Fee Leong said the queen and Mrs. Reagan, who flew up with the queen from Los Angeles and stayed at the hotel, received separate fortune cookies, but the contents contained the same message, 'You have a deep interest in all that is artistic.'
The party in the restaurant's upstairs Trafalgar Room, where a portrait of English hero Lord Nelson hung prominently over shiny red wallpaper, lasted about two hours before the queen's motorcade returned to the hotel.
Big baskets of flowers decorated each table.
Leong said other important people have dined in the Trafalgar Room, including former vice president's Spiro Agnew and Walter Mondale, but he described the queen as, 'one of the best.'
Other restaurant dining rooms were busy while the royal entourage dined and many inside were not aware that the queen was in the upstairs dining area. She entered through a private entrance.
Shortly after her arrival, some Irish protesters staged a brief but noisy 'horn honking' demonstration by passing the restaurant in their automobiles.