Food News and Rumors

A few items have come across my plate recently and I thought I’d share.

Dan Aykroyd in Sacramento selling vodka– Wednesday, Sep 29 at the BevMo on Adren Way, Dan Aykroyd, legendary star of screen and …screen, will be signing bottles of his new vodka called Crystal Head. Creepily bottled in skull-shaped vessels, this very drinkable vodka is a pet project of the man who once shilled for bass blenders and bags of glass as children’s playthings on SNL. Check out the strange and awkward and strangely awkward video below for more info on this product. Feel free to offer your ideas for signature cocktails you can make with Elwood’s daddy juice.

Bistro 33 to undergo popular makeover– Goodbye Bistro 33 Midtown. The Haines brothers’ hippest spot has temporarily shut its doors to become Spin Burger Bar. Taking a hint from Mason Wong, whose transformation of his signature eponymous restaurant to Cafeteria 15L has turned out to be a great business decision, and Rick Mahan, whose One Speed has brought in more business than his upscale Waterboy, the Haines boys will be transforming an underperforming asset into a more casual, more economical eatery with — taking a big cue from Mahan — a cycling theme. In my favorite quote of the decade, Fred Haines said, “the ultra lounge thing is dead and we’re rolling with the changes.” (Kudos to Chris Macias at the Bee for getting that wonderful phrase to be uttered)

Nondescript sushi restaurant to become nondescript steak and seafood restaurant– On J, between 19th and 20th a sushi restaurant is no more. I can’t, for the life of me, remember its name. That’s how much of an impression it made. Well, it’s gone now, so I guess I won’t have to remember the name I never knew in the first place. Going into its place will be a steak and seafood place that will either be called Had’s or Thad’s or something like that (it’s really hard to decipher the name on the new sign). Maybe this new place will make an impression. And maybe I can use its/it’s a few more times in one paragraph.

Mati’s moving to Midtown– It was with a hearty “Hallelujah” that I greeted the news of Mati’s move to Midtown. The Natomas gem is getting out of the clusterfugget that is Truxel and moving to 16th and P. While I don’t know the exact location, I think she’s going in to the old Togo’s on 16th. I will be a frequent customer, greedily sucking down her nan, curries, and other Indian delights mere steps from my abode.

11 thoughts on “Food News and Rumors”

  1. The SacRag – Insulting the Asian community with our food reviews since 2005.

    Taki made an impression on me. It is easily one of my top five worst experiences of restaurant service in history. People— if you own a restaurant, please don’t hire your non-English speaking, mathematically inept teenage relatives who have never worked in a restaurant before to be servers, especially as part of a “grand re-opening” deal when you spend tons of money renovating a restaurant only to make locals who are generally patient and forgiving become sworn enemies of your establishment.


  2. “Taki” actually means waterfall in Japanese. But I question whether the place really was Japanese, even though the menu was billed as such. My Japanese mother, thinking the waitstaff was having trouble with our English, addressed our waitress in Japanese. For her pains she got a cold stare and the wrong order. Restaurants with bad customer service, Asian or no, deserve to die.


  3. Not that there’s anything wrong with it one way or the other but I would guess that 90% of Japanese restaurants in the area are actually Chinese or Korean owned. This is purely guesswork on my part.


  4. @sac-eats Why would you assume that 90% are actually Chinese or Korean owned? Are you implying that “they” all look alike?


  5. Not at all. Simply in my experience, most owners and staff of Japanese restaurants in this town aren’t Japanese. This is not judging by profiling but rather by name recognition. Names like Chang, Wong, Park and Pak are not usually Japanese, but they are names I’ve run into when meeting restaurant owners. During a recent meal at Mana on Alta Arden, a Japanese speaking member of our party was looking at a bit of Japanese calligraphy on the wall and asked the waitress for clarification. She claimed ignorance, saying that she was Korean, and so were the owners. I’ve had nearly a dozen or so similar interactions. so I’m extrapolating and guessing that the majority of Japanese restaurants are not Japanese-owned. Reason, not racism.


  6. Oh yeah, and one more thing, saying that people from a particular part of the world share distinct physical characteristics is not racist, it’s anthropological. Remember, there’s no winners in a game of race-baiting, except your mom.


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