Mikuni – Best Cocktail in Yolo County

If I wasn’t doing this for SCIENCE, I wouldn’t have kept drinking. Also, if it wasn’t for the Server being up front with me about the drink this would have been tied for the worst cocktail

Whiskey Sour, Mikuni, Davis, CA, Spring 2022

Mikuni – The Review

Taste (3/10) – Tastes like bad lemon juice. The Server said it was going to be made with sour mix, but they didn’t warn me it was the cheap stuff. Just a hint of the whiskey on the back of the throat.

Presentation (1/5) – No garnish. Correct glass. Looks like dirty bath water. Not a lot to say because there wasn’t a lot to look at.

Balance (2/5) – Mostly the sour mix as I said in Taste. There is an aftertaste of whiskey, or maybe just the alcohol once you’ve swallowed. Hard to tell. Very weak.

Correctness (1/5) –Not correct, except for the glass. No garnish, no egg white, not lemon juice. I didn’t even see them make it so for all I know there’s no whiskey in there either!

Delivery (4/x) – The Server was up front with me when I ordered this drink. They said this was not going to be a craft cocktail, “no fresh juice, or egg white.” He wasn’t lying! I’m going to give them some credit for that. Every other poorly reviewed cocktail in this has just been presented without comment as if it WAS correct!

Total (11/25) – If I wasn’t doing this for SCIENCE, I wouldn’t have kept drinking. Also, if it wasn’t for the Server being up front with me about the drink this would have been tied for the worst cocktail.

Absolut Lychee Shock, Mikuni, Davis, CA, Spring 2022

Thoughts – I paid over $10.00 for this Whiskey Sour, and that’s using their “well” liquor, that’s wild! It also tasted terrible. As I usually do now, I ordered one of the signature cocktails off their menu, an Absolut Lychee Shock. This drink was better, if a little too sweet. It was revolves around more around a gimmick rather than the cocktail itself.

Mikuni has great sushi, but maybe just stick to the Asahi or sake if you’re eating there. Ordering anything else is liable to spoil the rest of your meal.


The Project
The Criteria
The Bars

Some Thoughts on Nick Cutter’s The Troop

Cover Image

Nick Cutter’s (one of Craig Davidson’s pen names) The Troop, from the very first paragraphs:


            The boat skipped over the waves, the drone of its motor trailing across the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The moon was a bone fishhook in the clear October sky.

            The man was wet from the spray that kicked over the gunwale. The outline of his body was visible under his drenched clothes. He could have easily been mistaken for a scarecrow left carelessly unattended in a farmer’s field, stuffing torn out by scavenging animals.

            He’d stolen the boat from a dock at North Point, at the furthest tip of Prince Edward Island, reaching the dock in a truck he’d hotwired in a diner parking lot.

feels like the writing of a frustrated screenwriter. My suspicions confirmed as I continued to read. This book once was a screenplay or it’s author ultimately wrote it so that one day it would be a movie.

The introduction, the interstitial segments, the ending it all screams B-tier Hollywood horror film. The book’s epilogue is might as well be a post-credit bonus scene. In the context of the story it doesn’t make any sense but it does set up a potential sequel and is a well-worn horror movie trope. I will be very surprised if the book is not adapted to the screen, big or small. (I began writing this post before searching for anything. A quick search and sure enough an adaptation of the book is being produced by James Wan and directed by E. L. Katz.)

The horror genre, written and cinematic, is full of tropes. That isn’t bad, quick short-cuts that allow the story to skip along at a brisk pace. I don’t always need to know an elaborate backstory to a character. Sometimes it is enough to know that she is the “Final Girl.” But, tropes make more sense in a movie where production costs and standard film lengths constrain the artist. The book has no such constraints, and it makes sense in this medium to spend some effort on creating a more fully realized setting and characters.

Alas, Cutter doesn’t do that in The Troop. His prose is sparse unless he is describing the body horror that is central to the conceit of the book. Then, the words flow and the page fills with paragraphs of details that read more like scene setting and camera direction than they do prose.

I’ve not read much contemporary horror in American Fiction. I wonder how much of it Cutter is mirroring in his book?

Cheers Bar – Best Cocktail in Yolo County

Whiskey Sour – Cheers – West Sacramento, CA – 2021

It’s been awhile hasn’t it? If I look over the archives it tells me that the last time I updated the blog was in May of last year, Madeiran Scops Owl, for It Was Very Good my recollection of all the macrofauna that the World has lost. A project that was so depressing that I doubt if I’ll ever be able to finish it…

The last cocktail review was in the middle of last January, if you can recall that far back we were starting to hear things about “some sort of flu” that was going on in China. That “some sort of flu,” as we all know, was COVID-19 and it shortly made its way to America’s shores and everything went sideways. In the last few months of THIS year America had begun to right itself (though that seems a temporary development now.) and, I began thinking about reviving this project. I missed exploring new places in my community, meeting new people, and making friends. I missed inviting my friends and readers out to these places. T and I are both vaccinated and so taking a few precautions we planned at trip out to West Sacramento to try the drinks at Cheers. I made a post on Facebook and invited everyone I know out to join me. On the last day of July we met up at the bar and ordered some Whiskey Sours.

Scores and thoughts below.

The Review

Taste (5/10) – Not bad. Not great either. But, for using premade sour mix it could be worse. Pretty smooth. Whiskey doesn’t burn

Presentation (2/5) – No garnish. Incorrect class. Color is okay.

Balance (3/5) – I can taste the alcohol, I can taste some lemon. It’s sweet but not cloying so.

Correctness (1/5) – This is not a real Whiskey Sour sadly. No garnishes, used premix, no egg white, no bitters. Not shaken.

Delivery (2/x) – Asked what whiskey I wanted (I only recognized Jake Daniel behind the bar.) Not IBA. Didn’t ask about egg white or small chat. Some eye contact. No flourish. This was during the late afternoon, early evening. Our party was about half of the patrons of the bar.

Total – 13/25 This was hard. Not just because its been a year plus since we’ve gone out and enjoyed dining and drinking. It’s hard not to think about how thinks aren’t normal yet, how they probably won’t ever be normal again.

But, besides those existential thoughts and feelings. It’s been nearly two years since I did this last. I didn’t remember the criteria I had created. I don’t really remember the other whiskey sours I’ve had or the bars. I have this blog and my notes but those are poor substitutes for fresh recollections and memories.

My expectations for Cheers were low. The bar is located in an industrial/commercial row in West Sacramento, It is not a location bar, but rather a neighborhood spot. Despite those low expectations I was pleasantly surprised. Cheers won’t be knocking Broderick’s out of its current Best of West Sacramento spot, but I could see myself enjoying a beer here again.


Madeiran Scops Owl – It Was Very Good

Hypothetical Madeiran Scops Owl – Based on close relative – the Eurasian Scops Owl, Wikipedia

Macaronesia is a collection of archipelago islands in the Atlantic off the coast of North Africa. You might be familiar with the Canary or Azores islands, both are part of Macaronesia. These islands are small and isolated. The perfect lab from evolution!

In the last half decade scientists identified fossils on one of these islands, Madeira, as a new type of Scops Owl. This species of owl, Otus mauli, based on skeletal examination seems to be closely related to the the Eurasian scops owl, though having longer leg bones.

Nearly nothing is known about this species. It is believed to have driven to extinction in the 15th century. Probably from the settlement of the island by humans which lead to habitat destruction and predation by invasive species that accompanied humans.

More Info

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