A Warning... (Zokku - Sacramento, CA)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dear me, dear me, dear me. And after I had found such a lovely sushi place in Davis, I had to go and tempt fate with some trendy poser; tempting me with its anime logo, fancy drinks, and cleverly named sushi rolls. Who is to blame? Myself for wanting to go? Rob for saying he wanted to go to sushi (was that Hell freezing over?). That circus gypsy whose daughter I ran over with a car, and cursed me as punishment? The restaurant for selling an experience they couldn’t deliver? Three of the four reasons are aptly the cause. I think I’m confusing my life with the movie Thinner on the other, but the experience is comparable.

Regardless, let’s break down the night and the meal. Rob, I, and our friend Eric had decided to head out to Zokku, the newest of a line of trendy sushi places. We hadn’t heard much about the place so we figured on giving it the once over. Upon entering we were awe struck. Were we in a Vegas gambling hall? A tacky night club? A cheesy pickup bar? 1985? The strange d├ęcor that beats your eyes with a bike chain of try-to-hard trendiess is just… wrong.

Big glass cubes building walls from a 1980’s hair salon, uber chic Ikea lights of all kinds, the bar having big pieces of plastic rock that belong in a Vegas tropical themed hotel pool. It was all smashed together. The red walls were the only things remotely Asian. You would never know it was a sushi restaurant. Had you not seen the menu, Zokku’s choice of cuisine could be interchanged with any other kind of hipster offerings.

Rap music blared out loudly over the restaurant. Not that I mind rap, but not with my sushi thanks. Louder still were the annoying twenty-somethings (yeah, I’m 23, shut up) yelling loudly to be heard over the music. It just makes you eager to leave.

The appetizer, my sushi, and Eric’s tempura all arrived at the same time. Aren’t appetizers usually a first course type of thing? The appetizer of prawns with mango salsa and garlic sauce was really, prawns with strips of mango and honey for dipping. Totally wrong.

The tempura was tempura, you can’t botch it and it tasted damn good. My sushi was fine, nothing fantastic. Another designer roll with sauces, avocado, etc. It was tasty, but nothing you can’t get at every sushi place. 20 minutes later, Rob got his teriyaki chicken. Truly amazing, some of the shibbiest teriyaki I have ever had. If only we hadn’t had to wait for it for 20 minutes.

At one point a waiter came to our table pointed to us and yelled to the other staff “As soon as these people leave I’ll just join these tables up for that big group coming in!” sweeping his hand across the empty tables and us in a dismissive manner. Nice to know we were taking up their valuable space.

The sake section had issues. The sakes were not priced in the menu. I hate asking to know the prices as it makes me feel cheap, which I can be at times but I don’t want to acknowledge it. Our waitress gave me the rundown of the prices and it was all reasonable. No complaints there. What did bother me was her complete lack of knowledge of any of the sake. Her friend she called over to help her out was equally clueless. I dismissed the sake idea and ordered a sidecar. Classic drink; all bartenders should know this one. It was all whiskey and lime juice. The glass was rimmed with sugar and there were cherries and limes in the glass, mocking me.

My friend Megan had a similar experience. She and her dining companion had their plates whisked away without a chance to protest that 1) they weren’t done eating what was on those plates, and 2) they wanted more food, which was not offered as an option. The check was brought to them. Upset, the paid it, left, and went out to another place as they weren’t full. She also noted the drinks were all “glowing lime green things that tasted bad."

My summary: Tacky, loud place with okay food, bad drink, and customers are a nuisance to the people working there.

419 J Street
Sacramento , CA 95814

(916) 498-9384

Cupcake Round-Up Results!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Wow, Cheryl and I received a lot of great entries for the round-up! At first we were worried that we might not get any and that it was going to be a bust. Then they slowly began to trickle in, and before you knew it we were getting dozens of e-mails from cupcake enthusiasts everywhere! We have about 60+ cupcake entries here!

I had to say I was surprised at the range of ideas and the amount of creativity that went into them. Classic flavors, crazy combos, and even diet specific cupcakes stepped into the spotlight. Avocados, ginger, berries, vanilla, mung beans, bananas, buttercream, caramel, booze, garam masala, and of course chocolate are just some of the flavors you'll find in the round-up

So here are the results you cupcake fiends! Cheryl and I will be making our favorite recipes over the next few days and posting the results; I hope that some of these inspire you to do the same!

Note: Sorry if there are any snafus in the linking, as this many pictures in one post seems to have thrown blogger for a loop, so sometimes they might not work. Refreshing the page seems to help. Let me know if it won't work and I will try to get to it ASAP.

Dr. Pepper Cupcake
By Kristen
Dine and Dish

S'Mores Cupcakes
By Aoife

Lemoncello Ricotta Cupcakes
A Tasty Pedia's Blog

Black and Tan
By Mike
A Tasty Pedia's Blog

Cappuccino Chip Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting
By Rachel
Rachel's Bite

Almond Cupcakes with Guava Cream Cheese Filling
By Jenny
Sew Darn Cute

Orange Chocolate Cupcake with Nutella Ganache Filling and Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting
By Sandra and Ernae
The Sour and the Sweet

Lemon Sunshine Cupcakes
By Jennifer
Weekly Dish

Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins
By Lexi

Fruit-filled Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
Definetly Not Martha

Green Tea Bubble Cream Filled Cupcakes with Green Tea Cream Cheese Frosting
By Chockylit
Cupcake Bakeshop

Citrus-Basil Cupcakes
By Michelle
Another Yarn

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes
By Mary

Hunk of Burning Love (The Elvis Cupcake)
By Sher
What Did You Eat?

Party Cupcakes
By Shini

Chipotle Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes
By Myself
Vanilla Garlic

Triple Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes
By Janell the Great
Janell the Great

Chempedak Cupcakes with Mango Drizzle
By Noraishah Hamid
My Gastronomic Adventure

Vanilla-Cardamom Cupcakes with Grand mariner Buttercream and Candied Orange Zest
By Julie O'Hara
A Mingling of Tastes

Saffron Vanilla Cupcake
By Kerry Alice
a Tasty Pedia's blog

Passionfruit-Coconut Cupcakes
By Ann Martin Rolke

Tiramisu Cupcakes
By Becky Brown

Figgy Cupcakes with Mascarpone Icing
By Kelsey

Lime-Vanilla Cupcakes with Cucumber Buttercream
By Andrew
Real Butter and Clean Milk

Hunk of Burning Love
By Sher
What Did You Eat?

Ginger-Cardamom-Jaggery Cupcake
By Mandira Banerjee

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes
By Margaret Meaney
Chez M, en Retard

Demarara Sugar Rimmed Pound Cake Cupcakes
By The Parson's Wife
The Parson's Wife

Mocha Cupcakes
By Haalo
Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once

Coconut Cloud Cupcakes
By puddingpop
Wait and See Pudding

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Marshmallow Frosting
By Gluten Free Momma
Gluten Free Organics

Grasshopper Cupcakes
By Freya
Writing at the Kitchen Table

Key to My Heart (Pear & Walnut Cupcake with Cardamom Buttercream)
By Glenna
A Fridge Full of Food

Curried Cupcakes
By Emilie

Turtle Cupcakes
By Raspil
The Noisy Kitchen

Chestnut Cupcake with Chocolate Swirl Frosting
By Helen

Orange Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Cream
By Myself
Vanilla Garlic

Avocado Cupcakes with Palm Sugar Buttercream
By Ratna
Simply Cake

Green Mung Bean Cupcakes with Palm Sugar Buttercream Frosting
By Ratna
Simply Cake

Lammas Cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Whiskey Cream
By Pancha

Almond Brown-Butter Cakes with Sour Orange Meringue
By Lara
Cook and Eat

Baklava Cupcakes
By Lara
Aral Traven

Oh My Darling Clementine Cupcakes
By Christina
Wishing on Clovers

Black Sesame Peanut Butter Cupcakes
By Joann
Baking + Graduate School = Joann's Life

Gingerbread Cupcakes
By Laura
Laura Rebecca's Kitchen

Devil's Food Cupcake's
By Ellie
Kitchen Wench

Chocolate Cupcakes with Berry Ganache & Cinnamon Buttercream
By Sarah
Slighcarp and Grimshaw

Cappuccino Cupcakes
By Margaret
Kitchen Delights

Deep, Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Tangerine Honey Frosting
By Lis
La Mia Cucina

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
By Anita & Cameron
Married with Dinner

Very Gingery Cupcakes
By Cathy, aka "The Dear Wife"
Something in Season

Double Seville Orange Cupcakes
By Gemma
Dressing for Dinner

Candied Lemon Peel, Walnut, & Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
By Letincelle

Almond-Ricotta Cupcakes with Lemon Royal Icing
By Sean

Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Quick Orange Frosting & Chocolate Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream
By Maggie
The Maggpie

Cuba Libre Cupcakes
By Rachel
Coconut and Lime

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes
by Brendon
Something in Season

Derby Cakes
by Posy
Posy Party Cakes

Pumpkin and Mexican Chocolate with Toasted Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
by Posy
Posy Party Cakes

Carrot Cupcakes and Banana Cupcakes
by Brilynn
Jumbo Empanadas

Basic Vanilla Cupcakes with Two Kinds of Chocolate Buttercream
by Cheryl C.
Crispy Waffle

Banana Tropical Pomegranate Surprise Cupcakes
by Sandra
Yes, I Am a Bitch, Get Over It

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