Sunday’s second visit to San Jose’s newest and best tiki bar was another great time. Some Forbidden Island regulars made plans to visit at opening and so we got to experience the bar again with veterans of the tiki bar experience. There were plenty of non-tiki people there, too, so it seems like everyone in San Jose has gotten the memo that Dr. Funk is a big hit.
In addition to the Mai Tai, I tried the original cocktail Sunken Galleon. Ginger isn’t always my favorite flavor, so I asked Ken Wongdejanan about it and he said it was not overpowering. This cocktail featuring Cognac, Jamaican rum, sugar, ginger, and chocolate bitters was quite delightful, and with just a hint of ginger just like I like it. Ken said it took a while to get this cocktail balanced right, so I applaud the effort to develop and lock in such as great tasting drink.
While the bar has been very busy, I have found several bartenders willing to engage in short conversations while mixing or in between orders, often suggesting new cocktails to try. This is a good sign from a hospitality standpoint.
Many of the great bars and restaurants feature a “figurehead” who serves as the master of ceremonies for the venue. Typically this is the owner or the general manager, but at Dr. Funk this role seems to be filled currently by Notch Gonzalez who led the buildout and design. Notch was everywhere on Sunday, talking to basically everyone in the bar and making everyone feel welcome. I don’t know how sustainable this is for the bar (or for Notch himself), but the man deserves a victory lap after helping to launch the bar with such a cool and immersive experience. We also saw some photos of the Dr. Funk logo sign that will hang above the front entrance.
The cocktails and service and vibe at Dr. Funk continue to remain strong, and we can’t wait to return.