We ventured to downtown San Jose to check out DJ Otto von Stroheim‘s holiday tunes for “Traditional Tiki” Tuesday at Dr. Funk. The place is decked out quite nicely for the holidays and Otto’s tunes were upbeat and festive. A great set from Otto, like always.
It does seem that there’s been some regression in the quality of the cocktails here, thanks in part to a great deal of turnover of the bar staff during 2023. We saw bartenders free-pouring ingredients, which might explain why the balance of my Mai Tai was just a bit off. Not terrible but more limey than in my past visits. When Dr. Funk opened in 2021 their Mai Tai rum blend was Appleton 12 and Smith & Cross, but last year Appleton 12 had supply issues and they replaced it with Denizen Merchant’s Reserve rum that is less expensive but doesn’t work as well (the Dr. Funk website still lists Appleton 12, even after a certain lifestyle blogger informed them of the error months ago). We’re hoping for better results on our next visit.
The Tropical Itch we ordered was really off track. It supposedly contains Wild Turkey 101 along with Coruba and Lemon Hart 151 rums, plus Dry Curacao and “caramelized pineapple.” I couldn’t taste the bourbon at all, and there was a flavor that neither Mrs. Mai Tai or I found pleasant. Probably the caramelized pineapple, but in either case the cocktail was not good.
Thankfully, Mrs. Mai Tai found her Thai-Chi to be made well. This rich and creamy cocktail has a host of ingredients including Allspice dram, milk syrup, and falernum. Perhaps this is one of Dr. Funk’s batched cocktails.
Dr. Funk is still pretty good in downtown San Jose, but the corporate ownership isn’t doing any favors to elevate the experience for fans of the genre and the constant shuffling of crew members also does not bode well. I hope they can right the ship.