Everyone Jabbed

A Mother’s Day gift for @juliebeane is taking our sons to get their second vaccine shots. I had my second this past Monday.



Are you vaccinated? Everyone needs to do this so that we can safely return to our favorite past-times. I like supporting restaurants and bars by using their parklets and patios but indoors is where we all want to be, and to do so in mixed company. It ain’t gonna happen until everyone is vaccinated. Let’s do this everyone.

New Exotica Moderne with cover feature of Woody Miller

I had the pleasure of contributing to the magazine again, this time writing the article/interview with cover boy Woody Miller. The article turned out great, and I hope I was able to weave a narrative beyond a list of Woody’s accomplishments and the eye candy of his art.

I’m also in there with my Mello Pomelo recipe. Note there is a typo: should have 1 oz Pomelo Juice.

There’s lots of other great stuff so be sure to get it before it is gone from www.houseoftabu.com.

May the Fourth Special Event in SF with Smuggler’s Cove

What a fabulous time in San Francisco yesterday for the special event at Sessions restaurant on the Lucasfilm campus. The special “May the Fourth” event was a partnership with Smuggler’s Cove and featured some special Star Wars themed cocktails on the menu and the inclusion of Smuggler’s Cove merch, silent auction items, and rum tasting alongside the merchandise and wine tasting from Lucasfilm and Geeki Tikis.

We really enjoyed our meal at Sessions, so much that we’re planning to come back. The patio dining suited us just fine.

Mai Tai Fighter and Blue Harvest

As for the cocktails: we need Princess Leia to give gold medals to the bartenders from Smuggler’s Cove. I started first with the “Mai Tai Fighter” which is a standard 1944 Mai Tai with a “dark side” float of OFTD. Oh, such an amazing Mai Tai. By far the best so far in 2021.

Equally impressive was the “Blue Harvest,” a riff on SC’s Captain’s Grog. Blue Harvest was the codename for the original Star Wars movie and the inclusion of Rum-Bar Silver replacing the dark Jamaican rum was a huge plus for this cocktail. I will feel no shame ordering this at the Cove, it’s just that good. The “Rebel Pilot” was a stand in for a Jet Pilot and was quite excellent, as was the Kessel Run with rum, bourbon, and coffee liqueur.

Rebecca Cate and Martin Cate from Smuggler’s Cove

Additionally, it was so nice to see familiar faces at the event. We had a great time socializing (wearing masks) after dinner. We are now really looking forward to Smuggler’s Cove’s reopening (in June?).

Spring Saturday in Sacramento

Mrs Mai Tai and I drove up to Sacramento and had what Frank the Tank called “a nice little Saturday.” We visited several antique and vintage stores including the Midway Antique Mall which is our favorite.



Dinner was at The Jungle Bird at opening at 4 pm (hence the line outside in the photo). The cocktails were on point as always, and in addition to my Mai Tai I decided to order a Mint Julep since it was Derby Day. Man, that Mint Julep was fantastic, so sweet and minty.

The food options at Jungle Bird seem to be more limited than they used to be. The veggie Potstickers were good, as was the Veggie Stir Fry with noodles, but Mrs Mai Tai seems to recall more veggie options in the past. I really liked the Crab Rangoons but have had very mixed experiences with their burger and pork belly sliders.

Jungle Bird still has a big patio out back which was great for us (I get my second shot tomorrow) and they have done a good job with the spacing of the indoor seating. The staff was super friendly and very quick with the service.

Birthday Dinner at The Kon-Tiki

Took the entire family to The Kon-Tiki for a birthday dinner last night. We’re not really doing indoor dining yet, so we grabbed one of the nice parklets outside. We all love the Kon-Tiki’s amazing Cheeseburger and it always tastes better when freshly served.

We arrived before 4:30 so that sun was still shining. So instead of a Mai Tai I decided to try two of the single-serving frozen drinks. The Uma Uma is Kon-Tiki’s riff on a Pina Colada/Chi-Chi and is always delicious.

I was especially interested in the Frozen Donnie’s Element, a cocktail from Kon-Tiki’s Chris Day featuring dark rum, banana liqueur, coconut cream, and cold brew liquor. Oh this is a really great cocktail – go seek it out.

Thanks to Oakhana regulars Laura Murphy and Woody Miller for the birthday rum dram. Woody asked Antoine Nixon for a recommendation and he picked a Hampden rum from their bird series. I love Jamaican rum so that was an excellent choice. So delicious.

Patio Mai Tai at The Kon-Tiki

Quick drive up to Oakland for a Mai Tai on the patio and a peek at the indoor dining situation at The Kon-Tiki. Man, the Mai Tai was really good on the patio, listening to Yacht Rock that the Kon-Tiki is famous for.

Nice to see Chris Day and Chris Parker and of course some of the Oakhana who were doing the indoor thing. After my second shot in a couple weeks, we’ll be indoors too.

New B-Rex Swag

So nice to see Brian and Mary Rechenmacher Trader Vic’s mini-Bazaar on Sunday. So many nice products, but I had to purchase the Collins glass set inspired by the Enchanted Tiki Room and also the cool new Camp Mug. Those are still available from the B-Rex store, so check it out and get those cool glasses and other items before they sell out.

It was so nice to have a quick toe-dip for indoor conversations and to check in with life changes and where everyone is heading. Thank goodness for the vaccines.

Woody Miller Art

Two of the treasures we picked up at the mini-bazaar at Trader Vic’s yesterday. These are from Woody Miller including a wood piece in his signature style. I really love the Moai-inspired mug with a wood style glaze.

Be sure to check out more of Woody’s art in the forthcoming issue of Exotica Moderne magazine, now available for pre-order at www.houseoftabu.com. Woody is the cover artist and I had the pleasure of interviewing Woody for the article. Some surprises inside.

Looks like we’ll be able to see more of Woody’s work at The Kon-Tiki Room at Palmetto in Oakland, opening very soon. Can’t wait.

With The Kon-Tiki Room opening in the same window as Woody’s cover story, everything is working out as Woody and I planned when we did the interview back in December. Yep, we totally planned this. No luck involved at all.

Sunday Mai Tai at Trader Vic’s

Mrs. Mai Tai and I took our adult sons to get their first COVID vaccine shots in the morning and then we arrived after noon for the Trader Vic’s Sunday Brunch and Mini-Bazaar. We had planned to just do shopping (more on that later) but we spotting a small table out on the patio and out of the sun and the staff was able to seat us without a reservation.

We enjoyed a light brunch, but what I really enjoyed was a freshly prepared Trader Vic’s Mai Tai. So frosty and refreshing. This is the best one so far in 2021.

Mrs Mai Tai enjoyed her Guava Mimosa, and it made a nice bubble bath for the Menehune!

So nice to see so many familiar faces at Vic’s today, some of which I know are toe-dipping back into group indoor dining. We will be in that place soon.

Best Mai Tai of 2021 (so far) at Tonga Hut

Mrs. Mai Tai and I spent Friday checking out antique and retro-modern stores in the Palm Springs area. We saw a lot of great stuff and further posts will detail the treasures we came home with.

For dinner we went to Lulu just around the corner from where we were staying downtown. We loved our meal and set the evening in motion with a couple cocktails (a Raspberry Lemon Drop for her and a Sidecar and Daiquiri for me). We like this restaurant and the patio dining was working very well.

We then took a stroll up the street for round at Tonga Hut. Knowing their house Mai Tai is a combo of Coruba and a light rum, I ordered it “with just Coruba and extra orgeat.” That was a fantastic Mai Tai, the best so far of 2021. Meanwhile Julie went with one of her favorites, the Macadamia Nut Chi-Chi. Very fast service at Tonga Hut this evening.

Our second round at Tonga Hut was taken to-go. Julie had the classic Bees Knees cocktail, quite well prepared. I wanted to try something different and tried the Mojave Punch that features Hibiscus syrup. That proved to be a good choice because I thought it was wonderful, leaning to the tart side but with a good flavor that worked great over ice.

Tonga Hut remains our recommended choice for Tiki Newbies in Palm Springs as it has a little bit of everything and the cocktails are usually pretty good. I didn’t love the heavy use of Beach Boys for the music being played, but that was our only gripe as our short visit was otherwise quite lovely.