Soga's/2007

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These were reviews of Soga's starting in July, 2007 when a new General Manager was hired, up until late 2008 when the restaurant closed for good.


2007-07-01 02:29:36   There is no other bar in Davis that more closely resembles a fraternity party. If you're a girl, only go if you like being 'approached' by random guys. The use of personal fans rather than industrial illustrates their lack of care for their customers and only helps circulate the humid, B.O. stained air. I find their Grey Goose rack to be a laugh riot. Since Cantina del Cabo closed, Soga's has gotten quite a bit more shady. —MichaelAWoods


2007-07-28 20:11:47   Several years ago Soga's used to be THE place to have a swanky meal with your significant other or an upscale lunch with colleagues, but now their food is consistently poor (though it is still expensive). I have eaten both lunch and dinner at Soga's in the past year and everyone at my table was unhappy with their food. Service has always been slow but now, combined with bad food and high prices, Soga's has really gone to the dogs. I wouldn't eat here unless the food was FREE and I was starving. —GradStudent06


2007-07-31 22:07:24   I actually HATE this restaurant. The service is horrible, I waited easily over twenty minutes for my salad and beverage and shockingly, over an hour for a medium cooked $36.00 dollar steak. My boyfriend ordered pasta that was over cooked and tasted like ocean. The manager was a sarcastic unhelpful rude man who tried to apologize (after i complained twice) with a free desert. To make things worse, after i waited out my order, i found a huge THICK black hair intertwined in my mashed potatoes and tucked under my dry steak. The place probably had at most 5 other tables to serve and they never came to fill my water. This was actually the worst most disappointing meal i've ever eaten. I left in a horrible mood. I wouldn't eat here ever again. Not even if it was free. The food tasted like pre-packaged "just add water" instant mush. I'm not a cheep person, and i'm more then happy to pay extra money for a quality meal. But there is absolutely no way you could ever get me to go there again. —zoe


2007-08-01 10:17:50   Soga's is a fun place to go out for the evening, but on many occasions I have waited for 20 + minutes to be served a drink from the bar. When is is less crowded, the bar service is great but when crowded the arrangement makes it difficult to get to the bar. —Furly707


2007-08-05 20:22:12   As far as the dance club goes... drinks are expensive and lines are long. I think they have professional dancers there a few nights a week now and when they do there is a cover for non-students. Sean and John are two of the best bartenders in Davis though, and a few of the bouncers (Josh, Sully?) are awesome. The others are dicks but I can see why with how people treat them at the door concerning the line and cover. It's a crazy place since Cantina closed, I'd go to Bistro or Sofia's instead but it seems like everyone just goes to Soga's to "make an appearance" anyways. —MCB2009


2007-08-07 10:23:47   We had dinner at Soga's twice before they changed owners and had the most memorable experiences. We don't eat at expensive restuarants very often, so dinner at Soga's should have been a treat. This was not the case. We should have taken a clue from there being no one else in the restuarant. Under the previous ownership it was tough to get a table without a reservation. The wine selection was excellent, the bread was stale, even though I was assured that it had been baked this morning. The rib eye steak was 40% grissle, the almond sole was good, but the rissoto was going. I would give the meal a b-. The bathroom was disgustingly dirty, any fast food restuarant has a cleaner bathroom and the manager would not even listen to my complaint, he just assured me that it was cleaned today. —stephaniesherlock


2007-08-18 15:09:01   Do not go to this place! The bouncer, Josh at the door is a jerk! My friend and I were both treated really badly on several different occasions. I was told that my id was fake. He put it in his pocket and told me to get the hell out of there. He had a scanner inside the restuarant but instead of scanning it, before making assumptions, he told me to get out of his face. I needed my id but he wouldnt give it back. My id was not fake by the way! I am 22 years old and have been going to sogas regularly to dance on friday nights. Also, when my boyfriend tried to tell him it wasnt fake and try to talk to him about it, Josh began to grab him pushing him away without reason. I will not be going there again and i suggest if you want to have a fun, no drama night to not go there either. —sarahm


2007-08-18 15:17:20   If you want to be treated like a human being, DO NOT go to Sogas. The new owners and bouncer are young and inexperienced. They could care less about their customers and care only about making a profit. I've gone few times at night to dance and had horrible experiences every single damn time. The bouncer JOSH, is a total ass, and is on a powertrip. He has being disrespectful to me and my friends on many occasions, for no reason at all!! Save your money and go to clubs in sac..i refuse to go out in davis, if i'm treated like unfairly at sogas. PLUS..the go go dancers are just nasty and makes the place cheap and shady, and the place is too small anyways! —sassyf


2007-08-31 19:51:51   I tried Soga's for dinner tonight and was sorely disappointed. We arrived at 6:30 on a Friday night and no one was in the restaraunt, nor did anyone come the whole time we were there. I ordered the seared ahi which was mealy and tough, and my date ordered grouper-glorified fish and chips. The vodka tonic was sub-par too! When we paid, the server ran the credit card for $8 more than the bill, or roughly 15% of the bill. When we questioned her she said that she'd put a bar drink on our table. How does someone do that in an empty restaurant?? Seemed shady to me. All in all, I'd like to forget the experience. —MonicaB


2007-09-04 18:37:49   Don't order a salad here unless you want to get a pile of iceberg lettuce for $10. The Ahi tuna was not bad, however, we were ignored (while dressed up, go figure) when we ate here so we ate once and that's it. Food's better elsewhere, and drinking and dancing is better elsewhere too. —KarlMogel


2007-10-25 21:05:10   EEW. Sogas is gross. never been there to eat, but judging by the reviews, i don't think i will. i've gone to sogas at night to drink waayy too many times (victim of peer pressure), and ALL of the bouncers are powertripping assholes. they have no appreciation for their customers, and don't expect any breaks for being a regular or a hot girl. once inside, you'll be greeted with wet stinky air, girls dressed up for no reason (come on, it's davis, i go out in my sweatpants), creepy frat guys, ghetto people grinding on the makeshift dancefloor, broke looking gogo dancers (who can't dance) on certain nights (they dance on plywood platforms. i'd be offended if i was a go go dancer and was asked to dance on shit like that. i'd also be sad if the only place i could get a gig at was sogas :[), the place is crowded to the point of being stuck suspended in a sea of sweaty kids and bad cologne with no way to get out, and why it's so crowded beats me. the music is bad (top 20 songs over and over and over and over....) and it's near impossible to get a drink or anywhere near the bar in a timely fashion. the bar is always dirty, so remember not to touch it. long lines for the bathrooms, and hmmm, lets see, what else.... oh, the drinks have gotten smaller and smaller and weaker since i've been going, and they stay the same price. so it taks 15 minutes to get through the people to the bar, another 15-20 for a spot at the bar, 5-10 to order your drink, and all you get is a six ounce plastic cup filled with ice and a little bit of drink. two minutes later, you do the same thing all over again. don't be fooled by the "club feel" of this place, it's far from a club, it's a SMALL RESTURANT trying to be a club. very tacky. —Lisa


2007-11-08 19:02:50   This place is tolerable, but since the change in ownership/management, it's gotten horrible. The bouncers and bartenders are powertripping jerks no matter how you look at it. They think they're gods but they're just pretty pathetic. Service is horrible. I went in early one night to sit at the bar. I was alone sitting at the bar waiting to be served when someone else walked in. The bartender passed me over and went immediately to him and I got up and left. I tried again about a week later. It was busy but I managed to get a drink after standing at the bar being ignored for about 20 minutes. I ordered a martini (EVERYTHING in this place is expensive and low quality - that should be enough to keep you from coming here aside from the horrible service) and I got it in like, a SHOT GLASS! I wanted to turn around and ask what it was but I was already in the middle of an immovable group of loud sweaty drunks. I also ordered a Guinness and he poured it from the tall can into a little plastic cup and kept the rest behind the counter...I didn't even get the whole beer! Why compromise the dignity of your restaurant on something so ridiculous!? When I tried to complain (nicely) to the manager, he got defensive and didn't address the issue at all, just screamed about how they were too busy to concentrate on providing customer service to everyone. I was pissed but I kind of just laughed at him and left. Oh and the one time I ate here, the food was expensive and crappy (like everyone else said) but my friend got a caesar salad with chicken, and they didn't put chicken breast in it. Instead they put dark meat trimmings and fat! So sad for the manager he's obviously not a businessman and it's only a matter of time before management changes again. I hope this helps. —dvntboy


2007-11-12 10:08:15   After returning to Sogas after my previous visit, I must say that the bouncers and bartenders are definitely one of the low points of the place. They are all hyped up on muscle milk and roids and seem to think they are god's gift to the earth. It would be nice if they showed a little more customer appreciation, because after all, the customers are who will determine the success of the business. Acting like you are doing me a favor by letting me drink at your bar is not a good approach; mind you there are several others to choose from within walking distance. The fact that you can dance at sogas is the only thing keeping me coming back, because the service is terrible. If Cantina was still open I would go there, and the Grad is too far out of the way, so Sogas wins my bueinss by DEFAULT. - Jeremiah —Furly707


2007-11-27 09:29:29   This place has the worst service imaginable! Mainly the Manager, Cliff, he is a despicable creature and I have no idea how he ever got the manager position at what is supposed to be an "upscale" restaurant. He is more suited for Plainfield Station or the graveyard shift at Denny’s in West Sac. The last time I went there with my sister on a Saturday night and we both ran tabs at the bar, at the end of the night they charged both tabs on my card as well as charged my sister. When I called the manager to explain my dilemma he immediately became defensive and hung up on me. So we went in to try to fix it, he again was rude and didn’t help us at all. A week later and they still had not reversed the charges and by now I had noticed that the sneaky little bartender had illegally added $10.00 for a tip on one of the tabs. I finally went down there and patiently waited for 2 hours to get these charges reversed while Cliff told me to wait and then completely ignored me. When I finally stood up and asked him what the hell was going on he started screaming in my face and kicked me out. Finally the professional and nice head bartender John came and explained what was happening and reversed the charges no problem. I will never, never, never come back to this establishment again. I suggest that you keep a close eye on your bill and steer clear of the white trash manager who was obviously born in a barn to convict parents. This was worst experience I have ever had at any place of business ever. Make sure to tell your friends. —desmqh


2007-12-15 02:07:14   ugh. there are the most disgusting guys ever at sogas. some guy tried to put his hands up my shirt and i was barely even dancing with him. i wasnt even giving him a hint of wanting to dance with him. they put water in their drinks and charge the most. there should be a screening for the people they let in there! —JackkiCox


2007-12-19 06:40:58   You know…Its too bad when Matt Soga SOLD Soga's Restaurant which he had to almost 18 years the new owners kept the same name of the Restaurant. Now that he has left and pursued business elsewhere, judging from your peoples reviews looks like it has gone way down hill. And so would most any establishment in a college town like Davis that has a full bar and lets in any drunken Frat boy that just discovered the effect of alcohol in to spend their parent money (remember the Paragon bar incident?). In its day Soga was the top-notch California Cuisine Restaurant to go to and catered to many of Davis’s professors, lawyers, doctors, and anyone else that wanted to fine dine. So before you go and bash the name of “Soga’s”, check yourself and recognize that this is under new owner ship that has obviously dropped the ball and direct your complaints to them. —Dirk-Diggler


2007-12-30 22:22:34   I used to frequent Soga's regularly. Back in the day it was a fabulous place to eat, drink and hangout with friends. It was also an excellent date spot. At any rate, I ate there a few nights ago with some friends. I was expecting the worst from all the negative reviews, but it was not bad at all. Service was courteous, prompt and attentive. The drinks were great. Food was excellent. There were six of us at dinner and everyone enjoyed their meals. My only real complaint is against the bread. Soga's used to have tasty bread. I mean ridiculously awesome bread. Now they serve dry, stale, tasteless rolls. New Owners: Please bring back the rockin' bread! —CurlyGirl26


2008-01-29 12:18:10   Whos that new black bartender??? DAMN!!!!! —RayLo23


2008-02-03 20:53:08   Music is good but to be honest the DJ needs to up his musical skills:

1) play more mainstreamers mixed with old school crowd pleasers ( MJ, Sweet Home Alabama, Baby Got Back, etc....)

2) no repeats

3) songs that get girls up and dancing w/o getting humped by nasty ass boys! Ya heard!

Otherwise it's a slammin place to be Thurs-Sat.


2008-02-05 09:25:11   We ate at Soga's last night and the experience was mixed. The cheese-and-berries appetizer was excellent. I ordered a pasta with crab that looked interesting; it was okay but not great. Some of the other main courses at our table looked very good, but it may be easier to succeed with big-meat dishes. Moreover, the meat-dominated specials were very expensive. I had the creme brulee for dessert; it was okay but overcooked. Actually they were out of the dessert that I picked first; in any case the dessert menu was okay but somehow lacked excitement. (Three of the desserts were chocolate cake, cheesecake, and chocolate-cheese cake.) The waiters were entirely polite, but they forgot a salad and had to be reminded; they forgot a tea and we didn't bother reminding them.

And what happened to the web site for Soga's? Fine-dining restaurants should put their menus on the web.

When I moved here in 1996, Davis only had room for two true fine-dining restaurants, Soga's plus one other place. Now Soga's must compete with Osteria Fasulo, Seasons, and Tucos. You can't expect any of them to be perfect and I respect all of them. But the competition is stiff. They should strive for perfection, while the new Soga's seems content with good enough.


2008-02-14 11:28:30   I was at soga's last night, and there was a guy saying he's the owner of the bar. I just wonder if the owner is named Brian. I know there's anything could happen in bars, but claiming the ownership of a bar is pretty random. —helhng


2008-02-26 10:45:29   The only place in town to go if you'd like to be hit on and taken advantage of by the 52 year old owner, Cliff Mohr. He has repeatedly had his bartenders make strong drinks for girls he is talking to, because this scumbag is either unwilling to try to get sober girls, or unable to. If your ideal Saturday night involves having creepy old men pump strong drinks into you and then make out with you while your passed out, then Soga's is the place for you. If you have an ounce of class or self respect, find another bar.


2008-03-06 16:51:31 Cliff is NOT the owner and has been nothing short of VERY nice to me and my friends. He has PERSONALLY given three drunk girlfriends of mine rides home and was a gentleman. They have changed the ENTIRE bouncer staff and made a big effort to make the place better in every way. Before you judge the place by a few people check them out and you will se they are wrong to slam the place. Oh, the plastic glasses they use for the club are the SAME size they use for drinks during the day. They use plastic glasses do people do not break a galss when they are drunk and cut someone bad. —ojdavis


2008-03-06 16:53:43 Soga's was also just nominated as one of the three best places to dance by The Aggie Newspaper and one of the Best Restaurants in the Sacramento area by KCRA TV 3. Those are not easy nominations to come by. If you have any suggestions stop and talk to Cliff and he WILL listen to you. They will have a website up next week. —ojdavis


2008-03-07 12:31:29   I feel I must address some of the things said about me on this website. I am NOT the owner and have NEVER told anyone I am. I NEVER get girls drunk and would NOT even think of doing any such thing EVER. I take pride in Soga's and try to make sure everyone has a good time when they come in. I have given many people rides home after the club closes to make sure they get home safely. If you doubt this, come and talk to me instead of listening to these lies other people say about me. The girl who was accidentally double charged was not handled well by either me or her. I told her on a Monday I needed both receipts to fix her problem. She came back on a Thurs day yelling at me to fix it and she had given me only one receipt. She then produced the other receipt and I offered her the cash and she then said she needed a credit to her debit card. I called John, the bartender in to fix the problem. This takes a LONG time and she became belligerent to me and started to yell at me in the front of the restaurant. I then did lose my temper and yelled back at her and I am sorry. John was able to give her a credit and we did NOT charge her credit card ANY additional money after her bill was closed out. In fact it is impossible to do so as our computers do not have that capability once a bill has been closed.The things people say about me are VERY uncalled for and are VERY close to libel and slander. I strongly suggest you remove them or I will take legal action . If you do not believe what I am saying, come in and talk to me in person. —cliff


2008-03-07 16:34:24   If Soga's is so bad why is it so damn crowded? —AliceChoe


2008-03-07 20:06:12   I hate Soga's (bar) as much as the next guy, but I sometimes find myself there. Due to its former popularity, people still feel the need to go there, if only to stop by for a single drink. Not long ago, I made one of those forgettable visits to Sogas. It wasn't extremely crowded, but the air was still clouded in sweat vapor. Anyway, I forgot to close my tab before moving on to another bar. The next day I went back to close my tab and pick up my card. I ran in to ask for it, and the same bartender who had helped me the night before took a look around the bar for a couple minutes and said that he couldn't find it. He shurgged and suggested I call to cancel it and get a new card. I was shocked. I had to wait to get the attention of another bartender who took another look around, but with the same result. They lost my debit card! No apology, nothing. What's even worse is that they somehow were still able to charge me for the transaction! With all these "transaction" issues, it seems like thats a problem with either one of their bartenders or the management. I think it's sad that one of Davis' finest restaurants has become a dirty, unruly night spot.

Oh, and for the other people leaving comments - PLEASE refrain from stereotyping people. Talking about "Ghetto people" and generalizing "Frat guys" makes you sound stupid. —AndrewBianchi



2008-03-15 13:35:27   I really hate Soga's. The lines for drinks are long, the crowds are impenetrable, the music is obnoxious, and drinks are expensive. Also, everything in the place looks like it's been rubbed with ham, or is as stained as a mattress in a by-the-hour motel. —JoePomidor


2008-03-17 17:47:13   Do the changes in hours mean that Soga's no longer offers lunch? —ElleWeber


2008-03-19 18:22:18   Soga's is closed for lunch temporarily and is remodeling the kitchen. —cliff


2008-03-21 11:24:59   I guess being a 50-something gives me a different perspective than all the college kids. My wife and I enjoy stopping by in the early evening for a drink and the Ahi Tuna. The blended marguitas are excellent, perhaps the best in town, the bartender is helpful and competent and the tuna is great. —JimStewart


2008-03-21 17:26:22   I've never been to Soga's for dinner, I'll have to try it sometime. The head bartender John Michael (name ?) is very professional and helpful. While the nightclub/bar at Soga's is not my scene, when I walk by it's always crowded. Not to stereotype- this IS true, Soga's at night is very popular with the Greek crowd (here & Froggy's). There are also a number of guys that tend to hang around the dance floor just watching people, giving off a creepy vibe. But for the most part, it seems that people are having a pretty good time. I'm going to have to stick up for the doormen a little, I know they can be assholes, but you have to imagine all the drunk people stumbling in the bar, all the under 21's who use their older friends' IDs, and the fake ID's they have to deal with every single night. They do have a liquor license on the line. You know what you're coming for when you to go Soga's at night, go to Sophia's if you want a calm, nice place to enjoy a drink with a friend. Oh, and there's sometimes a cash only bar on the patio, which is actually very nice (you can avoid long lines & some of the crowd).


2008-03-27 21:24:45   Was at Soga's last night (3/26/08) and saw a rat. Don't think I will be visiting again. —stevie13


2008-04-21 22:32:39   Cliff seems to spend more time monitoring his Davis Wiki page than running Sogas. Also, I sincerely hope he tries to "take legal action," because I know everything I have written on this page is true. I'd like to see him chase his tail filing a libel lawsuit against someone who has witnesses to completely corroborate what they're saying. I could use the laugh. —KelliDorey


2008-05-09 19:44:07   Soga's has definitely gone farther and farther downhill. It used to be packed on Friday/Saturday nights. When I pass by there now, it's completely empty. They gotta listen and apply the comments people have made. —UCD4thyr


2008-08-01 05:24:27   What was the fight about amongst the workers at Sogas tonight? —AlXBoi


2008-09-29 10:00:57   My wife and were going to try Soga's last night, but instead elected for Chipotle after passing by a completely empty Soga's. Bored chefs.. Never good —Aggieanthony

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