Food & Drink

Japan-style swilling in Lakeview

Endlessly quaffing the same booze day after day can leave your liver screaming...for variety! Expand your hammered horizons, at Shochu

A green-banquette'd joint from the Deleece peeps, Shochu claims to be America's first lounge exclusively dedicated to shochu -- a beverage that's wildly popular in Japan both for splitting the ABV difference between sake and vodka (it's 25%), and for being shockingly low in calories (shochu won't get fat). The hooch is distilled from various starches (barley, sweet potatos, etc), producing flavors ranging from the tequila-inflected Black Warrior to Kurouma Gold, which tastes like scotch, even though it sounds like something advertised in the back of High Times. The lounge is serving up 15-20 varieties of its namesake, neat, on the rocks, and in signature cocktails like the Yoshihito (abetted by kiwi, simple syrup, and lime), Kiyo (lychee, green apple, soda), and the sake- and triple-sec-fueled Genghis Khan -- because when your horde is overrunning two continents, you need three liquors in your pimp chalice

Grub-wise, Shochu's serving up "Asian-edged small plates" like ono avocado poke, crab/carrot/smoked-duck pate maki, and chicken wings w/ five sauces, ranging from a mild ginger shochu glaze to a habanero curry so blistering, even as your liver falls silent, other organs will take up its scream.