Those whose primary goal at sushi restaurants is to do nothing but drink sake dishonor the delicate art of Japanese cuisine -- then again, maybe it's Japanese cuisine that dishonors the delicate art of doing nothing but drinking sake. Get your delicate art on, at Sharaku Sake Lounge
Opened quietly by the owner-chef of two-doors-down Yutaka Sushi Bistro and marked only by a small red logo, Sharaku's a cozy haven for those who value wining over dining; walk past the staff-built, door-guarding rice-paddy dioramas and you'll find space decked out with tar-smeared brick walls, sleek square leather & wicker seating, a granite-top bar, an under-a-Plexiglass-floor rock garden, and a reservation-only loft with plush, low-slung furnishings and horizontal, twig-lined view slits. Twenty sakes are on offer -- four by pour, seven by bottle, nine by both -- with more to be added weekly, all listed by brewer, type (Nigori, Junmai, Junmai Ginjo, etc), origin and a bitterness/sweetness rating (+16 Kariho Namahage = sharp like whiskey; -65 Ichinokura Himezen = tart like a Gummi bear); prices start with hot Gekkeikan & Kobe-sourced Hakutsuru and move up to the $108/bottle Ishikawa-made Tedorigawa Iki na Onna, or "Lady Luck", presumably because any woman who sees you pay for it will instantly become very friendly. Specialty cocktails include three saketinis, the Pineapple Delight (juice fermented in sake for 4-5 days), and a sake mojito; 17 wines and eight Japanese beers are also available, including the lager-style Asahi Black, which Wesley Snipes always bets will soon dominate Japan's burgeoning craft beer market
Grub veers toward finger food like bistro-sourced sushi rolls, Kumamoto oysters, salmon & toro tartare, "Moro Q" (Japanese cucumber w/ Moromi miso spread), and flounder chips: sea-salted flash-fried fish balls, a delicate snack that dishonors your pledge to never eat balls.