Upon returning home from the mist-shrouded island of Japan, knowledge-seekers often carry with them a mastery of the martial arts, the inner peace of Zen meditation, and various other useless crap. For more worthwhile Far Eastern booty, hit Shiso.
Shiso's a Japanese pub modeled after the cloistered, pocket-sized drinking holes the owner fell in love with while nightlife consulting in Tokyo; the name comes from both a Japanese herb, and an herb-inspired late-night bull session concerning "she's so fly", "she's so horny", and endless other declarations spun from those two magic syllables. Fittingly, there's no sign outside, while the dark, narrow, intimate interior's industrial/rustic with concrete and exposed brick, rough-hewn timber tables, and patent black leather couches; there's also a peppering of candles, bonsai, and art ranging from Japanese movie posters to a crucifix-toting, flower-eyed skeleton flashing a surprisingly nice rack (Day Of The Dead Gone Wild?). Booze consists of boutique wine, draft and bottled beer (from Sapporo and Morimoto to Bali Hai Lager, White Rascal Wheat Ale, and Arrogant Bastard Ale), and sake-based specialty cocktails like the "Shiso Fly" (sake with muddled blueberries, peaches, mint, agave nectar, and peach ginger tea) and another done with unfiltered milky sake, coconut milk, mango nectar, lychee juice, and muddled pineapples & strawberries, dubbed the "Pearl Necklace" (don't ask for it, just point at the menu).
Though drinking's the point, Shiso also features Japanese pub fare like a bevy of classic sushi choices (much of which is line-caught as opposed to netted), and several apps and entrees, the most flamboyant being the "Flaming Volcano": spicy tuna, asparagus, and scallion wrapped in avocado, covered in spicy mayo and snow crab, then engulfed in flames -- a dish so spectacular, you'll return home with the dazed look of no-eyebrows.