When considering sake at the liquor store, you're confined to simple, Goldilocks-like options: the airplane bottle (too small), the cloudy bottle (too spermy), and the cheap, massive bottle (this one's juuust right). Adding some pleasant complications to your decision: Sakaya, opening Saturday.
The first all-sake shop in NYC, Sakaya's the work of a former Food & Wine assoc. publisher who was trained by the world's foremost non-Japanese sake expert (an Englishman -- basically the Steve Nash of rice wine). The space (designed by the guys who did Momofuku) is a sleek, wood-panelled boutique, with bottles lovingly displayed inside recessed shelves -- the kind of presentation Cyberdyne Systems would've used, if sake had the potential to wipe out mankind. Variety-wise, they'll open with 85 brands (eventually 200+) and include all grades, from the cheapest junmai to the choicest daiginjo: ($163), translated as "Green River", because "Down on the Corner" was already taken by Boone's Farm.
To familiarize you with the dizzying selection, Sakaya will set out 8-10 open bottles every day, from which you're free to take a taste -- after which you'll fall asleep, and get eaten by bears.