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A stylish and contemporary sake lounge, SakaMai is the ultimate hangout place, for the neighbors of Lower East Side. Essentially a bar serving sake, which is Japanese rice wine, it also has a wide variety of Japanese dishes. Dimly-lit interiors and a fashionable decor, give this bar a modern, yet cozy ambiance. Voted as the best Asian restaurant of Manhattan in 2013, it serves authentic preparations like uni crostini, Shabu slider, Kanpchi, branzino confit and oyster rice pot. Apart from sake, there is a decent range of beverages for those who don't prefer to experiment with alcohol. Call ahead for reservations, or visit their website for more information.
Sake Bar Decibel is a hipster sake bar that brings everything cool and eclectic about Japanese culture and presents it in bar form. The basement interior is dark, sexy and filled with Japanese decorations. The extensive sake selection can be overwhelming, but the staff is friendly, knowledgeable and more than happy to point you in the right direction. Bar snacks include katsuo, udon or soba noodles, as well as shumai and various seaweeds and vegetables.
Sake Bar Satsko is a tiny delight in Alphabet City. Some delectable Asian fusion bites like the spicy tuna roll and Gyoza are available, but the reason to go to Satsko’s is sake. The friendly bartenders have a great knowledge of the over 20 varieties of sake offered from reasonably priced to high-end. It gets crowded, so get in early for a good table or seat at the tight bar. Plus, for those seeking to take it up a notch, try the sake bomb, which involves downing a full beer with a shot of sake dropped to the bottom.
Post Office is a small, intimate bar in Williamsburg that focuses on usquebaugh or what is called the water of life in Gaelic. The amount of choices on the menu is innumerable, and it is best to learn or know your whiskey before approaching the bar. From bourbon to single-barrel scotch, 10-year reserves, rye and other dark spirits, if you still can't decide, let the knowledgeable barkeeps assist you. Most of the whiskeys are from the States, however there are still some from Ireland and Scotland, of course.
From tofu, Saikoro steak and Surume Ika Yaki to the patent sake, you can get it all at Sakagura Restaurant. By now, you would have guessed that the restaurant serves traditional Japanese cuisine and of course, the staple rice-wine sake, without which the authenticity of the eatery would be incomplete. The place is known for being one of the best sake bars in the country, with a selection of over 200 varieties of sake that are imported from Japan. This beautifully decorated cozy joint serves green tea and it also has a fully stocked bar. However a meal here is not just about the star sake, but also the exquisite and delicious food that is perfectly prepared and plated, with dishes like the Salmon Sashimi with Roe on Rice and the Black Cod & Pickled Lotus, on the menu. Tasting events like the sake tasting dinner are frequently organized.