Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sakaoto, Yotsuya (日本酒BAR 酒音)

Someone's on the go. Part two of our Arakicho adventure...honestly, it was part 4 after we walked out of the first two places without ordering. Finicky we are.

This 'Sakaoto' place caught my eye on the first walk around the half-dozen blocks that make up Arakicho. It looked small, cute, maybe friendly, and after all it's self-described as a Nihonshu bar.

But it turns out to be weeeeeird, and is very much best left for those on expense accounts. I can't even bring myself to do the boilerplate text at the beginning.

The master focuses on vegetables from his wife's farm in Saitama, and also sake from that area. This means there will likely be a bunch of brands you've never heard of. It also means they may be more interesting than delicious, unless you really like old-fashioned sake. I think most foreign people find it confronting; I'm barely getting into it now - like room-temperature sake. For hard men it is.

You'll start with the vegetable plate in the back. It's not bad, but I feel you should know the charge will be Y1k. Also, there will be an unannounced Y500 charge per person for service.

Drinks are generally served in the 3-variety sets, sort of 1-go for Y980, which is toppy but OK since you get variety. If you choose not to get the set, pricing is quite punitive.

Actually, punitive pricing is the theme here. The smoked platter of the day comprised oysters, scallops, and tsubugai - that last a first for me. They were nice, but this was our second place of the night. We just finished up, got smacked in the face by the bill, and left.

Sometimes Tokyo tries my patience.

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