MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

KISUME

We like two things a lot:  Chef's Tasting menu's, and great japanese food and sake.  We found both and more at KISUME in Melbourne.  The atmosphere is chic and sophisticated, the bar has great cocktails, souchu, & sake, and the chef's table seats just 12--outstanding!  Take a look at a few of the items from the amazing tasting menu.  

BANGKOK, THAILAND

MORIMOTO

MORIMOTO does it again!  The Head Chef absolutely WOWED us with his omakase.  And the staff was outstanding-friendly, welcoming and very knowledgeable.  Having been to Morimoto in other parts of the world, Bangkok ranks at the very TOP both for freshness, food quality and chef presentation.

Fresh Uni from Japan

The most delicious and sweet tomatoes from Japan

Another dish by the Chef that was perfection

BANGKOK, THAILAND

GAGGAN

Tucked away on a side street in busy Bangkok sits GAGGAN, ranked the #1 restaurant in Asia and for obvious reasons - it's fantastic!  We sat at the chef's table for an amazing tasting menu and great wine pairing, leaving completely full & with big smiles on our faces.  It's worth a trip to Bangkok just to experience the restaurant - and go before they close their doors and Gaggan, the chef, starts something new in a different city (currently word on the street is Japan)

The menu--it's fun to try to figure out what you might be served!

Fois Gras, smashed pea & something else (can't remember) that you literally 'lick the plate'

A famous dish of a sphere of spiced yogurt - totally amazing when you enclose it in your mouth!

Uni perfected!

A rose-inspired dessert presented like a Disney-movie magical rose, & served while playing Seal's 'Kissed From A Rose'

Another delicious dessert served while Pink Floyd 'Dark Side Of The Moon' played loudly

HO CHI MIHN CITY, VIETNAM

The Huế House

Beautiful, rooftop setting for authentic, Vietnamese food like snails stuffed with snail meat, pork and lemongrass, delicious beef dishes, spring rolls and, of course, cold Saigon beer.  Loved every bite!

HO CHI MIHN CITY, VIETNAM

THE ROYAL PAVILION

Located inside the Reverie Hotel, The Royal Pavillion delivers a memorable Chinese cuisine experience in a beautiful setting.  Save room for dessert and have the most amazing pineapple custard buns!

Peking Duck Wrapped in Pancakes

Szechaun Style Fish

Bird's Nest Soup with Crab and Crab Row

Delicious Dessert of Chocolate Ball in Sesame Seed

Pineapple Custard Buns Paired with Late Harvest Sauterne - The Perfect Ending!

HO CHI MIHN CITY, VIETNAM

SUSHI REI

Wonderfully fresh and delicious sushi, sashimi and other Japanese dishes prepared in a small restaurant, counter setting in an unassuming and well-decorated space.  On the corner in an alley - a not to be missed for the food and drink.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA

THE ROGUE EXPERIENCE

Highly Engaging Experience for Customers and Chefs

A NOT-TO-BE-MISSED event happening in West Hollywood, CA...Wolfgang Puck's THE ROGUE EXPERIENCE.  Just read their vision to understand why you need to visit this exceptional experience in bloody good eats and drinks!   Accompany your dish with the perfect drink by allowing the team to pair your courses, and prepare to eat everything served...and I mean everything...except, of course, the plate.

At Rogue we transform the expected into something entirely new.

When we think beyond quality ingredients and technical expertise, we challenge expectation and push the boundaries for the future of food.

Located within Wolfgang’s experimental test kitchen, The Rogue Experience presents an untraditional tasting menu for eight guests a night.

“To be truly original is to question, to experiment, to imagine.” – Wolfgang Puck

SPOT PRAWN  - BRIOCHE  - ROE  - KUMQUAT

UNI - YUZU - UMEBOSHI - OSETRA

QUAIL - A LA BRASA - PLUM

LANGOUSTINE - BLACK SESAME - CELERY ROOT

 

 

Chef preparing his culinary work of art

BEEF CHEEK - MUSHROOM MARROW - BLACK TRUFFLE

PORK JOWL - SOFT EGG - GOCHUJANG

Just one of the many amazing chef's serving their delights

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

ABSINTHERIE

Step inside ABSINTHERIE in Prague and feel like you went back to the 1920's - jazz, booze, and absinthe!  This bar has 60 types of the best absinthe, and focuses on serving it the correct way.  Really cool experience, especially on a chilly day.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

V Zátiší restaurant in Prague was outstanding, from the Czech white wines to the excellent set courses of the Bohemian Christmas menu - a wonderful and highly memorable experience

Christmas creamy fish soup, marinated sturgeon and crispy vegetables

Fillet of pikeperch, caramelized onion, candied walnuts, apple vinnaigrette emulsion, potato fondant

Roasted quail breast marinated in mead

Goose breast, white cabbage with pears, homemade duck sausage, potato cakes with marjoram

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

TONKA

Tonka is a modern Indian restaurant just off Flinders Lane, down one of Melbourne’s iconic laneways, Duckboard Place.  The food, wine, cocktails and service are exceptional, and the twist on Indian food makes for a wonderful dining experience.

BATEMAN'S BAY, NSW, AUSTRALIA

ON THE PIER

Wonderful restaurant in the small town of Bateman's Bay in NSW, Australia.  Super fresh food, fun and friendly staff, and great local wines that won't hurt your wallet.  A gem!

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA

MATSUHISA

 

In this unpretentious, small little restaurant in Beverly Hills, (Chef Nobu's first), magic happens.  Delicious, fresh sushi and sashimi at Matsuhisa, as well as excellent drinks and sake, make this a great destination for lunch or dinner when in Los Angeles.  Sit at the bar with Chef Yoshi and tell him omakasi and let him serve you dishes you will never forget!

Crispy Rice with Tuna

Delicious Uni Dish

Sea bass with fois gras and mushroom

Deep fried uni wrapped in shiso leaf

And, to accompany the wonderful food at Matsuhisa, great sakes!

HONG KONG, CHINA

MOTT 32

Mott 32 is one of our FAVORITE restaurants!  The food is exceptional, including the dim sum, duck, and pork, and they have great cocktails and sake, too.  The location is cool, (under ground beneath a bank), and the interior is perfectly decorated.  You're sure to have a fantastic dining experience, all at a great price.

hot and sour iberico pork dumplings...yum!

fried frog legs, pepper, dried chili, black bean

slow cooked sticky iberico pork belly

HONG KONG, CHINA

BO INNOVATION

Chef Alvin Leung of BO INNOVATION has crafted some amazing and quirky twists on chinese food--and it works!  The food and the FUN and SURPRISING ways that it's presented make it a tasting menu to remember.  We were only given the option of two tasting menu's for dinner - red or blue, (no a la carte), so we picked blue as it had a few more tastes to enjoy.  It's expensive and $$$$, and sadly, the service didn't hold up to what we'd expect for a 3 star Michelin, BUT we are adding to our site because we can't deny the food was bloody good!

Child's Play - a playful approach to popular Hong Kong dishes

60000 a year. Hairy crab, aged chinkiang vinegar, ginger tea, served in a 'BOBO' baby food jar with a special child's spoon...you feel like a kid!

Dim Sum Extreme - caviar, taro, smoked quail egg, x-treme 'xiao long bao'

The Imperial Beggar Banquet - brittany blue lobster, sea urchin, hawthorn berry, green peppercorn, pineapple

Green Eggs and Magnolia Ham - century egg, magnolia ham, pickle ginger, chocolate

DOHA, QATAR

MORIMOTO, DOHA

A stunning restaurant and lounge with absolutely amazing food, MORIMOTO DOHA at the Mondrian Hotel is a #1 for us in Doha.  We started with Morimoto's signature Junmai sake, recommended by their outstanding sommelier.  Then, Master Sushi Chef Masaaki Kobayashi served us unforgettable omakase using fresh fish, shellfish, uni, octopus and more!  We ordered a few menu items, too, like a perfectly balanced white fish carpaccio, wonderful ramen-style chicken soup and uni carbonara...all delicious.  For the food, drink, ambiance and experience of Chef Massakisan, and the management of the entire restaurant led by GM Andre, this is hands-down the best Japanese we've had in Doha...and even a top-spot anywhere!

 

Mark & Jenn on cloud nine with a new FAVORITE restaurant in Doha!

DOHA, QATAR

CUT by Wolfgang Puck

CUT by Wolfgang Puck is a new and exciting restaurant at the Mondrian hotel in Doha and one that we will return to again and again.

We started at the bar at lunchtime while they prepared our room, enjoying some delicious, specialty cocktails and snacks, like the wagyu beef sliders, (which were the perfect 'small' size), and tempura onion rings cooked to perfection.  Later that evening, we returned for dinner and started with wagyu beef sashimi and a beet salad with goat cheese before ordering our main courses of goulash and grilled prawns.  Throughout our 3+ hours, the Sommelier was helpful and attentive, and suggested outstanding white wines (our preference) as well as a late-harvest wine to follow dinner.  We ended up enjoying dinner so much that we went again for lunch the following day.  Again, seated at the bar for cocktails, we ordered off the lunch menu, and the chef even agreed to specially make weinerschnitzle for Mark who was craving it, while I enjoyed a burrata salad and butter lettuce salad (pictured below).

The service, the quality of the meats, produce and food was some of the BEST in Doha, and the Sommelier, the bartenders, and the service from all the staff made it a 'go to' for us in the future...we already have another reservation this month!

DOHA, QATAR

MAGNOLIA BAKERY

Wonderful desserts and drinks at MAGNOLIA BAKERY at the Mondrian, Doha

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

DAI FORNI

Newly opened rooftop Italian restaurant, DAI FORNI, at the Four Seasons is excellent.  The chef, Sebastiano Spiveri, will ensure an experience you'll never forget (and that's not easy in a dry country when you can't even enjoy a delicious bottle of wine!)

DOHA, QATAR

HAKKASAN

We love the cantonese food at HAKKASAN at the St. Regis.  The food is excellent, the staff & service are outstanding, and they mix some great cocktails.  Try the Friday Brunch with Peking Duck.

 

 

DOHA, QATAR

SHANGHI CLUB

Shanghai Club at Shangri-La - excellent!  Outstanding dim sum, specialty dishes, wines, cocktails & service.  A favorite in Doha

DOHA, QATAR

MARKET BY JEANS GEORGE

Market by Jeans George at W, Doha is consistently good, whether it's Friday's massive and delicious brunch, or cocktails & a la carte

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Almost 100% of everything we ate or drank in Stockholm was a culinary hit.  There are so many great options, but here were our absolute favorite bloody good eats and drinks!

#1:  EKSTEDT in Stockholm

At EKSTEDT, with just a fire pit, a wood fired oven, and a wood stove, you'll be blown away by the magic of the courses...sit at the counter watching the chefs if you can, in the heat of the action!

#2:  FEM SMÅ HUS in Gamla Stan, Stockholm

Enjoy a wonderful meal at FEM SMÅ HUS, Swedish cuisine with a French touch in a stunning historical setting.

#3:  WEDHOLMS FISK, Stockholm, Sweden

WEDHOLMS FISK opened in 1985 and is one of Stockholm's most famous seafood restaurants.  Fresh and seasoned/cooked to perfection, and outstanding wine list

#4:  MATBAREN, Stockholm, Sweden

MATBAREN by Mathias Dahlgren is a modern bistro using the very best of fresh seasonal produce.  Dishes are medium-sized, perfect to share, and wine and cocktails are excellent...worth the visit!

#5:  STUREHOF, Stockholm, Sweden

Many of the items on the menu at STUREHOF'S  – such as Bouillabaisse, Sotare (grilled Baltic Herring), strömming (small fried Baltic herring), & the daily selection of other Swedish husmanskost (traditional fare) – date back to the restaurant’s century-long history...incredible

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU in Los Angeles - the flavors are unreal! Small, share plates are just the right size.  Loved the razor clams, frogs legs, veal sweetbread and stracciatella cheese...and unique cocktails.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

SHINO SUSHI+KAPPO

One of our FAVORITE Sushi Spots in San Diego is SHINO SUSHI+KAPPO.  A student of Chef Ota, Chef Robert is a masterful sushi chef with top-quality offerings, great ambiance and good sake, too.

HERMOSA BEACH, CALIFORNIA

BARAN'S 2239

If you're in Los Angeles, dine at Baran's 2239 and make sure you come again and try their particularly GREAT brunch!  Talented chef cooks fresh, from-scratch creations and they have great beer and wine, too.

MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIFORNIA

LOVE AND SALT

Everything is perfect at LOVE AND SALT in Manhattan beach, from the friendly staff (including the chef), to the off-the-charts great food and drink.  With 48 hr advance notice enjoy a half pig's head..it's unbelievably delicious!

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

BAUHAUS

BAUHAUS in Vancouver is wonderful.  Sit at the bar, look in to the kitchen and do the Chef's tasting menu!  Add an awesome schitnzel!

POSITANO, AMALFI COAST, ITALY

RADA

The Amalfi Coast is awesome and this is a unique spot to dine on outstanding Mediterranean and Italian delights, built above a cave on the ocean.  Visit RADA for a wonderful dinner.

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

SUSHI OTA

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SUSHI OTA is consistently outstanding.  An engaging, fun and outstanding Chef, Ota offers the most delicious and FRESH selections, of sushi and sashimi, prepared in both traditional and innovative ways.

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GARDENA, CALIFORNIA

SANUKI NO SATO

We crave SANUKI NO SATO, especially their udon noodle soup and mentaiko!  Everything is delicious and traditional.

REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA

SUSHI CHITOSE

Fresh, quality sushi at SUSHI CHITOSE in Redondo Beach.  Do Omakase (chef's choice)...amazing value and even more amazing food!  If you can sit with Gen at the bar

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Q

Chef Hiro at Q in Los Angeles will impress you with authentic and traditional sushi and sashimiq

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

MEZE

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MEZE Greek Fusion in the Gaslamp, San Diego is the best greek in town.  And, grab a glass of Ozu 12 on the rocks

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BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA

SPAGO

SPAGO Beverly Hills is worth it!  The chef's tasting menu was outstanding and far more than the 8-courses we paid for with the amuse-bouche, and even had a kitchen tour.  4 out of 5 for the value!

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

TOJO

tojo

Vancouver has amazing restaurants and TOJO'S is one of the best!  Chef Tojo will make a menu personalized for you as you enjoy his omakasi and relax with great food, sake and service.  Wonderful!

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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

PIER CHIC

Delicious seafood and great views at PIER CHIC, Dubai.

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TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA

MUSHA

There's something for everyone at MUSHA in torrance (and one in Santa Monica, too).  Small table top grills are excellent, and the risotto served from a giant block of cheese is outstanding!  Have a beer or sake, too - or soucho or plum wine.  Fun!

 

 

REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA

KURISAKI

Chef Kurisaki

Professional Chef Kurisaki at KURISAKI will surely impress with his years of training in Tokyo and with Nobu at Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills--fresh and outstanding fish and other Japanese treats!

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

ROBATAYA OTON

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robataya-oton-food

Make a reservation and crawl in to your private booth behind curtains...leave your shoes outside!  Traditional sukiyaki prepared right at your table - cozy, fun and delicious ROBATAYA OTON.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

COWBOY STAR

cowboy-star

One of our favorite restaurants in San Diego - COWBOY STAR in the East Village.  Fresh, seasonal cuisine and the best steaks.  If you can try the local corn bisque pictured left - awesome!

TRASTAVERE, ROME, ITALY

GLASS HOSTARIA

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Book your reservation at GLASS HOSTARIA in the hip area of Trastavere, Rome, Italy, and meet Chef Cristina Bowerman who hails from the U.S.A.

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ROME, ITALY

LA ROSETTA

Fresh and Authentic Italian seafood at LA ROSETTA, Rome.  Be sure to make a reservation!

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 SAN DIEGO, CA

RAKI RAKI

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We crave RAKI RAKI Ramen & Tsukemen in San Diego...it's that good.  We prefer the location on convoy street.

 LITTLE TOKYO, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

MARUGAME MONZO

Handmade udon noodles, great broth, incredible toppings and sake and beer - you can't go wrong at LA Little Tokyo's MARUGAME MONZO.  Get there before they open if you don't want to wait a while but the wait is worth it!

Mentai Squid Butter Udon - WOW!

MONTEMERANO, TUSCANY, ITALY

DA CAINO

If you're in Tuscany, Italy, visit DA CAINO in Montemerano.  Michelin star and celebrated Gran Chef Valeria will make you fall in love with Tuscany even more. Book a room ABOVE the restaurant (La Locanda) and never worry about drinking wine and driving!

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MAUI, HAWAII

MALA OCEAN TAVERN

MALA OCEAN TAVERN in Lahaina has fantastic food.

Chef recommended a whole fresh fish

for the table to share.  Amazing.

Try the oyster shooters, too.

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

UMU

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UMU London - Kyoto inspired michelin star restaurant - fantastic!

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

BUDDAKAN

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BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA

BOUCHON

Chef Thomas Keller's traditional French bistro BOUCHON is bloody good!

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PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

OSAWA SHABU SHABU AND SUSHI

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Local fresh authentic Japanese cuisine-OSAWA SHABU SHABU AND SUSHI  in Pasadena

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MANCIANO, TUSCANY, ITALY

LA FILANDA

If you're in Tuscany and in the hilltop town of Manciano, eat and drink wine at LA FILANDA with Chef Barbara

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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

AL MAHARA

Award winning seafood at AL MAHARA in the Burq al Arab.  The ambiance is very unique sitting beside a very LARGE aquarium!

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PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

LVI DVUR

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When in Prague, dine at LVI DVUR in the Hradcany district of Prague (Prague Castle), and make sure to order a suckling pig which is outstanding!

 TOKYO, JAPAN

GONPACHI

GONPACHI in Tokyo's Roppongi district has great food and also is famous for a fight scene in KILL BILL.

When I was in Tokyo, I had a great time out with Altus! He stayed with me here in Austin, and we were able to meet up for a fun time of photography out in Tokyo. That's one of the BEST things about having a blog, I must say! It gives me the chance to meet all kinds of nice people like YOU that extend gracious invitations for photography! After dark, Altus took me to this cool restaurant. The manager was very nice and let us sit where we wanted and then a carte-blanche for taking photos. He asked if I would send him photos and if I charge... and I told him no... I do this stuff for fun! So, we have a smart and well-movied community here - who can tell me the name of this restaurant? Peachpit definitely has the sample from my book up on their website now. Just click on "Sample Content" and you'll be in good shape. There are some very good tips just in that 20 pages! :) from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

SHAN XI MAGIC KITCHEN

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SHAN XI MAGIC KITCHEN on Convoy in San Diego is casual and good tasting!  Authentic, wonderful flavors and everything, including noodles and dumplings, made fresh!

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

YOKOHAMA YAKITORI KOUBOU

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Grab a saki or a soju cocktail and enjoy authentic, bar-style yakatori and other japanese food at YOKOHAMA YAKITORI KOUBOU!  And, you'll still have money in your wallet

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

CAFE CHLOE

Delicious CAFE CHLOE, East Village, San Diego

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Head's up:  Wine and Beer Only (great wine list!)

 

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REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA

CHEZ MELANGE

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Locally sourced and seasonal ingredients at CHEZ MELANGE.  They craft a daily changing menu of world cuisine and really good brunch!

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TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA

KAGURA

Outstanding tonkatsu japanese cutlet cuisine and other excellent dishes at KAGURA.  Great sake selection, too

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LOMITA, CALIFORNIA

HIKARI

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Rush to HIKARI in Lomita, CA if you are in town - high quality cuts of meat to grill yourself, and excellent sake list

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 SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

STREETCAR MERCHANTS

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Best fried chicken in the west at STREETCAR MERCHANTS in North Park, San Diego.  The highest quality free range chicken from Lousiana and expect to wait - this isn't fast food...it's awesome, especially good 'ol southern fried.  They also have crazy, cool and yummy homemade donuts that look great (sorry, we haven't tried)

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 SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

BESHOCK

BESHOCK is a great restaurant and the owner is also a Sake Master so you'll get an amazing selection, including flights, and help if you need it.  We loved everything and favorites were koji chicken karaage and the spicy miso ramen-both excellent!

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