Monday, April 20, 2009

Akitabare Suirakuten

While I visited some close family in San Jose, I also was researching how to transform my beer brewing experience into a new sake making adventure. While on my search I discovered the Koji Sake Lounge in downtown San Jose. Always enthusiastic for opportunities to expand my horizons I convinced some family to go with me to the lounge.

It was a lovely urban style lounge with metro art style furnishings and newage meets french music. The metro tram would periodically visit the front entrance for that extra special downtown feel. The owner, I think, was a very beautiful and very hospitable Japanese-American lady whom responded to my email inquiries.

We started our experience with the eastern flight of sake followed by the western flight. With each glass we fancied ourselves with a game of judging. Each of us drank our sake left to right waiting on the first sample of each glass in anticipation for the other to be ready. Will the next one trump the previous? To our delight, there is a great variety in the bar's selection of samples. In the midst of the sake we enjoyed many superb appetizers especially the salt and pepper edamame, tuna tartar and salmon hand rolls which were rolled with what could best be described as a seaweed snack for a very nice and slightly spicy touch.

We topped the evening off with a bottle of the Akitabare Suirakuten. "Heaven of Tipsy Delight", which words simply could not describe. If I were to attempt to describe this sake I would use words like "mist from a fresh mountain waterfall", "fields of cherry trees" and "airy mists of an angel's feathers". In all seriousness, my nose could not escape the gentle and refreshing fragrance of this sake. I pondered each drop til the last wondering what form of craft created this delicate and completely fulfilling drink. It is simply an experience words alone cannot capture.

To all who visits San Jose, please do yourself the favor and make time for this place.