Shochusday
EDITED May, 10, 2016 to update schedule and locations. As I promised, exciting things are happening here at Kampai.US for 2016 and beyond. First off, “Shochu Tuesday” is no longer. Not only does that limit us to Tuesday, but it’s also not a particularly clever name. Fortunately, my Japanese shochu-loving friends, especially Noriyuki Yamashita, of Glocal Bar Imo Vibes, are more creative and also have a distinct linguistic advantage when it comes to this. In Japanese “tu” is pronounced “chu” – so Tuesday would be pronounced “Chuesday” – which is a short slide into “sho-chuesday” and with a bit… Read More...
last shochu tuesday
  As many of you know, the origin story of my shochu obsession began on a Tuesday night at Izakaya Ten (now Juban) back in 2008. As a result, “Shochu Tuesday” has always had a special place in my heart and for the past 2 1/2 years I’ve been a guest-bartender-in-residence at SakaMai on the Lower East Side. As for December 15, 2015 that tenure ended – and with a bang. We had more than 40 guests for the farewell Shochu Tuesday at SakaMai. Many thanks to SakaMai owners Natalie Graham and Tanner Fahl for the opportunity; to Chef… Read More...
shochu lineup
On Monday, November 23, 2015, I had the distinct pleasure of appearing on the Japan Eats radio show with host Akiko Katayama on the Heritage Radio Network. If you're not familiar with Akiko's show, it's a beautiful exploration of Japanese food and beverage in an easily accessible format through interview with local New York chefs, restaurant owners, and experts in a variety of areas. Read More...
IMG_0001
Hoppy Beverage Company, which only recently began selling in the New York market, recently hosted their 2,500th radio show (as a post-war phenomenon a radio show was a natural form of advertising) at SakaMai in the Lower East Side. At this invite-only private party an ice flume was used to pour Hoppy’s sweet potato beer (not yet available in the US market) and the hundreds of guests enjoyed Hoppy, a rokugo performance (traditional Japanese “stand-up” comedy performed in kimono kneeling on a cushion), and live music. Read More...
sakamai sign
I've been advocating for an izakaya brunch in NYC since at least the summer of 2012 when Uminoie had a series of summer afternoon patio parties. I guess I've worn down the owners at SakaMai (157 Ludlow, LES), because they are now serving brunch 11:30-2:30 Saturday & Sunday. Read More...
taiso
Taiso, a relative newcomer to the US market, packs a robust smoky, but traditional Iki Island punch which pairs well with meals. Similar to its fellow ikijochu, Yamanomori, Taiso is made with a 2:1 ratio mix of barley to rice. Read More...

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