Places with extensive Japanese sake and Japanese whiskey selections?

In San Francisco I’ve come to discover two places, where the food appears to be not so great (by FTC LA standards) but the sake selection is quite excellent (and in one case [Pabu] where the whiskey selection is impressive).

Ozumo’s beverage list:

And Michael Mina’s Pabu:

which has a ridiculously impressive array of Japanese sake and more.

Both places not just have Dassai Beyond, but the Super 8 and/or the Nizawa 9 where the numbers represent their polish ratio, complete with stratospheric pricing…

Are there places in LA/OC (restaurants/bars/pubs gastropubs/“bistronomiques”) that sport a similar impressive beverage menu? Say I am in town and just want to splurge on a few half decent bites with say, a pour of Nikka 21, or 18 and up Yamazaki, Yoichi, Miyagikyo?

Seven Grand Bar DTLA is a whiskey bar and probably has more whiskies than you can ever drink in your lifetime. They do have a bunch of Japanese whiskey but no food.

1 Like

Everson Royce has the yoichi 15/20 and miyagikyo 12

(uggh, sorry for blurry pics, just note Kavalan pricing and apply to Nikka)

But the yoichi 20 is priced at $120+, so maybe the shochu/sake list at Kinjiro has higher qpr:

considering its Dassai Beyond is 1/3 cheaper than Michael Mina’s.

1 Like

Seven Grand is a good bar, but no food, like WesSabi said.

Scopa Italian Roots in Venice has a good Japanese Whiskey selection, and great food too. We were just there last month. DH and his friend are really into Japanese whiskeys and were very happy. I know they each had the Nikka 21 and a couple others. They have their spirits list on their website.

Slight tangent – Costco in Northridge had both Kavalan and the Nikka Coffey Distilled the other day. Picked up a bottle of each! Great prices too.

da F!!! all the Nikka’s have been sold out by where I am. got an item # for the Kavalan? TIA.

tons of the nikka coffee @ burbank costco as of friday last week

there are clearly too many cheap ass asians whoring JP whisky where I live.

1 Like

Bar Jackalope, the smaller bar in the back of Seven Grand, is billed as a Japanese Whiskey Bar. Lukshon is worth checking out. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hinoki and the Bird fits the bill as well,for both whisky and sake, although I can’t find a beverage menu online.

1 Like

I can check when I get home. The Nikka Coffey was $53 and the Kavalan was $70 – I’ll probably pick up a couple more Nikkas this week.

1 Like

For Japanese whiskey, try Bar Jackalope at Seven Grand.

1 Like

Came to pick up up another bottle…

1 Like

thank you!. Got my share this wknd with 2x Kav + Nikka Coffee thanks to @mhlee’s express whisky courier service.

one of the Kav’s going to the much deserved local children’s librarian. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Costco has also started carrying hibiki harmony $59. Guess they’ve worked through the last of their hibiki 12y supply.

1 Like

Some Chinese supermarkets up here in SF Bay Area have the Hibiki Harmony. But you wouldn’t think the typical grocery shopper would buy this stuff (ditto for bottles of Otokoyama Junmai Daiginjo sake at $135+ a bottle)

But what’s more outrageous are the random bottles via suspicious sources of year’d JWhiskey…Saw Yamazaki 18 for $350 the other day (then again might be on par with prices in Hong Kong), and Hakushu 18 between $240 to $260 at two to three different Chinese supermarkets.

Then a Nijiya or two charging $400 for Hibiki 21… Crazy times.

All LA area Costcos are out of the Hibiki 12.

I asked a manager to search for stores that still have it in stock. I was told that none do.

IIRC, Hibiki Harmony is a $35ish bottle of blended whisky “at home”… it would make more sense for it to be at a grocery store than a Costco.

And then it gets to shipped to us dumbass Americans at $70 retail.

On a side note, where have any of you in LA/OC had stellar umeshu…bonus points if made and aged in house, but perfectly ok if it came from a bottle via Japan, so long as it is not a fruit forward Robitussin that reeks of Chinese kung fu herbal remedy for injuries. I’ve had good bottled versions by Kamoizumi (Hiroshima) and Kakurei (Niigata).

Can be plum infused sake (junmai or junmai ginjo), plum infused shochu, or fusion flavor (e.g. adding fruit or cabernet to the mix).


Mars Iwai Tradition is another $20 whiskey that gets jacked wayyy up in US retail stores.

The Playground has a petty good selection of Japanese whiskey and they seem to be well priced. I checked online against some of the big box shops and good values to be had. They sold out of Whistle Pig the Boss Hog.

1 Like

Someone at Vito’s Pizza in Santa Monica loves their Japanese whisky. I had a pour of Hibiki 17 there a long while ago, and a few months ago I spied a bottle of Hakushu 18 at the bar. The selection isn’t consistent, but always fun to see what’s there.