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Sake to Me: Where to Get Japan’s Favorite Drink in Washington
Comments () | Published March 15, 2010

Sushi Damo
Rockville’s Sushi Damo has one hot and ten flavored sakes on the menu. You can't get them by the glass, but larger portions (carafes and bottles) range from $7 to $195.

Sushi-Ko
(Glover Park and Chevy Chase)
The Glover Park restaurant has ten sake varieties, while the Chevy Chase branch carries eight. The drink is served by the glass or bottle (prices range from $8 to $32), but the customer favorite is Japon, a sparkling sake similar to Champagne; the 300-milliliter bottle goes for $25. For $9, the most interesting sake cocktail on the menu is the Sake-jito, a mojito-inspired concoction that uses the herb shiso instead of mint and substitutes yuzu, a Japanese fruit, for citrus.

Tako Grill
This restaurant’s Web site offers a history and etiquette lesson on the finer points of sake—er, we should say, “o-sake,” pronounced “with the honorific prefix used to show respect to one’s superiors,” according to the site. The place carries 40 different kinds of sake and sells them by the bottle, glass, and carafe. Bottles run $10.50 to $78, glasses $3 to $7.50, and carafes $4.50 to $23.

Woo Lae Oak
This Korean-tapas spot in the Tysons Corner area serves ten cold-sake varieties by the glass plus carafes of hot sake, a drink traditionally enjoyed by the Japanese during cold winter months. Also on the menu is soju, Korea’s answer to sake. Like its Japanese counterpart, soju is traditionally distilled from rice, but the taste is like a sweet vodka.

Zengo
The Latin-Asian influences of this Penn Quarter dining room converge at the bar in sake sangría ($9). The drink is made with red wine, sake, brandy Asian pears, and Fuji apples. For something a bit more straightforward, the bar also sells ten varieties by the glass ($7 to $12) and nearly two dozen by the bottle.

Zentan
This Pan-Asian restaurant in Thomas Circle has 12 different types of sake—five by the glass ($6 to $12) and seven by the bottle ($28 to $88). Their Wandering Poet, a junmai ginjo variety, is a popular banana-and-honeydew mix, which you can get by the glass for $8. For bottles, the lime, mint, white pepper, and jasmine Shrine of the Village junmai ginjo is $88 for 720 ml. 

>> See our full Guide to the Cherry Blossoms 

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