Village Voice

Omakase--or chef's choice--usually only applies to sushi offerings at high-end Japanese spots. But SakaMai takes the concept to a brand-new level by moving it from the sushi bar to the sake bar, offering a cocktail omakase night that's distinctive in this city.

The concept is simple: Take a seat at the bar and let head mixologist Shingo Gokan take you through a tantalizing tour of tastes with round after round of cocktails he creates for you on the spot. The drinks are paired with small bites from executive chef Takanori Akiyama, and the duo works together closely to create the menu. Just don't expect to know what's coming--the pair plays its hand close to the chest, says SakaMai owner and creative director Natalie Graham; even she usually doesn't know what the duo has in mind until the day before the event ... 

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