True Sake In The News -- Sebo, ANA Airlines In-Flight Video, Wine & Spirits
After almost two years in the making -- (yes the price of trying to open a restaurant in SF) -- Hayes Valley welcomes Sebo a "premium cut" sushi inspired restaurant. Owners Michael Black and Daniel Dunham have created a space that should speak to all of those people who want "great fish and great sake." This marriage of superb cut fish and tremendous sake is lacking in the Bay Area (unless you know the owners of restaurants and get their special attention), and as such Sebo represents your new favorite destination for two reasons. Firstly it is truly a "must go" experience and secondly it is right across the street from True Sake. You can kill two birds with one stone. This proximity also benefits the customers of Sebo greatly as Danny and Michael engaged me to do their sake menu.
The sake menu at Sebo is awesome! Why? Because it is compact and explosively professional. Using their likes and more likes we crafted a collection of sakes that work on three levels. First they go hand- in-hand with their cuisine. These guys have added a line that I uttered to them in the concept days that you shouldn't drown your fish with soy sauce. In this regard they take such sincere and incredible pride in their fish selections that it was only logical that their sake would dance perfectly with the flavors that they want you to explore. Secondly, the sakes that we have selected are "below the radar" in most cases. These are names that you may not have heard yet -- Gokyo, Aramasa, Dassai etc.
And lastly, as my store is across the street I have added a special sake that we call the "True Sake -- True Selection," which takes the form of sakes that NOBODY else can get. For example their first True Selection sake was a Nama-sake called Shutendouji "Oh Oni" "Big Devil." Only 10 cases of this sake were imported into the US this year. Two cases went to True Sake, one case went to Sebo, and the other 7 cases went to a private buyer in NYC. That is the essence of Sebo's "True Selections". And that is yet another reason why you should make a point of taking Sebo out for a test spin. They do not take reservations and they are still relatively new, so I would make a point of going sooner rather than later. Because once the word gets out, this will be a hard table to get. I highly recommend that you try the "Ankimo -- monk fish liver." And by all means tell Michael and Danny that you are True Sake Newsletter readers! They would appreciate that.
• Sebo -- 517 Hayes Street @ Octavia. Tuesday-Saturday 415.864.2122
If you fly on All Nippon Airways (ANA) in the next couple of months do not be afraid if you see my ugly mug up on the screen. Two months ago a production crew came into True Sake and filmed the store to show how crazy westerners are about sake. It is one of those typical in-flight video magazines pieces, but it recently got some thumbs up approvals from some of my sake gurus in Japan. So I didn't make a complete ass of myself. That -- I will save for a US in-flight magazine!
Lastly there is a nice blurb in the April Issue of Wine and Spirits on my new book ( Sake - A Modern Guide (Chronicle Books)), with a cool photo of the book resting on another book and open to a great page with a lot of bottles. Those guys at Wine and Spirits get sake, and I am grateful for their understanding of the "Wine of Japan."