Yoramu: Karasuma-Oike
Yoramu
075-213-1512
Karasuma-Oike / Bar
Nijodori Higashinotoin Higashi-iru. [on Nijo, 2 blocks north, 2 1/2 blocks east of Karasuma Oike intersection]
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Mondays, 1st Sunday.
late: Open late
Sun: Open Sundays

Long-term Japan resident Yoram Ofer loves good sake, and he's happy to share his extensive knowledge of the subject with the customers at the intimate little sake pub that bears his name. The sake selection is quite unusual, focusing on small, out-of-the-way breweries that produce distinctively flavored products. The list changes quite often, since it includes limited-production seasonal brews as well as a fair number of koshu (aged sakes). And if you need a break from sake, you can choose from some unusual and tasty Japanese microbrew beers.

The light food menu is designed to go with your drinks rather than make a major meal. Nearly everything is priced at Y500, with food items ranging from Japanese (grilled shiitake mushrooms, fried lotus root) to European (pastas) to Middle Eastern (falafel and baba ganoush) - even vegetarian sake connoisseurs will find plenty to choose from. The bar itself is small and elegant, with ikebana arrangements and a lantern-lit pebble-strewn pathway leading from the entrance down to the main bar area in back, which seats maybe half a dozen people. The atmosphere is low-key, with mostly Japanese customers and a smattering of local foreign residents and the occasional visiting tourist.