I’d love to be able to move the entire YOLOmakase thread over and all its posts…
But anyway let me repost what I wrote earlier today here.
I want to side track a bit and talk a bit about the very intriguing yet eclectic and semi obscure possibly “narrower” selection of sake at Mori Sushi. I’m still but a learner, though taking a greater interest in sake lately, and enjoying sake pairing with a meal here. While the Daiginjo I had was very solid for the entire meal, there is so much more here to explore, if you are really into quality sake and want to upgrade the YOLOmakase experience to greater heights. Also in comparing the sake list and selection at Shunji, Shunji seems just a touch more accessible (I don’t want to say middle of the road, wrong choice of words) and selections less obscure and focused, but what they have, works great and fits the style of the restaurant. Actually it may also be true for Mori for what they offer.
I don’t think I have every single picture/note of their sake menu, but looking at my photos these items caught my eye. Wish I paid more attention to the Daiginjo lineup and not just the JDs. Or if others can chime in.
Kokuryu Shizuku Daiginjo special limited edition - $240 / bottle (720 ml). Up here in SF Bay Area, Kokuryu Daiginjo is quite common, but they have varying grades/labels. The “gold” label runs upwards of $100 retail, but this Shizuku (sake collected not from pressing the rice but by letting it drip from the hanging sacks) version is very obscure at least for Northern California. Since this is limited and possibly seasonal, it may not be on the menu currently.
Tatsuriki “Akitsu” Junmai Daiginjo - $480/bottle (720 ml). Another obscure one that seems fascinating to me. I can only imagine how much less it costs in Japan (Dassai 50 runs about $40 ish a bottle at Nijiya, though in Japan it’s like $20s for 720 ml bottle. So one can only guess Dassai Beyond which is $750 at truesake.com in SF…what that would cost in Japan, and somewhere like Sawa Sushi Sunnyvale would charge $1500 for the bottle…). Made with the top quality Yamadanishiki rice grown and harvested at Akitsu, a district of Kato City in Hyogo Prefecture (close to where Maru-san is from).
Tatsuriki Yokawa Yoneda Junmai Daiginjo - $390 a bottle (720 ml). Almost similar to the above, except the rice was cultivated by organic fertilizer (haha hopefully not wagyu dung), where the Yamadanishiki rice was grown in Yokawa Yoneda town.
Koshi No Kanbai Kinmuku Jundai Daiginjo - $200 / bottle (720 ml). I believe this is also made with Yamadanishiki rice (Kansai), but the brewery is located in Niigata Prefecture. Even in the SF Bay Area not many restaurants carry this. Retail in NorCal, not easy or quite possible to obtain unless from a restaurant. Interestingly, KNK website suggests serving this room temperature or warm.
The Tatsuriki Kome no Sasayaki Daiginjo I had is also made with Yamadanishiki rice. $51 for a 300 ml bottle, and I really liked the dryness of this with the entire meal.
Actually the obscurity of the sakes, and their flavor profiles, I believe definitely have a profound and killer effect with food pairing of YOLOmakase. Maru-san must also be a huge fan of sakes made with rice grown near his hometown.
Come to think of it, I am curious if one of the waitstaff who explained all of our dishes and poured our sake, is a certified sake somm? Forgot his name, but really cool dude.
What I am really curious about, is whether Maru-san has a reserve stash (off menu) that you have to ask for. Also possible he has some special bottles that he only serves to certain customers