Sake To 'Em

Just like celery and blue cheese is the perfect chaser to hot wings, nothing follows a hit of wasabi like a smooth sake.

Wes Zane, the owner of Formaggio, knows this.

Which is why he collaborated with the owner of Wasabi Bistro on the new Sake Street restaurant, which just opened Thursday in Wasabi's old Kapahulu space.

The new eatery is a shrine to the delicious rice wine. It takes Formaggio's wine tasting concept (2 oz and 4 oz pours) and applies it to sake, then pairs it with a huge menu of Asian-inspired dishes assembled specifically to complement the extensive sake list.  

Appetizers range from quick ala cart bites like pork ribs with li hing sake glaze to small plates of Korean pork belly tacos, lamb empanadas with Okinawan sweet potatoes, and sashimi with wasabi-sake beurre blanc. Alongside that, there’s a handful of tasty soups, salads and noodle dishes — local staples like oxtail soup, chow fun, and ramen. 

The not-so-small entrée options are plentiful. There’s everything from Drunken Manilla Clams in a sake broth to Ono Indian Lamb Chops with Bok Choy and grilled Hamachi marinated in sake and ponzu. 

The star of the show, the sake itself, is available in nearly 20 different varieties and is served in full-sized wine glasses, not the traditional tiny cups, so you can give each a good swirl and fully appreciate the unique smell and flavor.

Cocktail lovers can indulge in one of the bar’s yummy saketinis — light, fruity concoctions that mix sake with raspberry and pear vodka, or even cognac grapefruit liqueur. 

Which all goes to show that there’s no better fusion than when East meets West. 

Or rather, when Eats meet Wes.

Sake Street, 1006 Kapahulu Ave., 808.735.2266. Open Tuesday – Sunday. Late-night menu served until 1 a.m. Closed Mondays.