Sake Bar Decibel, NYC
There are a few reasons to go to Decibel. One is Takashi (see above). He's the most badass person I've ever met in real life. Another reason is the atmosphere. I've never been to a more authentic Tokyo experience in the States. Finally, it's the sake. Lots and lots of sake.
Walking down the steps into Decibel's nondescript entranceway feels like you're walking down a back alley in Shinjuku into a locals-only dive bar. The sake list is comprehensive, and though my memories of the night are few and far between, I do remember whatever we ordered tasting excellent. The walls are covered in Japanese culture and grunge from graffiti to Gundam figures to small pieces of art. While you're inside it all feels low-key (service is pleasant the small space keeps the noise to a level where you can speak comfortably) but at the same time exclusive. Thanks to Mike Brun for showing it to us. solifestyle HIGHLY recommends Decibel.
240 East 9th Street (btwn 2nd and 3rd Ave)
East Village, NYC