A Sake and Sumo: Happy Hours at moto-i

You may have heard rumblings about a sake restaurant opening in Uptown recently. Though it might be a little hard to find, despite its obvious location on Lyndale right by Lake Street, it's definitely worth a visit. And while the sake fridge at Surdyk's is certainly impressive, moto-i takes sake accessibility even further by making their very own, very tasty brews. Even more impressive is that according to their website, the bar and restaurant is the first of its kind outside of Japan. Their original varieties include the dry and highly alcoholic Junmai Nama Genshu; Junmai Nama, a light and fruity brew perfect for the summer; and Junmai Nama Nigori, a cloudy, dry sake. Sound overwhelming? Order the sake flight for $12 and enjoy a crash course, or sit at the bar and chat up your bartender for recommendations. The bar is lined with four or five flatpanel TVs, usually tuned to a Japanese soap opera, cooking shows both American and Japanese, and sports. Happy hour is daily from 2:20 p.m. to 6 p.m. (the early hour was chosen to coincide with the sumo wrestling matches the bar airs when possible), and again Sunday through Thursday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. During these hours you can enjoy $5 sake (usually $6-$12), $3 wine and beer, and $3 to $5 appetizers. The late-night menu, handily labeled "Snacks to go with Alcohol," features Asian treats that won't hurt your wallet; many items are in the $2-$7 range.
Starts: April 22. Daily, 2009

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