Japan

Hinoki & the Bird’s Gregory Westcott Went to Chili’s on His 21st Birthday

Hinoki & the Bird’s Gregory Westcott Went to Chili’s on His 21st Birthday

Famous, good-looking, and famously good-looking folks fill the sunlit dining room and patio of Hinoki & the Bird, a breezily chic bar and restaurant in Los Angeles’s Century City. Chef Brandon Kida’s Asian-inspired, globetrotting menu is (rightfully) equally renowned, with Santa Barbara spot prawns and a legacy lobster roll with Thai green curry at mealtimes, and […]

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Japan’s Après-Ski Scene Has Rare Whisky, Raucous Pubs, and Epic Bragging Rights

Japan’s Après-Ski Scene Has Rare Whisky, Raucous Pubs, and Epic Bragging Rights

Eskimos have 50 words for snow, but the French encapsulate a lot of what makes winter awesome in one hyphenate: après-ski. The French term for “after-skiing,” it’s what elevates any ski trip beyond a mere day on the slopes. The phrase emerged in the 1950s to describe the festivities that ensue when the chair lifts close. This […]

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Americans Love Pairing Sake With Sushi, But It’s a Big Mistake

Americans Love Pairing Sake With Sushi, But It’s a Big Mistake

Sake is having a moment in the U.S. We are currently Japan’s largest export market for its traditional rice beverage, sipping nearly 5,000 kiloliters per year. Small wine shops sell unfiltered nigori sake alongside hipster varietal wines. Restaurants like Oberlin in Providence, R.I., Catbird Seat in Nashville, and Banyan in Boston, pair sake by the glass with […]

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Sake Is Emerging From the Shadow of the Sushi Bar

Sake Is Emerging From the Shadow of the Sushi Bar

For years Americans only knew sake in cheaply mass-produced iterations. We dropped shots of it into pints of Kirin, screaming “sake bomb!” to no one in particular; or sipped hot, boozy versions in strip-mall sushi joints. The latter comprised my introduction to the category. As a college undergraduate I went to dinner with a roommate’s […]

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The Two-Ingredient Cocktail American Bartenders Are Falling For

The Two-Ingredient Cocktail American Bartenders Are Falling For

A choreographed symphony of wrist flicks and swirls, Japanese bartending is an art form. Ingredients are meticulously sourced, drinks are stirred just so, and ice cubes are perfectly square-cut (and, as testament to a national pursuit of perfection, are also sold by the bag at 7-Elevens across the country). Fittingly, the Japanese highball is an […]

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Why Real Whisky Lovers Drink Whisky From Asia

Why Real Whisky Lovers Drink Whisky From Asia

Single-malt Scotch has always been the whisky of choice for connoisseurs in the know. Insanely collectible and lauded by critics for decades as the best whisky in the world, this status has allowed Scotland to build quite an industry. But all giants eventually fall, and if you’re someone who truly considers themselves a whisky aficionado, […]

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7 Japanese Whiskies You Should Buy Right Now

7 Japanese Whiskies You Should Buy Right Now

If the shortage of Japanese whisky in the world proves one thing, it’s that the spirit is more popular than ever. Japanese whisky (without the “e”), started in the early 1900s. It’s since gained respect in the whisky drinking community, and Japanese whiskies regularly top, or sit near the top, of yearly rankings. Style-wise, Japanese […]

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Braille Labels In Japan Help Ensure No One Gets Accidentally Intoxicated

Braille Labels In Japan Help Ensure No One Gets Accidentally Intoxicated

The likelihood of picking up a six-pack of canned beer and accidentally mistaking it for soda, thereby becoming intoxicated without realizing it, isn’t a problem for those of us with healthy eyesight, but if you’re blind, the likelihood of this occurring is a real possibility, especially if you live in a place where soda and beer […]

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