The Divisadero drag in NOPA (or the Western Addition for those who haven’t subscribed to the new nickname) has long since been making a public appeal to be part of the “in crowd,” with Bar 821 and sushi hipspot Tsunami continually getting strong support from patrons including ourselves. Not too long ago the owners of this bourgeoning empire, The Dajani Group, added Nihon Whisky Lounge and Japanese Cuisine to their impressive collection of go-to spots.
Nihon is on the corner of Folsom and 14th and not at all what we expected to find when we went out in search of whisky this past weekend with Sweetie. It’s a SOMA loft-style experience—exposed brick, catwalk, burgundy couches lining the walls and low-ish birch wooden chairs complimenting the plush seating, DJs spinning world, funk and recognizable soul. The crowd is on the upper end of early 30s and ethnicity reigns supreme. Everyone seemed to be fashion forward, but of course, not trying too hard.
You will spend money here. That’s all there is to it. Sweetie ordered the Yomato House Roll—spicy crab, avocado and gobo topped with white fish, jalapeño, aioli, tobiko, green onion and ponzu sauce–and some important-looking whisky (he had seconds), while we had a couple of bites of his roll and two champagne cocktails. We didn’t pick up the tab, but we know that with each of the champagne cocktails being around $11 a pop and bottle service for even low-shelf spirits starting at $150, this is a place you may go to impress or celebrate rather than just simply hang out on a Saturday night.
The Yomato roll was okay, but we actually like what we’ve had at Tsunami better. Overall we think that Nihon was a bit to sceney for us or least too sceney for the neighborhood, but we dug the gin and champagne cocktail that had us floating on air and we’ll continue supporting the Diajani Group’s other anchor establishments.
[Photo of Nihon via magerleagues/Flickr]