Photos by Clarissa Villondo
Words by Kaylee Dugan
It feels like every goddamn week we’re badgering you guys about a new bar / restaurant opening up somewhere in this city. There is always a new place to get drunk. It’s gotten to the point that I’ve almost given up on checking out new places, because the next day there’s another one right around the corner. It’s overwhelming. My liver can’t handle it.
Or maybe my liver problems have less to do with our booming restaurant and bar scene and much more to do with the fact I spent a good chunk of last night sipping 151 out of a bowl that was garnished with pieces of fish.
Named the Wandering Samurai, the insane drink / appetizer combination is what most people are talking about when they bring up U Street’s new (Latin influenced) sushi and sake bar, Sakerum, but it’s not what I went to sleep last night dreaming about. I went to bed with lobster and Miyazaki beef dancing around in my head. I’m far from a sushi expert, but I can confidently say the rolls and nigiri I had at Sakerum were the best I’ve ever had in my life. From the (super expensive, by the way) surf and turf roll with tempura lobster and the aforementioned Miyazaki beef, to the more traditional seafood nigiri, everything was melt in your goddamn mouth delicious. I feel robbed. Supermarket sushi is only going to make me cry now and it’s all chef Khan Gayabazar’s fault.
Let’s get back to the drinks. Everyone might be making a fuss out of the Wandering Samurai (which is definitely very delicious and fun and the reason for my current headache), but the rest of their cocktail offerings are just as solid. Most of the drinks I tried had a sweet, citrusy bend, but they definitely packed a punch. There was a riff on the classic pisco sour, with rum and souju and those velvety egg whites that I could not stop drinking. Unfortunately, it’s not on the menu (yet), but if you’re looking for an amazing rooftop drink, Sakerum kills it with the Ladies Love Me, which features Cana Brava 7 year rum, yuzu tonic, and fruit, and the Girls Adore Me, which has Fords gin and strawberry tonic. They come in wine glasses as big as my head. It’s great.
Speaking of rooftops (because you’re not allowed to operate a bar in D.C. without a rooftop), Sakerum has a beautiful one that’s operating year round thanks to a retractable roof. The interior of the roof is bright and white white pops of neon, while the downstairs is dark. And I mean very dark. Accented with gold, the first floor is absolutely beautiful, and its long sushi bar / regular bar is perfect for accommodating a larger group. We’d been there for so long, when I stumbled outside I was absolutely shocked the sun was still up.
If you’re looking for a place to get real drunk and eat too much fish, you have 100% come to the right bar. I only have one word of advice for you, order the Miyazaki beef. Order the Miyazaki beef the very second they open (Monday, August 22nd). Order the Miyazaki beef everyday for the rest of your life.
Sakerum is located at 2204 14th Street NW. Starting August 22, they will be open daily at 5 p.m.