Craft Beer...at a Japanese Restaurant?

Craft Beer...at a Japanese Restaurant?

Typically, when you find a great sushi place you also find a lackluster beer list. At best, all of the usual domestics are there along with their Japanese counterparts: Sapporo, Kirin and Asahi. But that’s not the case at Roka Akor Steak & Sushi at 456 N. Clark. They offer up a short, but sweet, list of Japanese craft beers alongside a cocktail and sake menu that runs for miles.

I was lucky enough to attend the Winter Menu Preview last week where I got to try their seasonal cocktails and six-course Kaiseki dinner. For me, the highlight was the robata grilled Wagyu confit short ribs. The robata grill uses binchotan charcoal from Japan, which produces incredibly intense heat for an unbelievably delicious crust on the beef. Once it was paired with the Kabocha Pumpkin cocktail, I was in heaven. Using Tyranena Brewing Company’sPainted Ladies Pumpkin Spice Ale,” Templeton Rye Whiskey, Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, maple syrup and a whole organic egg, this cocktail was every pumpkin lover’s dream.

Now, I just need to find the time to go back again! The chef’s skill at the robata grill is undeniable and the mixologist’s cocktails are superb. Plus, when brews like Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout & Hitachino Nest White Ale (Kiuchi Brewery) and Echigo Stout (Echigo Beer Pub) are on the beer list, you can't go wrong!

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