Roku

Solid as a Roku

JapaCurry’s Izakaya Offshoot

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Congratulations. You’ve almost made it.

In a few short hours, you’ll step away from your desk, head out of the office and...

... Really get to work.

Your destination: Roku, an authentic izakaya doling out small plates and shots from some natives of Japan (and the JapaCurry guys), now soft-open on Market.

Decor-wise, there’s a pretty minimalist thing happening here. Dark-wood-paneled walls. Some ceiling fans. Small wood bar. That’s about it.

But it all sets the scene for you to roll up your sleeves and get down to business. Your task: making drinks. For you. For your table. For any admiring passersby.

See, this place is all about shochu, which is... well, big in Japan. (It has a higher alcohol content than sake, which might have something to do with it.) You can get it neat, of course—the kind distilled from sweet potatoes is nice and smooth—but your play is getting it in a cocktail. When you do, they’ll bring over a tray of ingredients and let you go to town: mixing in, say, soda water or fresh-squeezed juice. (Maybe leave out the soy sauce.)

Snack-wise, you’re set with yakitori, some ramen and chicken nanban, a fried-chicken-and-tartar-sauce specialty from the owner’s hometown, which is Japan’s equivalent of our Deep South.

It’s also pretty fun to say.

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