Top-Notch Sake Selection in Hayes Valley

The place is True Sake—a dazzling, sake-only shop that probably has the best selection in the United States. It’s an amazing store, says Robert Lauriston. It stocks over 150 sakes, and it imports stuff you won’t find anywhere else. The staff is excellent; artemis came in knowing nothing about sake, asked one of the staff, and got probed gently for information—what she liked about sake, what she was eating that night, what her price range was—and got a recommendation for a sake she loved. The staff is helpful to newbies and experts alike, says chocolateninja.

“What’s great about TS is that they have such a broad and comprehensive stock, including the super-fresh releases, unpasteurized, barrel-aged, and sparkling,” says twocents, who recommends seeking out the female staffer in particular as an information source. Your editor Thi actually spent a very happy two hours here, chatting up this same staffer, who turns out to be a huge fan of whiskey and tea as well. We talked about the souls and feels of the various sakes, with many useful comparisons made to high mountain oolongs, white teas, and bourbons. Her recommendations were spot-on.

What you won’t find here is any California-made sake. Everything is imported from Japan. You also won’t find kasu, the sake by-product used to flavor fish and soup. For that, says david kaplan, you’ll have to go to a market in Japantown.

True Sake [Hayes Valley]
560 Hayes Street, San Francisco
415-355-9555

Board Link: Sake only store in SF? Other sake recommendations?

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