Legend has it that sake, the Japanese wine made from fermented rice, was originally called kuchikami no sake, which means "chewing in the mouth sake." An entire village would gather to chew up nuts, rice and other tasty grains and then spit the result into a tub, where the enzymes in the saliva would ferment the liquid for several days -- or so the story goes. Fortunately, today's sake is made with more sanitary procedures. And sake doesn't get any tastier than what's in the Coral Room's Pineapple Sake-Infused Martini. To create this light and refreshing cocktail ($7), pineapple chunks are soaked in dry sake for ten days, then squeezed into a chilled glass and garnished with raspberries and a slice of fresh pineapple. But watch out: Sake has always been known for its potency, or kuchi-atari.
While the drink is cool, the Coral Room itself is a real hot spot -- a new neighborhood hangout for Highland hipsters. The decor is a combination of modern Asian and retro chic, with vibrant underwater photos, flowing curtains and a comfy curved bar. The late-night menu is even more comforting, replacing the standard fortune cookies with a plate of Oreos served with milk. But who wants milk when you can have more sake?