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In retrospect, we should have ordered sake. We definitely thought about it, lingered on the cocktail page while our server stood impatiently behind the hot hibachi grill with the rest of the menus and her free arm outstretched, almost asked for the $22 bottle and five glasses. But then we decided against it. How could we have known that every minute of our visit to Mt. Fuji Japanese Sushi and Hibachi (601 Grant Street) would be so bizarre, so baffling, that we could have played the ultimate sake-shooting drinking game? Had we been warned, the game might have gone something like this:
Every time you notice a translation casualty — such as "appertizer" or "pictures on this menu are for display only" — take a drink.
Every time the hibachi chef at the next table sings "More sake, more happy; more happy, more power" to a puzzled middle-aged mother and her two small children, take a drink.
601 Grant St.
Denver, CO 80203
Region: Central Denver
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Every time you order a bottle of wine with two glasses and the server brings two filled glasses instead of the full bottle, then asks if you wouldn't mind just drinking the glasses, and when you say you would, returns with a full bottle and two chilled glasses (?), then lets you taste it before pouring even though it's a seven-dollar bottle of Yellow Tail marked up to twenty dollars, then spills it all over the table while pouring, take a drink. If you're pretty sure she just poured the two original glasses back into the bottle before returning because it was already uncorked and unwrapped when she arrived, take two drinks.
Every time a waitress reaches over your shoulder to shake your half-full, twenty-ounce bottle of Sapporo, then glares at you like you're fucking everything up by not pouring the remaining beer into your sixteen-ounce glass so she can grab the empty bottle, take a drink.
Every time a Britney Spears or LeAnn Rimes song comes over the speakers and makes you wonder what sort of freaky, faux-authentic Japanese hibachi world you're trapped in, use the bathroom. When you get back, take a drink.
Every time you ask the nearest server for water and she waves her arms over your head while screaming "WATER!" at a clearly frightened yet startlingly subservient server, take a drink of sake and water, so as to make yourself feel better for being a bother.
Every time your hibachi chef breaks into a Japanese rendition of "Rice Rice Baby" because it's that time in the sequence of the performance/meal when he's already melted the butter, fried the eggs and cut up the onions but doesn't have the rice yet, take a drink.
Every time the chef begins thwacking his spatula and knife against the grill — wack wack, wack; wack wack, wack — and loudly chanting "We will, we will rice you" because the bowls of rice still haven't arrived after three or four rounds of the chef's Vanilla Ice parody and enough awkward laughter to convince formerly local comedian Ben Kronberg that he might want to switch from rape jokes to one-liners about retarded people, take a drink.
Actually, no: At this point, borrow a pen from your neighbor, find a faded ATM receipt in your wallet and start taking notes, because this shit would make one hell of a sake-shooting drinking game, and you can't afford to lose any of the details.To see where Drew Bixby's been drinking, check out this map.