When Jäger Bombs first became popular, bars served them Irish Car-Bomb style, with four to six ounces of Red Bull arriving in a pint glass or lowball and the Jäger showing up in a shot glass. After all, half the fun was dropping the shot into the pint, making a mess with the splash and then struggling to chug against the pressure of the shot glass. But most bartenders soon stopped bothering with the Boilermaker setup for a Jäger Bomb, and instead started serving the drink in a single glass, destroying its entertainment value and leaving little more than elevated heart rates and lowered inhibitions in the aftermath.
Unlike the Jäger Bomb — which still technically works despite the boring presentation — the Sake Bomb is one of those beer cocktails completely dependent on the depth-charge production. Who would want to simply pour hot rice wine (or a liquid that comes close enough) into a pint of cold, carbonated lager when he could balance a small ceramic cup between two chopsticks placed parallel on top of a glass of Kirin or Sapporo, then pound the table so hard while chanting "Sake, sake, sake, BOMB!" that the cup falls in, causing an explosion of bubbles and forcing the pounder to get fucking guzzling before the whole cocktail goes warm? Not me. Not ever.
Yet most sushi bars and Japanese restaurants — at least the clean, semi-costly kind where ordering raw fish doesn't seem like a risk — want no part of a bunch of drunks mucking up their glassware, ochoko (sake cups) or tokkuri (sake serving flasks), and ban the entire Sake Bomb ceremony. Luckily, Mori Sushi Bar (2019 Market Street) is not one of those places. No, this is the kind of place where, when the barely English-speaking bartendress brings us shots of Cuervo early in the night and we ask for limes, she puts them on a dirty ceramic dish from the dishwasher bin instead of on a napkin; the kind of place where missing ceiling tiles, exposed wires and mildew-covered floor drains in the bathrooms go unattended; the kind of place where every refill of cardboard-boxed sake requires a five-minute wait because the heating pot behind the bar is broken and the bartender has to warm the filled flask in the back restaurant kitchen.
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Mori Sushi Bar
The most obvious benefit of this under-ambitious approach to presentation and pomp is that, rather than passively or aggressively discourage our desire to balance shit, yell shit, chug shit and break shit, the Mori staff swiftly and silently brings us everything we need to Sake Bomb ourselves into such a shameless stupor that we squeegee puddles of over-poured sake from the table to our cups and scream, "Every drop is precious!"; hang chopsticks out of our noses and play impassioned air guitar on beer bottles; and sing group karaoke (did I mention there's karaoke on weekends?) with such discursive dissonance that we end up (and don't even notice that we're) the last nine people in the bar. Uh-oh.
Sake, sake, sake, BED!