Bar Belle: One more for the road

Where: 2032 P St. NW
Getting in: Carded by your server
Cover: Need to spend at least $15 a person to stay. At Japone you can do that by blinking an eye.
Dress: Trendy crowd. Jeans are fine, but they better be Seven’s.

Cafe Japone can be described in two words. Sake Bomb. Any place where it is socially acceptable and even encouraged to drop a steaming hot shot of sake into a glass of Sapora beer and chug the whole concoction is fine by me. And as I chugged my fifth glass I thought … well I wasn’t really thinking anything at all.

Cafe Japone is a lovely little Japanese restaurant in the heart of Dupont famous for its karaoke, sushi and sake bombs.

The tables are placed about a millimeter apart and the seats are on top of one another. I was basically sitting on the laps of the two people on either side of me. So hey, if you’re shy and want to put the moves on someone, Japone is the perfect place, I guess.

On top of all that, you have clowns in the middle of the restaurant crowded around a microphone while waiters balance plates of tempora and beer. Yet I’ve never seen a spill.

Don’t get me wrong. The obstacle course effect gives the place its character. It’s like everyone there is a big happy family. A big happy drunk family. Tables generally end up melding together and you end up toasting to some guy you don’t even know, congratulating him on his new job.

Another happy melting place is the microphone. You can’t help jumping up and joining in, even if you don’t know the singer. Find me a drunk person who can sit quietly in their seat when the words to “Like a Virgin” are flashing across every TV screen in the joint. I dare you.

With all the songs and sushi you can spend hours at Japone. Unfortunately, you can also spend a fortune.

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