The Bar Belle: Sake

2477 18th St. N.W.

I didn’t know whether to blame senioritis or my five consecutive classes, but I had definitely gotten into a Thursday night rut. Back in my days at Thurston, Thursday was the night to go out. I would spend hours deciding between Seven jeans or black pants, coordinate an equally expensive and generic bag, then covertly pregame taking multiple shots of raspberry Smirnoff. I would then go to some promoted club where I would pay sometimes more than $10 to wander around aimlessly taking sips from my arm-banded friends’ drinks. Okay, so I didn’t miss everything about freshman Thursday nights, but I did miss the excitement of dressing up and going somewhere that didn’t serve beer in buckets or play Bon Jovi every half hour.

So I got off the couch, turned off “Extreme Makeover” (although I did want to see made-over Dawn’s reunion with her family quite badly), tossed my Sizz-Ex container and opened a bottle of wine. After a few phone calls, I recruited a date to go to Sake, a place I had heard was chill yet chic, the perfect compromise between my senior and freshman social tastes. After primping for at least an hour (I even flat-ironed my hair) and keeping my date waiting for about half as long, we finally were in a cab to Adams Morgan.

After wandering for some time down the strip, we finally found Sake on the end near the McDonald’s. The six burly men in monochrome black standing at the door were a bit intimidating, but I read it as a sign of the fabulous party inside. We were charged no cover after having IDs checked and walked though the glass entrance. On the other side of the glass wall was a narrow hallway lined with leather benches facing the cubed tables, each with lit candles. But no one was sitting there. Either it was too pretty, or more likely really uncomfortable. As we continued on our journey in the Asian lounge/grill, we came to the sushi bar on the first level. Although we weren’t there to eat, if we had, it seemed too dark to maneuver chopsticks around one of their small plates of sushi, sashimi and Izokaya. I did learn, however, for those not too keen on the Adams Morgan late night food offerings, that Sake serves sushi on the weekend until 2:30 a.m.

We were beckoned by the sound of bongo drums and a tambourine emanating from the lower level. After we made our descent down the staircase, we ignored the odd music (which made Bon Jovi look not so bad) and realized we had entered a psychedelic igloo. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but we were surrounded by angular white surfaces that had some sort of lighting underneath that alternated hues from all over the spectrum. There were several small seating areas with red IKEA sectionals and a dance floor. We were the only people at the bar, with ten other people in small groups on the couches. We ordered a Jack and Coke and a glass of Chardonnay, both $6. And you wouldn’t believe how great the service is when you are the only one at a bar. Although I was mesmerized by the futuristic d?cor, I knew I would only make it through one round of drinks. The cute, blonde bartender told us to come back on Wednesday for their ’80s night or Friday and Saturday when it is more crowded. Those who like a stylish atmosphere with relaxed seating may want to have their own Sake experience.

Bar Belle Rating: 2/5

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