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If you've lived long enough, you'll remember that thirty years ago, eating raw fish in a Japanese restaurant sounded bizarre and even a bit disgusting to most Americans. Nowadays, famous actors consume so much sushi that they give themselves mercury poisoning.

In the early part of this millennium, thanks in large part to a certain renegade East Village-based Korean American genius, ramen has supplanted sushi as the Japanese food of the moment. But it doesn't stop there. New York’s Japanese food scene has become so sophisticated that it’s possible to consume various regional specialties just in the area south of 14th Street. As American diners' knowledge of Japanese cuisine increases, we have also begun to understand the brewing methods and the flavors of fine artisanal sake (more often called nihonshu or literally “Japanese wine” by the Japanese themselves.)

LUCKYRICE, in conjunction with the Japanese Culinary Center, presents SIP + BITE + SLURP, an exploration of sake as interpreted by artisanal brewers from various regions of Japan. The brewers themselves will be in town and will be getting together for one night only to pour their sake and talk about the various areas of Japan from which they hail.

We’ve also lined up eight restaurants representing four major regions of Japan. As you walk the floor, you will be able to taste both the sakes and dishes from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south and the major urban centers of Kanto (Tokyo area) and Kinki (Osaka area) in between.

Brooklyn's Hibino will present that most elegant of Japanese foods kaiseki-ryori which originated in Kyoto, the ancient seat of imperial power. Hakata Tonton, which has transported the pork specialties from the southern Japanese island of Kyushu to the West Village will be providing bites. Kasadela – based in Alphabet City – will show you what a sticky, sweet and spicy Nagoya-style tebasaki (chicken wing) tastes like. Otafuku located on 9th Street, will be cooking their take on okonomiyaki which translates to “as you like it” meaning that you can have that Japanese pancake your way. Michelin star decorated Kyo Ya, usually tucked away in the East Village, will come out to play and represent Hokkaido as will 47th Street's sleek sushi bar Tsushima.

We'll also have the Kambi Ramen House located in the East Village- that's where the SLURP comes in. In Japan, noisily slurping your ramen not only cools the noodles as they enter your mouth but also shows how much you're enjoying them.

Join us and get ready to say as the Japanese do before one eats a meal itadakimasu which means “I shall now humbly receive.”

Please see below for the artisanal sake, shochu, craft beer brands and restaurants that will be present and which regions of Japan they will be representing.

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