Care to whet your whistle in an establishment that is an embodiment of cool but still welcoming and comfortable? Although you are in Japan, don’t enter this bar expecting anything particularly Japanese about the experience, as [email protected] (sheesh!) is all about the Western, dark wood, ambient lighting, watering hole vibe. Smack dab in the middle of Osaka’s Tenma neighborhood, it is at the heart of this ever-evolving, ever-youthful, very old part of the city.
You will indeed have to duck to get in
The entrance to the bar (which incidentally serves a reasonable selection of snacks, too) is that half-size door you can see just under the Johnny Walker poster. The street itself is just about wide enough for two people to walk past each other, making this find a true hideaway. The board outside lists a variety of libations to get you in the mood, but what awaits you inside far excels beyond this.
This is your bartender. He is not insane.
Meet “Yu,” which is pronounced like a long “you.” He’s not particularly camera shy, nor is he in any way lacking in cocktail making abilities. All the standards are of course available with the mere utterance of your whim (or, equally effectively, a whimsical utterance), but he is also a true mixologist if there ever was one, with an arsenal of your favorite spirits, as well as those hitherto unknown, and a witch’s bag of extracts and potions at his disposal. Extract samples are available for sniff-before-commit, and consultation is highly encouraged.
How about just a whiskey sour to start?
Grander cocktails have been had, and in fact may be had plentifully over the course of the evening, but starting with a whiskey sour is not a bad decision by any means. It will not be cloyingly sweet, sour, or ravaged by the use of nasty, bottom-shelf whiskey. The glass always fits the drink in both size and shape, the ice is always just right (heaven forbid it be translucent!), and the temperature oh-so-right. This is serious business here, but like ballet, the pros make it look so very, very easy.
More varieties of whiskey (and whisky) than you can shake a tumbler at
For those who think of tippling as an olfactory and gustative safari, there is a jewel-lined road of whiskey, whisky, and a plethora of other varietals into which you can pour your anthropological energies. With so many taste profiles to explore, you may find yourself paying a repeat visit to [email protected] in no time! Naturally, your inebriator-in-chief will advise you on how to best consume these elixirs, be it “neat,” with a splash of water, on the rocks, or in a cocktail. Hint: Stick to “neat” or just add a splash of water for the best varieties.
A nice vibe makes it all go down even easier
You may shuffle or saunter up to this bar, but you may not “belly up” to it. A bit of decorum is unspeakably demanded of you in surroundings such as this. The bar is a great place for some friendly conversation, while the tables allow you to enjoy a modicum or two of privacy.
When all’s said and done
Sure there’s the science, but more importantly, there is the atmosphere, which is bar none in, well, none other than this bar. Great drinks, great staff, and a relaxed, pleasant vibe. Now, what will your next cocktail be?
[email protected] +81 (0)80.7013.5068, pasta-hall.com Open from 6pm, closed Mondays.
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