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Kappa Sake House, 5th Ave, Brooklyn

Peter Cuce Jan 18, 2009 08:16 PM

The place that used to be Sakura has morphed into Kappa Sake Bar due to the departure of their amazing sushi chef, supposedly to Masa. They still have a little bit of sushi (on the specials board), some very good cooked food (mostly small plates), a great array of sakes and interesting Japanese beers that you don't usually see, wine, and a few bottles of soju. I'm gradually working my way through the sake menu, but tonight I stopped by the totally empty bar and had a great Hitachino Ginger Beer, something I hadn't tasted before. Along with that I had some nice homemade gyoza, a very good spicy salmon sushi roll, tasty spicy miso soup served in a mug, and perfectly cooked saba shio, all for $36. The food is very cheap, since I guess the owner's focus is selling her range of sakes. Happy hour Sapporo draft is $3.
I'm worried about this place. I like it a lot and can't understand why it doesn't get more business. Maybe people don't like the switch from sushi to izakaya, but I recommend checking it out.


Kappa Sake House
388 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

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  1. r
    RBM520 RE: Peter Cuce Jan 25, 2009 04:31 AM

    I agree. This place is a gem. Ate their last night and had delicious Osaka sushi, broiled Mackerel with sea salt, and excellent sake. Can't wait to get back to try the beers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RBM520
      Peter Cuce RE: RBM520 Jan 25, 2009 05:03 AM

      They're having a $50 beer tasting on Wednesday. I RSVP'ed and will report back.

    2. squid kun RE: Peter Cuce Mar 8, 2009 11:41 AM

      Any news from this place? Just ran across this troubling report from around the time of these posts.


      Kappa Sake House
      388 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

      1. Peter Cuce RE: Peter Cuce May 5, 2009 09:46 PM

        I go there a lot, but it usually has few customers. I can't imagine how she can keep it going.
        For the life of me I can't figure out why this place doesn't get more business. I had an excellent piece of broiled fish here this evening for $10 along w/ some rice and broiled eggplant. Very satisfying and much better than merely home-made taste, such as the stuff you get at say, Supercore in Williamsburg.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Peter Cuce
          deam RE: Peter Cuce May 8, 2009 10:59 AM

          Most Izakaya's in the city don't seem to "pack them in" outside of the ones around St. Mark's place (with Sakagura being a main exception). I think your average Izaka might be a little bit too "foreign" for your average American.

          When American people think Japanese food they want California rolls or dinner theater ala Benny Hanna. Most Americans have no concept of real Japanese food (lets not even talk about Japanese liquor, thats completely off the radar for people in this country), no matter how delicious or interesting it might be, and I think thats why Izakaya's in the city seem to do a hum-drum business unless they are close to or can attract an Ex-pat Japanese clientele.

          1. re: deam
            squid kun RE: deam May 8, 2009 11:29 AM

            Some of the Midtown places do pretty well. Hagi on 49th is routinely packed.

            1. re: squid kun
              Peter Cuce RE: squid kun May 8, 2009 12:00 PM

              Unfortunately Kappa Sake House is in a sort of Park Slope dead zone. But I was hoping people on Chowhound would give it a try and support it. There's plenty of CHers in Park Slope, as we can see by the percentage of posts about the neighborhood.

              1. re: Peter Cuce
                Nehna RE: Peter Cuce May 8, 2009 02:35 PM

                Mmmm my husband and I LOVE izakaya and have missed it horribly since we stopped spending a lot of time in vancouver.

                We'll have to check this place out.

              2. re: squid kun
                deam RE: squid kun May 11, 2009 02:00 PM

                Hagi only gets crowds because Bourdain advertised it on his show.

                1. re: deam
                  squid kun RE: deam May 11, 2009 03:37 PM

                  It's been quite busy for years, with a heavily expat crowd. Here's my post from five years ago ... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/209154

                  Never saw the Bourdain show; when did it air?

          2. v
            vidiot RE: Peter Cuce Jun 20, 2009 08:28 PM

            For the love of god, go here! She's amazing and classy and the food is fabulous. My husband and I spend our time looking for authentic cuisine and this is definitely authentic. Additionally, her sake selection is amazing. We have no idea what we're doing when it comes to sake, what westerner does really, but she'll tell you what food goes good with what sake or beer and once you taste even one of her cheaper sakes, you'll be like, "what was that crap i was drinking before?"

            Go here.

            Go here now.

            1. b
              brooklynmasala RE: Peter Cuce Sep 20, 2009 01:42 PM

              Went yesterday for dinner and the food and sake were amazing. Please please go check it out. The owner is so nice and the place is really special, I would hate for it to close. We had the tako yaki, mackerel with sea salt, homemade dumplings, eggplant and ramen soup. All were great.

              1 Reply
              1. re: brooklynmasala
                podd103 RE: brooklynmasala Oct 28, 2009 09:34 AM

                I went to Kappa Sake House the other night and now this place is one of my top favorite restaurants. We had the tofu avacado salad, the broiled mackrel, turkey and mushroom shumai, and tofu in miso. All of the dishes were awesome! And the service was great. Like so many people have already mentioned please don't let this one fall through the cracks, it really is a gem in Park Slope, an area that is rapidly becoming dominated by mediocre eating experiences. Go try it out!

                Kappa Sake House
                388 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

              2. squid kun RE: Peter Cuce Jan 2, 2012 08:32 AM

                Just closed, sadly ... http://www.heresparkslope.com/home/20...

                Kappa Sake House
                388 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

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