The Citiblog

Sake No Hana is the New Hot Spot on the Lower East Side
December 9, 2022, 12:12.19 am ET


Photos: Ashley Sears (F&B)

When it comes to creating buzz, no one does it better than Tao Hospitality Group. And its newest spot, Sake No Hana, at the Moxy Lower East Side is scorching hot! The interior space, designed by the Rockwell Group, takes its cue from the neighborhood's 1980s punk scene with a dose of “yankii,”a Japanese subculture around the same time obsessed with American rock, rebellious hairstyles and clothing.

Photos: Michael Kleinberg (Interior)

Guests enter through two dramatically curved staircases boasting metal, glass and leather elements before descending onto a catwalk at the hotel’s entrance with kimono-inspired tapestries leading to the bar below with curvy banquettes and floral wall coverings.

The main dining room boasts a mirrored ceiling with large lanterns dangling overhead. There is a “pleasure garden” with embroidered panels showcasing fantastical birds and cherry blossoms. Here diners can share teppanyaki platters and sushi rolls while sipping on sake cocktails.

Sake No Hana is a culinary destination led by a four-person team - Chief Culinary Officer Ralph Scamardella, Chefs Yoshi Kojima and Jason Hall, and Executive Chef Nick Phongmekin who is responsible for bringing the menu to life, melding traditional Japanese techniques with new world flavors.

The result is sharable plates like Black Truffle Steak Tartare with milk bread and chives; Hamachi and Salmon Poke with yuzu, ikura, and celery juice; Prawn and Asparagus Tempura with madras curry salt and tentsuyu; and Three Egg Chawanmushi with uni, golden ossetra caviar and jidori egg custard.

There are skewers ranging from asparagus and shiitake mushrooms to pork cheek and wagyu heart. Tamaki rolls bring yellowtail with serrano chili and soy vinaigrette, sweet shrimp tartare with sea urchin and toro with wasabi soy and crispy scallion, to name a few.

Larger plates and specialties include Kelp-Wrapped Thai Snapper with burned jalapeño, tomato and ginger; Koma Cauliflower with Japanese green curry; Bamboo Branzino with sundried tomato, shiso and ponzu; Filet Mignon with Tokyo turnip, potato and black garlic au poivre; Lamb Chops with shishito chimichurri and honeynut squash, and Maine Lobster with yuzu and tobanjan chili butter; among others.

Cocktails are whimsical, elegant, and playful. They include Liquid Swords, a savory, old-fashioned-esque cocktail featuring a Mizunara oak-aged rum that has been filtered with Japanese coral for added purity; Harajuku Icon, which marries Japanese spirits with classic Southeast Asian flavors and is served in a gold ceramic Buddha; and Full Happiness, is a cocktail infused with Szechuan peppercorns to create a tingling heat on the tongue, a sensation that transforms the other flavors for a lush, unforgettable libation.

Sake No Hana is located inside the Moxy Lower East Side Hotel at 145 Bowery, New York, NY. For more information, visit Reservations are available via OpenTable