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Photo by Juan Fernando Ayora


You won't find Ama easily. The speakeasy inside Brad Kilgore's Kaido is so secretive the room is virtually impossible to find without a guide. Once checked in, you're led to a secret double passageway that finally leads to Ama, where you're asked to refrain from taking photos and using social media in the bar. Once inside, you'll find a good selection of Japanese whisky, including rare vintages from decades past, along with a full food and drink menu. Perhaps the most surprising twist is Kaido's take on a pickleback. The drink, usually downed in Brooklyn dive bars as a precursor to a long night of imbibing cheap beer and booze, consists of a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice. Here, guests chase Japanese whisky with chilled shiitake broth, which is richer and more complex than a glass of brine, imbuing the shot with an exotic flair.