Drinks with Birdie Yang

The owner and sake sommelier of Yama Asian Fusion tells us about his most recent accolade—Advanced Sake Professional—over a bottle of Pride of the Village Junami Ginjo.
Taylor Mathis

How many sake labels does Yama carry? About 50.

How are they selected? Seasonally and regionally.

Which is your favorite? Born Muroka Nama Genshu; we are the only ones who carry it in the state.

Best dish and sake pairing in the house? Deluxe Sashimi and Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo.

How rigorous was the (Level II) Advanced Sake Professional certification process in Japan? It was quite intense; we were there for six days, three of which were spent in class from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and three from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. being lectured by the key players in the world of sake.

On being one of fewer than 100 ASPs in the U.S.: It’s quite an honor, but it’s not about the title; it’s about knowing more so that I can educate my staff.

Besides sake, are you a beer, liquor, or wine guy? Wine—red or white Burgundy.

Dream person with whom you’d share a bottle of sake? My wife. Where might we find you eating a burger? Five Guys.

Categories: Food + Drink, Quick Bite, Restaurants & Food