COD – Japanese Bar in the basement of a restaurant
On our way back we passed a restaurant that newly opened in March and is a new place of the upcoming culinary scene of Riga. This place got recommended to me by the bartender of The Left Doors because in the basement of this Japanese restaurant you will find a bar. As soon as you enter the unimposing entrance of COD, you will find a reception and a nice welcome. The flying paper cranes guide you the way downstairs to the bar.
The concept is crystal clear like the ice cube in your drink. It feels like you are somewhere else if you go further down the stairs and enter a cosy vaulted cellar.
Japan stands for perfection and so the place. Everything is well designed, nice wood, decent decoration, the only colourful eye-catcher is a huge Manga painting. The seats at the bar counter are quite comfortable and there are also sitting areas with big pillows. There are two main reasons responsible for the feel-good atmosphere. It is the perfect indirect light and the nice smell of fresh air. I think this is provided by the wall of fresh moss which you pass on your way down and invites you to touch.
It was early and we were the first guests. This is always a good opportunity to get some detailed information. But first we got a bowl full of Edamame, the perfect bar nibbles for this location. There will be soon a new menu that will have less classic drinks and is more focussed on their great selection of sake, choya, shiso and yuzu. After the light drink before at the coffee shop Mute, I fancied a solid drink with substance. The bartender recommended a „White Negroni“ with Sake. My company opted for a „Martinez“. Both drinks were well made and perfectly executed. At all bars the ice is crystal clear. I noticed everywhere the same shape of the ice bars and asked about it. They get the ice bars from a company that produces the ice blocks for ice sculptures. The gentle bartenders provided me with many information and we had some serious talks about the bar scene in Riga and also in Germany. The hospitality and attentive care is stunning. We felt very comfortable and were ready for a second round. My company got another twist on a “Negroni”. Nothing fancy just impeccably built with Sake and spiced with Suze which gave the drink its own character and nice flavour. I tried a Japanese gin sour called “My Eastern Dream”. Composed with gin, matcha, lemon, egg white and bergamot and served in a bowl. I really liked that drink with the green matcha aftertaste. Well executed cocktail with a fantastic and refreshing taste. Beside the drinks we got some freshly made sweet potatoes fries and I ordered some sushi. It was super fresh and tasty and the right barfood for this place.
I had a very good experience, detached from time and space with a different and very interesting style of drinks.
Japan stands also for perfection in details and so are the toilets. Usually I do not mention it because I always expect a clean place but these restrooms are really nice with a wonderful smell of fresh wood and a good atmosphere. The bartender told me that all guests like this place a lot.