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Cool Korean Cocktail: Try Soju, Asia's Answer to Vodka - Things to Do in Northern California - RoHan Lounge - Restaurant Review
Sunset, by Amy McConnell

Next time you're in the mood for something a bit more cosmopolitan than a cosmopolitan, head for San Francisco's RoHan Lounge, a Korean fusion restaurant where the beverage of choice is soju, an Asian liquor distilled from sweet potatoes, rice, or barley. Although RoHan is the first restaurant in the Bay Area to promote soju as a specialty beverage, it's one of many where the 48-proof liquor can now be found. A 1999 law permits California restaurants with beer and wine licenses to serve soju as well, since, like beer and wine, it is traditionally consumed with meals. At RoHan you can order the vodkalike soju straight up in a "flight"--four different types, each with subtle flavor nuances. But soju is also great in cocktails--its flavor is mild, but it's got a kick. Rolan Reichel, co-owner of RoHan, predicts that soju is here to stay. "It's the biggest drink in Asia," he says, "and a billion people can't be wrong."

Finding soju

RoHan Lounge ($; dinner only, Tue-Sun; 3809 Geary Blvd., San Francisco; www.rohanlounge.com or 415/221-5095) sells soju, as do Korean and Japanese markets.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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