New York City
This Japanese-run lounge is a hushed, romantic spot for a cocktail for two—that's because seating is limited, and in traditional style, drinkers (no groups larger than four, thank you very much) are admitted only if there's space for them to sit. The menu is endearingly housed in a grubby plastic-sleeved binder; try a Groovy cocktail with yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit), or a lowball from the comprehensive roster of whiskies (including Japanese brands). Don't be intimidated if this place seems difficult to find—head upstairs, cut through the Japanese restaurant, and open the unmarked wooden door in the corner—behind which Angel's Share is stashed. Go for the slightly creepy cherubic mural above the bar, but stay for the expertly poured Brandy Alexander.
Tip: The well-edited food list (dumpling platter, pork sausages, seared beef, soft shell crab salad) makes it awfully easy to miss your dinner reservation.