The carefully rolled nature of sushi makes it ideal for starting snowballs, which is why it's commonly known as "snowman heart." Eat to the center of snow with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Japanese cuisine and drinks at Sake House in Laurel.
Cheery chatter reverberates off of Sake House's exposed stonewalls while servers tote platters of sushi, hibachi dishes, and teriyaki fare to gleaming wooden tables. Diners look to the appetizer menu to stoke stomach flames with honey wasabi tuna, a fan of sliced seared tuna drizzled in honey wasabi sauce, lounging on a bed of cucumber ($10.50). Or, jump face-first into a variety of entrees including broiled eel ($18.50) and other time-tested cuisine. Grilled hibachi dinners with meat and fish options ($18–$24) let diners make protein decisions more exciting than a choose-your-own-adventure novel about bean farming. For dessert, the paradoxical tempura ice cream rolls warm, crisp batter across tongues on waves of smooth, cool sweetness ($5). An extensive drink menu tempts customers with seven varieties of sake, and undecided imbibers can sample a flight of three 2-ounce servings ($10).
Large windows bathe the spacious, high-ceilinged dining room in natural light, and stalks of fresh bamboo beneath rustic artwork make it a must-see attraction for vacationing pandas.
Sculptures of simple wooden sailboats glide across the wall behind Sake House's sushi bar, where chefs bend intently over long filets of fresh fish. In front of them in the dining room, tables draped with tidy white tablecloths stand out against the dark, wooden walls, and platters littered with colorful sushi travel on the arms of servers. Behind the bar, bottles of chilled sake wear poetic labels such as "Bamboo Dew", "Soaring Cloud", and "Black River", and at hibachi tables, chefs deftly manipulate their knives across steaks and lobsters or carve their initials into broccoli trees.