Thanks Shi. To @guest, there will be several cult and very highly sought after brands that will be harder to locate in shops (to almost virtually impossible particularly for the higher end bottles), simply because demand is too high and allocations go to either restaurants or sold via lottery. There could be some exceptions where certain bottles of a producer's portfolio that maybe you can find at random, but it depends on availability and the retail shop's allocation, thus luck and timing in the end. There are other means of getting these bottles also, but it will be aftermarket and you will be paying above retail pricing from unknown sources. There are also unfortunately people who somehow manage to buy cases of these cult brands and bottles, post them on social media, and resell them (including shipping some overseas with no temperature control) to their fellows, and I would strongly advise people to be careful when purchasing through these channels as there is possibility of counterfeiting or improper storage, thus affecting overall quality even if you end up with a legitimate bottle. For the producers that are not as famous or as sought after, but more easily available, their offerings can be amazing too, so please give them a chance as well.
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Eric, I see. Hopefully, they might make changes in the future.
From my previous messages with sushi obana ig, you can try making a reservation on pocket concierge waiting list and DM sushi obana on their ig(which is run by the wonderful okami-san), they will make a priority reservation for those that have been there before.
Very well put. I too have sometimes been mildly disappointed in some (not all) of the popular restaurants I've tried. I find that with a bit of thoughtful research in advance it's quite possible to trust one's own instincts about whether a place will be a good match. Following those instincts has served me so much better than trying to follow any crowd!