When people ask me what my favorite restaurant in DC is, I usually reply, "There are so many good places, I can't pick a favorite. It really depends on my mood." But if you looked at my dining calendar, you would probably think my favorite restaurant is Izakaya Seki. And I think it is too.
My boyfriend and I went to Izakaya Seki on Friday evening to celebrate one year of dating. The wait was only 20 minutes before we were seated on the lower level. We ordered a plate of sashimi with an additional order of toro because we can't get enough raw fish at this place. I really want to do one dinner here with just sashimi and cured fish but I can't help but ordering the cooked food as well. We added to our order with my boyfriend's favorite item, the taka wasa, a trio of vegetables (how is the spinach so much better than all other spinaches?), and the fried baby octopus above. We have ordered the octopus many times before but this time, Chef Seki garnished it with a baby crab (not alive) which was very cute and playful. We thought it was so great we took the crab home with us to have around until it starts deteriorating. Since we were sitting right in front of Chef Seki, we asked for his a recommendation and he enthusiastically told us to order the aji tataki (Spanish Mackerel served raw and then deep fried) and we are so glad we did. The fish comes out whole with cuts in the belly and served with herbs and ginger. We ate as much raw fish as we could pick with our chopsticks. Then the fish was taken away, deep fried, and brought back to us, at which point we ate the rest of the fish except for the head (though we tried to get as much flesh as possible from the cheeks) and the tail. It was excellent. Finally, we also ordered the chicken meatball, another favorite. I just wish there was still the option of the egg yolk to dip it in.
My boyfriend and I have eaten at either Daikaya Izakaya or Izakaya Seki three out of the last five weekends. There is something to be said that neither of us have thought twice about going to either of the places on such a regular basis. Either the restaurants are darn delicious and fun or we are izakaya fiends.