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CanY

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About CanY

  • Rank
    Goldberg Variation
  • Birthday April 5

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Early Retirement
  • Location
    Washington DC

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  1. Hi JonS, I`m a big fan of Tetsuya-san too, and yes, he is an important part of our team. He is currently leading the way for us at our Sushi Capitol location. He is the most senior student of Ogawa-san in our current team of chefs and we are lucky to have him with us. Tetsuya-san and I look forward to hosting you in the near future. Kindest Regards
  2. Both are great places with their own energy and feel. As far as food and drinks, I believe Izakaya Seki features sashimi and a counter seating where you can watch Seki-san wonderfully prepare orders. As far as setting, for me Izakaya Seki is more tranquil and Daikaya is more stimulating.
  3. The media is effective. Yesterday it convinced me to do something that I have never done before: wait in a long line to be placed on a waiting list to eat dinner later on. And as luck would have it, we were 6 people too late so the best offer for our hour or so wait was to be placed on a call list in case some else earlier on the list cancelled. At that moment a new decision faced me, travel about a mile or so to the east or travel about a mile or so to the west. Spot to the west was a familiar one, place where I`ve been to more in the last few years than my parents' house and spot to the east was a new one, never been and frankly never heard too much of. My dining companion was driving and they chose the spot to the east. Nido from the outside looks like any other highly reviewed and highly followed restaurant. On the inside, it looks like it could be a page pinned hundreds of thousands of times on Pinterest for the search words "design", "restaurant", and "cool". Also, the location requires more courage to open than most neighborhoods in this city because it felt like there was virtually no foot traffic. So kudos to the owners for opening where they did. The menu is straightforward and balanced between small small plates to medium sized small plates. We ended up trying six different dishes and everything was well made. Shishito peppers and chicken thighs were my favorite dishes of the night. The service was friendly and attentive. Surprisingly I was too full to try any of the dessert selections but the option with pistachio cream and cookie caught my eye for next time. I never got a text from the other spot, which means no one cancelled from the wait list earlier but lucky for me I enjoyed a beautiful meal in a beautiful setting. I will be back to the spot that was to the west as well but I`m glad I met Nido and I look forward to return to her soon.
  4. After two years moving to the United States, few months removed from my last ESL class I stumbled upon a TV series called “Bill Walton’s Long, Strange Trip”. I was immediately drawn to its title since I felt like I was at the beginning of my own long, strange trip. Also, the word strange was interesting to me since I didn’t use it all that often as I was learning English. Bill Walton once said “Life is about growth. People are not perfect when they’re 21 years old.” I don’t believe people are ever perfect but at least for me, life is certainly about growth. The first part of that quote has been the instinctive guide of my life. So what does this have to do with anything in regards to Sushi Capitol? I like to think it has to do everything with it. A window into the mind reveals goals, desires, intentions, and many more things about the person and consequently the business. Because what makes Sushi Capitol isn’t the fish and the furniture, it’s the people behind it. And people behind Sushi Capitol, under my leadership, in unity, take opinions, comments, and suggestions to heart and evaluate them to determine their validity (or their essence) to further our growth along in our journey. I am writing this because I care. I care for you as my guest, I care for this community as a healthy platform to interact with like-minded people, and I care as an individual trying to grow. The conversation under our thread here is an interesting one. Early on, a dear fellow member claimed Ogawasan didn’t know how to properly make a maki. And recently I notice there is the subject of pre-cut fish. Being bi-lingual, I feel that English is a lot like a blanket. (Or maybe that’s my failure to adequately learn the language.) A word or a term covers a lot of things underneath and it pays no attention to different shades under that blanket. Words like love, pain, and happy cover a lot with no differentiation in between the actuality of the exact emotion. And in the food industry, words (phrases) like fresh, frozen, pre-cut, farm-to-table, and home-made cover a lot of ground. When I read pre-cut fish in the post of our another dear fellow member, I too felt egregiously. Confucius once said “He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” I did not want to be neither lost nor be in danger thus before confronting my chef in regards to pre-cutting the fish, I reached out to the sushi chefs that I know. Names and locations of these chefs may surprise some, after all how can a Turk in DC can reach out to some of the chefs I was able to reach out, but luckily they liked me enough to answer my call. After 16 conversations, I noticed a similar trend in their answers. They all asked about the conditions surrounding my question. I explained that one chef is in charge of all nigiri and sashimi and with 20 seats and take-away orders, and during our two seatings, he has to prepare aprroximately between 180 to 240 pieces in less than 30 to 40 minutes. Almost all of them followed up by asking how long has the fish been cut prior to service. I didn’t know the answer to that question since I still didn’t confront my chef about his egregious act. Once again, almost all replied that makes a big difference. From what I gather from their response, pre-cut fish at 11 am to be served at 8 pm is bad. Cutting a fish 5 to 10 minutes or even 20 minutes prior to serving is acceptable. I felt comfortable with my overall knowledge on this issue and I move forward to confronting my chef. He politely remained me that he takes pride in his work and wouldn’t put forth an effort that is bad or less than what is expected of him. Also he told me, at really busy times, prior to 10 minutes or so before our seating time (since we have two seatings, we are very efficient at predicting our busy times) he does slice the fish to be served in the next 20 minutes. He assured me that is done only of the busiest expected times. In regards to serving Omakase piece by piece or in a group of 3 to 6 fish at a time, once again the answer depends on the conditions surrounding it and the person doing it. In a casual setting in which a guest at the counter is free to order a spicy tuna roll while being seated next to someone who is ordering the Omakase, the pace of the food is decided by the chef running it. And for a menu that is “respectfully leaving another to decide what is best” there seems to be a lot of absolute rules and surmise in existence. This took me back a while. It made me think the about the core values that I envisioned Sushi Capitol upon. I envisioned a fun, energetic setting offering variety and quality with generally accepted affordable prices. (I understand affordability is relative, but my use of affordability in this instance indicates that it is accessible by every demographic in our city.) And three years in, I believe we are achieving all of those points day in and day out. And we don’t want to exclude any of the guests who make up the success of our restaurant. In addition, our city, whether you think or not, is not ready for an exclusively sushi menu in which the pieces are served one by one regardless of the price point. That is not my opinion, that is my reality based on my personal daily experience at our sister restaurant. I am one of the biggest believers of the notion “Guest is always right.” And I purposely used the word guest instead of customer because I don’t have customers, I have guests who I welcome into a space for which I am emotionally attached. I have spent so many hours within those four walls for them to remain a just a store for me. So as my guest, I extend an invitation to you. Any day that we are open, it would be my pleasure to host you for an Omakase meal in which all your expectations will be met: everything will be cut before your own eyes, and will be served one by one. Please text me at five seven one, two five one, five four four four to arrange it at your convenience. And my offer above is extended to anyone who is reading these lines. After all, without our guests, we are just individuals between four walls. My fellow community members, please do not fear that our expansion efforts are effecting our performance. Because we are not expanding, but rather we are growing. And with growth, we learn, adapt, and overcome the challenges that we are presented with. But be assured, our efforts aren’t expanding, they are growing in a way that we are working harder, longer, and with increased passion to be part of our city and our community. Life is long, strange trip much like this post. And we hope to grow in this long, strange trip together.
  5. Thank you for coming in and giving us a try. I hoped you enjoyed your experience in February, we just opened on February 1st, so thank you for coming in so early on. There are two differences between the counter and the dining room. First difference is the experience. In the dining room, it's quieter and you can focus more on your dining companion. At the sushi counter, since you are inches away from the chefs, most guests end up watching them and may not necessarily focus on their dining counterpart. Second difference is the number of pieces of sushi or the chef's tailoring of the course for the individual. Once again, since you are so close to him, you can interact with him and he observes you as you're eating your sushi and he`ll shape the path of the omakase course accordingly. Also, the omakase costs little bit more at the counter, and there are few more pieces (varying from day to day) that are served for the guest as their appetite allows. We would love to host you again, and this time just mention your desire to be seated at the counter and it`ll be our pleasure to host you and I`ll ensure you`ll have an excellent experience. Ogawasan and Tetsuyasan (and I) are fun to talk to, and at times there is a bit of a language barrier (between chefs and guests), but we all have clean hearts and good intentions so it ends up making for fun conversations. Kindest Regards, Can
  6. Yes, indeed three consecutive orders. Plus it's a way to express my eater spirit with a reference from the hip hop culture. (see: stacks on stacks on stacks )
  7. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Poste, Cork, or Garrison, great Chef and a great neighbor, Chef Weland a does an excellent job in feeding us every time we visit. And every time we visit, we end up asking ourselves why it's been this long since our last visit. I appreciate how clean and nice Garrison feels and I really appreciate how Chef Weland is there every time we visit. There is something about a team with it's captain always being present. So what's in a name? How many of us can remember what was in this space before Garrison opened without using a search engine? It's the people that make the name of a place matter and if it is Chef Weland's kitchen and it's his food, you are guaranteed to enjoy it. Also, I may not have another opportunity to type the following with the right context, so here it goes: Gougeres on Gougeres on Gougeres.
  8. I haven't been back to Istanbul in over a decade. Life takes it's toll and something gets in they way of something else, and before too long you feel trapped in between something and something. One of the things I feel worst about missing out on is the food culture of Istanbul. The heart of that culture is friends and families at a table together to share. They share stories, experiences, complaints, news, opinions, and most importantly they share their time over great food. I remember visiting grand restaurants with no soul, and I also remember tables with nothing more than bread, feta, and tea to be packed with life. And even though, the food at 2 Amy's is excellent, what makes them my current favorite restaurant in the city, isn't that. It's their unparalleled ability to welcome you in what it seems to be a loud mad house from the outside. They welcome you with their authenticity, ingenious menu, great wines, efficient service, and with the soul of the space which captivates you from the moment you seat down. I may not go back to Istanbul again for the next few years with how things are going with our own places, however, I am thankful to 2 Amy's for bringing the dining spirit of the Mediterranean to DC.
  9. Don, you are spot on. After 6:30 pm, there are spots right on Connecticut Ave.. I had few guests who were able to park right outside of the building across from us. Also, as Don wrote, the nearby side streets will have some spots. Most houses behind are Embassy houses and not many other visitors come into the area. In addition, I heard from some guests that there is a garage near the Hilton DC, which is approximately 5-10 minute walk and they mentioned it to be very reasonable. Also, from few guests who live in the Woodley Park side, they say there is parking available there and it's about a 10 minute walk across the bridge. Eric, I hope you will have an easy time finding parking and I hope we will be able to present you an excellent night at our restaurant.
  10. 3 out of the last 4 orders I placed using Postmates was for WiseGuy NY Pizza. Recently, I completed a move to Navy Yard area, and too tired to cook WiseGuy came to my rescue with great pizza, meatballs, and garlic knots. Also, I noticed they updated their website and it looks beautiful with great pictures of the menu items.
  11. Few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Tony Erol through a mutual friend. At the time I was trying to open my own eatery and I wanted his advice. As far as independent restaurant owners goes, Tony Erol is one of my role models. And even though I`m not even close to being a pizza or NY pizza connoisseur, I judge my experiences by delicious-o-meter, and everything I had the pleasure of tasting from Wiseguy's scores high for me.
  12. This week I learned that Chef Liam and I have a good mutual friend, so I am very excited to head over there and experience Bar Civita. Plus it's right down the road from Ogawa, so I see a lot of visits in between or after service (at Ogawa). And of course a chef owned establishment should have plenty of soul so I`m on board.
  13. Everyday for the last two years, my life is centered around Japanese food. (mostly sushi but there are a lot of tangent conversations about other aspects of the Japanese cuisine) So when I learned about Nikkei cuisine, I was very intrigued. And with Ocopa opening less than a mile from my house, I had a destination to quench my curiosity. Upon learning that Jose Andres, once a chef- now a great restaurateur, was opening what I perceive to be a Nikkei restaurant on steroids, I was happy to have another opportunity to experience this unique combination. With my birthday approaching, my fiance wanted to surprise me with a nice dinner, so she made reservations. (She forgot to clear the history on her browser, so I quickly figured out where we were going to go) When we showed up on a Sunday evening, the place was about half full, by the time we left, they were almost close to capacity. One thing I noticed that surprised me was the amount of older (65+) clients. Maybe it was the time of our reservation, or maybe they had early bird specials we didn't know about, but half of the tables I observed was in the older crowd. Service was laid back. Our server was very knowledgeable and I could sense his excitement to be part of their team. (Towards the end of the meal, I asked him when and how he joined the team, and he said that he is Peruvian and when he heard about the place, he quit his job and wanted to work there.) For food, we tried hakao (steamed glass dumpling), sanguche de chancho nipon (pork belly), uni causagris, engawa with uni nigiri, aji de gallina, nobu usuzukuri, and for dessert suspiro limena, and marcianos. Most enjoyable dishes for the night were the aji de gallina and suspiro limena. Instead of breaking each dish down to what was good or bad for me, I`ll say this, at Ocopa, I felt a sense of authenticity and I felt I was part of the establishment even if they had a rougher experience compared to China Chilcano. At China Chilcano, I felt a sense of being a spectator as if I was at Folger Theater, I was able to observe the experience, but my role was very defined; arrive, order, eat, and leave. The restaurant itself is very polished and thinking about how much it would take to make a space that big this polished gives me wild dreams of what I can do with 1/10th of that budget. So it's nice to see that Mr. Andres and his team went all out to bring a new addition to our city. I think China Chilcano will find their line and define a standard and like all other restaurants under Mr. Andres' empire, perform at that level to those who want to experience an ethnic experience, but not that much.
  14. March 15, 2015 was a glorious day for me. It started with my football club (in Turkey) taking over the standings with a convincing victory and the day continued with my first visit to the Red Hen. It turns out, I live really close to the Red Hen. I showed up around 04:45 pm, because I read that they save room for walk-ins and they have a bar with the full menu available, but also because I know restaurants with good reputation and great food tends to fill up fast. I sat at the end of the bar, with a perfect view of their open kitchen. First thing I noticed is how excellent their set up and lay out is. The design of their cook line was very straightforward with clear distinction of each stations, and the expediter was really great at setting the tempo. (I dined alone for the first time in a long time, and I was right by their kitchen, so I observed a lot more than I usually do since I didn't have to keep up with conversation nor I wasn't disrupted by my phone.) I started off with a beet salad, followed by squid ink linguini, and short rib. I finished my evening with the donuts. Everything I ordered was enjoyable but the highlights for me were the squid ink linguini and the donuts with the cinnamon crunch gelato. I wish the linguini was served in a magical plate that kept re-filling itself. Also I like the wines by the glass list, it kept it short and to the point. Two different selections I tried, Vermentino and Corvina, became a great companion to me. By 05:30 pm tables and the bar were full. The only thing I disliked was the people hovering behind the bar to grab a seat when they became available. By 05:45 there were about 5 people or so standing with a drink and watching people eat, and it felt uneasy. But it didn't change the fact that I enjoyed the food, the space, and the people of the Red Hen. I look forward to returning, on a Sunday, right at opening.
  15. Since I grew up in the restaurant business, owning/running a restaurant was always a goal of mine. And no matter how far I got away from the restaurant business, my life always boomerang back to the restaurant industry. When I was younger, I planned to expose myself to as many different types of restaurant operations as possible, from fine dining to casual high volume, and to few other in between. In my quest to achieve that, I wanted to work for GAR. Few years back, I ended up working for Sweetwater Tavern in Merrifield, VA location. I was a server and I only ended up working for about 6 months or so, but the insights that experience provided for me are still very useful to this day. Chef Brandon, mentioned above, is spot on. From what I witnessed, everything was made in house, down to the dressings and sauces. The quality of the proteins are higher than one might expect from seeing their prices. Also the professionalism of everyone, from employees to management, is top level as well. Even though I may not visit and enjoy their food often, or agree with how repetitive their menus are, I`m in awe of their organizational set up, professionalism, quality (for the price range), and how well they treat everyone. ( and their sales figures) I haven't work there in years, nor do I keep in touch with anyone from my brief time there, but I`m still loyal to the organization in a sense that I strive to have a similar organizational environment.
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