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  1. Washington City Paper with the news. and this nugget: "I want to be the type of place where the residents of that area and people who are nearby can come once a week, twice a week... and it won't hurt their wallet," says Can Yurdagul, who's joined in the venture by his future father-in-law/chef Minoru Ogawa. The owners are also giving equity in the business to three of their longtime sushi chefs. Congrats Can!
  2. The Lady and I had a hankering for local sushi on a Friday night, so we headed to Osaka....but now, it's Izumi. Owned by UnCha Howard and her husband since last summer, the interior hasn't changed much since its Osaka days. UnCha Howard is Korean, and there are many Korean dishes on the menu. The daily special was seafood BiBimBap, for example, but Lady KN and I went there to enjoy the sushi. We ordered a solid $100 worth of nigiri and rolls, all of which came out on a wooden boat. The kitchen sent out a baby octopus amuse, and they were braised nicely, almost sweet. The rest of the fish was pristine, and the rolls were delicious. The tuna and salmon were excellent, and looked fresh with bright shimmering colors, as well as very clean taste. The mackerel was as clean as it gets, with decidedly non-fishy taste. The Spider Roll and Spicy Dragon Roll were really good. We would return for the sushi, but now I'm thinking I have to check out this kitchen's Korean bona fides. Annandale is next door, but Korean food in Springfield needed a shot in the arm, and maybe UnCha Howard will provide it.
  3. I had been in Osaka a few times in the past. It's a few doors down from Thai Cafe, which is in the Dining Guide, but I was surprised that Osaka was not in the Dining Guide. I actually was aiming for Thai Cafe but girlfriend did a last-second vector to Osaka, and it was worth the detour. Girlfriend and I had a very pleasant dinner at Osaka tonight. We ordered liberally throughout the sushi menu, with plenty of nigiri, including medium fatty tuna as well as salmon belly, and three rolls -- spicy tuna, crunchy real crab and avocado and eel. Among the nigiri was plenty of tuna, salmon, white tuna, yellowtail, eel, salmon roe and quail egg. There appears to be some kind of all day 'happy hour' going on during the weekends and a few other days of the week, so the pieces were nicely priced, albeit a bit small. Tuna, for example, priced for one piece per order was $1.95, so two pieces at $3.90 isn't bad. The one piece per order concept threw me off a bit, but we had more than enough food between us. The fish was uniformly fresh and colorful, almost glistening, and as good as sushi gets in the general Springfield-Franconia-Lorton-Burke area. A full carafe of wine, priced at about $27.00, along with all the sushi we could handle, plus miso soup and salad for two, plus tax and tip, came to just under $100. I will return.
  4. Have been indulging in Ariake for years (since they opened in 2005) - the original location is a stand-alone across from Hunter's Woods Shopping Plaza in Reston, a block off Reston Parkway. If coming off the Dulles Toll Road, instead of going towards the RTC, go the opposite direction; obviously various mapping services will get you there easily, more pointing out for those less familiar. I am a selective when it comes to sushi - Ariake has experiences Chef's, daily specials for lunch and dinner, and it is a decent sized restaurant if you want to eat-in. Beware, their carry-out business has exploded and if you go during normal dinner business hours the place is hopping. Despite having their own parking lot, it fills up fast and the employees often park on the grass around the restaurant to open up more spaces. Sounds tacky, but like I said the place is consistently busy. Prices are similar to other decent sushi places, the fish is very fresh and they can be creative. They recently opened a Fairfax Ariake location and took their better sushi chef and a few of the other employees there to open. For those who live in the Dulles corridor this place is almost on par with Tachibana in Mclean, and not as far to drive. In the warmer months, they have outdoor seating which is nice; the sound of their waterfall helps mitigate the noise from passing cars on the two adjacent streets.
  5. Rock-n-Roll Sushi is at least better than the flyer Nooshi mailed out last year advertising "Funky Sushi" at happy hour. Funky sushi. EWWWWWWWW.
  6. If you're looking for Alexandria Sushi I am a huge fan of Momo Sushi on Queen Street. It used to be a tiny tiny little 17 seat place but recently had the upper floor renovated to more than double their capacity. Personally I think you need to stray *much* further to find good mexican or a good cannoli.
  7. "Kouji Kimura: The Genius of Extreme Fish Aging" on luxeat.com Andy Hayler's recent review of Kimura
  8. While we wait for our moving truck to arrive, we are staying with family in Memorial, in the Western part of Houston. The whole family, 2 small kids in tow, had dinner at Izaykaya Wa on Memorial Dr. last night. I luckily called ahead and made a reservation, as it was packed to the gills with a boisterous group of drinkers/noshers when we arrived. This is a true Izakaya, being a great place to throw down a few beers and munch on yakitori and kushiage. It reminded Cristina and I of our old NYC haunt, Village Yokocho. We shared a number of things, mainly standards (edamame, vegetable tempura, takoyaki, seaweed salad). All were done well, especially the takoyaki, which were thankfully not drowning in Kewpie mayo. The chirashi and special rolls we shared were fine for a place that is not focussed on sushi. Chicken skin and chicken thigh skewers were nicely grilled, the skin deliciously crispy and salty. A whole grilled squid served alongside grilled slices of jalapeño (we are in TX after all) was mildly flavored and a bit too chewy...the only real miss of the night. Everything was washed down with several rounds of Asahi and Sapporo, and thankfully the exuberance of our fellow diners drowned out any squeals of protestation from our smaller dining companions.
  9. "No Peeking!" That's what it says on the bright orange envelope I was handed at Sushi-Zen as I picked up my carryout Vegetarian Sushi ($9.49) lunch special. I've been to Sushi-Zen a couple times in the past, and have never cared for either the fish or the sushi rice. Again, I didn't like the rice, but I was pretty taken by the artful carryout presentation of the (tired-looking but well-cut and colorful) vegetables, about six or seven different types. Visually, it was a really nice effort by the sushi chef. Back to the orange envelope. "Come back to Sushi-Zen November 1st through November 30th, and bring this envelope UNOPENED [in big, bold letters] to receive one of five secret prizes. Envelope needs to be opened in front of your server to be valid." * A $50 Gift Certificate * 25% off your bill * $3.50 off your bill * A free appetizer value up to $7.00 * A free dessert My envelope remains unopened. However, a close scrutiny under bright sunlight reveals that I have a free appetizer (value up to $7.00) coming my way in November, should I wish to go back. Cheers, Rocks.
  10. In case someone's really dying for Ramen in NoVa and can't drive to DC/MD for their fix, Tanpopo is now open. Some photos are on Yelp. A hand written message regarding their hours indicate that they open at 11:30 Tuesday to Sunday. For the avoidance of doubt, they're closed on Monday. The same hand scribbled message states they're only serving ramen and a few appetizers at this point.
  11. My uncle's wife and her friend were in town for a visit and wanted to meet up with @MichaelBDC and me for dinner. They requested sushi but our #1 place, Sushi Ogawa, was booked and not knowing their budget, we decided not to push our luck with Sushi Taro. I ended up booking Sushi Gakyu after reading Tim Carman's review in the Washington Post. I used to walk by there everyday when I worked in the area, almost willing it to open, so I was very excited to finally be able to check the place out. When I made our reservations, I indicated that the four of us would like to sit at the counter and order omakase. The day of, the restaurant called to confirm our reservation and asked if we would like the $100 omakase option or $150 omakase option. As one could guess, the higher price meant more and higher quality fish. I selected the $100 omakase option but mentioned that we may order more if we were still hungry. We arrived right at 7:30pm to a mostly empty restaurant and our dining partners already seated at the counter. We would be the only ones at the counter the entire evening though there were 3-4 other tables seated and we did overhear one of the servers mention something about a party upstairs (perhaps Sushi Gakyu was catering it). Within five minutes of sitting down, we realized we were in for a treat. One of our dining partners was speaking in Japanese to Chef Ota and she insisted on ordering a bottle of sake from the "featured sake" list rather than the regular one. We started off with a bottle of Kotsuzumi "bloom on the Path" Junmai Daiginjo. It was so smooth and clear. We started with a refreshing salad of tomato, cucumber, seaweed, and dashi jelly. We also ordered edamame. That was followed by fried salmon cheek which was very good. Sashimi of sea bass with ponzu came next. Then came a taste of fugu/puffer fish (though I forget what part of the fish we got). A second bottle of sake. Four different slices of salmon nigiri. Three different pieces of tuna nigiri. Nigiri of seared prawn, raw scallop, and raw prawn was next. Finally, eel and a sweetened omelet. That was supposed to be the end, but we added small bites of uni from Maine and California as well as a little marinated squid. It was all fantastic. My only quibble with the meal is that the rice seemed a bit dry or undercooked, but the variety of the fish really made up for that. Our dining companions picked up the bill so the real price of dinner is unknown. Sushi Gakyu is certainly another option for sushi lovers out there and I definitely see us going back for another round of omakase.
  12. I checked the dining guide and couldn't find a listing, but I wanted to make a mention of Thailand on Royal in Old Town Alexandria. The restaurant has just moved into a larger location on Fairfax Street, just across from Perks, and their expansion in this economy is a testament to their consistently solid performance. The food is very good and the service is attentive, and we think they are the best Thai option in our part of NoVa. I usually get one of two dishes here, the drunkard's noodles or the panang curry. The noodles are searingly hot and beautifully spiced with plenty of basil. The panang curry has a lovely depth and is exceptionally fragrant with kaffir lime leaves (no skimping on the pricey ingredients). They will also make this dish with tofu and/or vegetables, options that I don't think are on the menu, but have been suggested by our server and make for a nice lighter lunch. Mr. lperry loves the chicken kaprow, spiced minced chicken, and they always make it just how he wants it, on the mild side. We eat out a great deal, and this restaurant is the only one in the area where we have never had a bad meal. Not once. And that's with a minimum of one visit a week. The worst thing that has happened was the appearance of anemic tomatoes in the drunkard's noodles during the off season, but this phenomenon is not restricted to this restaurant. We'll keep going.
  13. Had dinner last night at Samurai teppanyaki grill in the GMU shopping center. I had the chicken and shrimp combo, dining companion had the lobster-filet-shrimp, plus the typical miso soup, salad, fried rice, grilled veggies and noodles. It was clean, everything was cooked properly, not the best show by the chef but certainly adequate, and thankfully not oversalted (which is something that I find happens at a teppanyaki with chefs using the salt shakers in their show). A lot of food -- I took fully half of mine home even after eating until I was stuffed, so I think a fair value for the price, which I believe was about $24 for my choice, maybe about $31-$32 for my companion? Plus a sake appletini for me that balanced on the line between sweet and sour. I would have been happy with a tad more sour but was relieved that it wasn't too sweet. Not fine dining by any stretch, but I think a better choice than Kilroy's (which was the other option I was offered).
  14. Question, Josh: Given that Houston is so far inland, is this saying much? (No, I'm not assuming they're yanking your Madai from the Gulf of Mexico, but is the distribution network, and the post-receipt storage, good enough to provide for compelling sushi?) Are there any Sushi / Sashimi restaurants in Houston that fly in their fish from the Tsukiji Fish Market? We actually have these in Washington, DC, and we're further from Tokyo than you are.
  15. Kukuri received a moderate amount of hype when it opened, based on the presence of sushi chef Shimao Ishikawa. Ishikawa was behind the (sushi) bar at Michelin-starred Jewel Bako in New York, where I had a memorable meal years ago. I had omakase reservations last week ($175 per person), but ultimately cancelled after hearing rumors that Ishikawa was no longer in the kitchen. I asked a couple of the food critics in town, neither of which had heard anything. A perusal of the Kukuri Facebook page showed that Ishikawa responded to a negative review from his personal account, claiming to have been out of the kitchen since an automobile accident in November. I sent him (or at least whoever is behind the "Shimao Ishikawa" Facebook account) a personal message, and he confirmed that he is no longer associated with Kukuri. While their website still lists him, their frequently updated Facebook page now lists Masayuki Kawai as the head chef. I haven't been able to find out any information on his past work.
  16. After a couple "meh" experiences at other sushi spots around town, I have seen the truth, and it is Hori-san's sushi rice. I absolutely cannot bring myself to get excited about eating sushi anywhere else. Yes, yes, the fish is superb, impeccably prepared, and seasoned such that your soy sauce and freshly grated wasabi stare on longingly as you neglect them throughout the meal. But that rice. So perfectly seasoned, juuuuust sweet enough, and never overpacked or structurally unsound. I honestly think you do yourself a disservice by ordering sashimi at Kata. As far as I can tell, the play is to get an appetizer or two (chicken skewers 3 ways, miso eggplant, and the ceviche wouldn't be a bad way to go), and then ask for an omakase sushi from the chef with as few or many pieces as you feel like. We've done this both from the sushi bar and the tables.
  17. Tachibana also in McLean is more authentic than Ichiban. But Ichiban is cheap and good and they have very friendly service. I like their special rolls and handrolls. Someone at the table next to me ordered the Utah roll (never tried it, don't know why it's called that) and it looked great. They also have good toro usually.
  18. Let me start by saying I've never been to Japan, and I've never been to Masa. That said, for my personal preference, Japan is second only to France for my favorite cuisine, and I am very much of a sushi and sashimi hound - it's just about my favorite thing (along with foie gras, caviar, etc.) I had, without much doubt, the best Sashimi-Sushi Omakase I've ever eaten on Wednesday night at the Sushi Bar at Sushi Ogawa, and I've been to most of the great sushi specialists in the U.S. and Vancouver. The only option is a $100 omakase, and I highly advise all diners to call and see if Chef Ogawa will be working before they commit to this meal. My friend made the reservation under her name, and I have no reason to think I was recognized, but boy, this sure seemed like more than the "12-14 courses" they advertise. I don't rule out the possibility that I was spotted, but regardless, I'm spotted at most other top Japanese restaurants in DC, and nobody has put out sashimi and sushi like this before, not even the great Sushi Taro. I had made an exception to my own unwritten rule (the only other one-visit Bold I've ever made has been Elements in Princeton, NJ), and initialized Sushi Bar at Sushi Ogawa as such (this was absolutely the best meal I've had in 2017, my dining partner said it was by far the best sashimi-sushi she's ever eaten, and I've spent nearly 8 weeks this year in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles), but just to be prudent, I'm going to wait for other people to chime in. There are numerous Michelin 3-star sushi restaurants in Japan, but I honestly cannot envision any sashimi-sushi-driven meals being much better than this, even though I'm sure they are. Still, this raised the bar for me, personally, by a fair amount. About the only thing that fell short of excellence was the crème brûlée (it was fine, but Koji Terano can rest easy). If you go with another person, treat yourselves to a .720ml bottle of Eikun "Big Hawk" Junmai Ginjo sake ($65 on their list, and it will carry you through the entire meal).
  19. Was up in Rockville this week and someone took me to this sushi place on Frederick Road. It was surprisingly good! IMO, most sushi spots in strip malls (or not in strip malls, for that matter) anywhere are pretty bad, especially when it comes to raw fish. You really have to have a quality recc from a trusted source (or be a dr.com member ) to ferret out the few jewels. Ah, and for those japanese food purists on the board, I'm a pretty avid fan who thinks that Makoto is the best in our area (solely so you can benchmark this recc). This may be one. We just had lunch so I can't speak to the fuller menu of omikase and more exotic items but our boxes included a nice portion of very fresh maguro, white fish and salmon sashimi with an equally tasty and freshly made california roll, salad, miso, suprisingly light, crispy and clearly made-to-order tempura shrimp, sweet potato and rice, all for $11.50. Service was friendly. Kind of reminds me of what I think I remember Tachibana in McLean used to be like. Or maybe what Sushi-ko was like ten years ago. Kind of like Sakana in Dupont or even Kotobuki on MacArthur (both spots we visit semi-regularly) but better quality fish. Maybe doesn't merit a long drive but surely a good bet if up that way or in that area. Nice discovery, excellent value and, I didn't see a thread so here it is.
  20. I'm curious what people's experiences are having sushi in grocery stores. Locally, my best experience has been in Balducci's in Mclean. The quality of the sashimi is quite good and even quite close to some DC Japanese restaurants. When I've talked to the sushi chefs working the counter there, they seem to be quite well informed and many years of experience. Does anyone have any good experiences in getting sushi from grocery stores?
  21. Should be pretty interesting to see how it is received by the community. "A Sushi Bar Fit For Adults" (WTOP, 4/26/13) "Preparations Underway For Upscale Sushi Bar in Del Ray" (Del Ray Patch, 4/9/13)
  22. City Taste Asian Cuisine opens today at 930 Wayne Ave., in Downtown Silver Spring, featuring up to 50 percent off sushi rolls: https://www.sourceofthespring.com/city-taste-restaurant-opening-today/
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