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  1. Went here last night for dinner. Hadn't been in probably over 10 years. I was happy that it looks like they have done a slight remodel (new paint and carpet). My wife and I ordered from the korean menu. I had Sashimi Dub Bap and my wife had Dolsot Seafood Bim Bim Bap. Both were very tasty (well mine was at least, the wfie didn't complain which means she liked it). Mine was a mixture of sashimi on a bed of lettuce, including tuna, salmon, flounder, squid, imitation crab, yellow tail, and flying fish eggs. There was also some seaweed salad. They brought us some banchan which were pretty run of the mill. At the table next to us there were to older Korean men drinking soju and beer, they had a huge assortment of banchan, got some sort of whole crab dish and then a huge sahsimi platter that made me jealous. I need to go back and get that sashimi platter!
  2. "The Trump International Hotel's Next Restaurant Will Be Sushi Nakazawa" by Becky Krystal on washingtonpost.com If only this were not in the Trump hotel. They are trying to distance themselves from Trump though.
  3. One of the more pleasant dining experiences, I've had in a long time. The space is simple, clean and serene which is a great reflection of the food. I went early so it wasn't so crowded but I'm guessing that this place will be consistently packed. If you had to try one dish, get the grilled Mero with miso. It's sea bass that has a nice char on the outside but comes out tasting smooth and creamy. My full post is below; Izakaya Seki
  4. Takohachi opened on December 11 in the Westmont Shopping Center at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. My wife and I decided to eat lunch there today to test this new dining option after reading several positive comments from our neighbors on the Douglas Park community bulletin board. Owned and run by a Japanese chef, the space is simple and open (in the good Japanese way), with plenty of space between the tables and contemporary Japanese music playing softly in the room. We ordered from the lunch menu, which offered everything from Nigiri Shushi (at $1 per piece), to a number of Udons, Donburis and a large selection of Bento Boxes. We each ordered a Bento - Marianne had the California Roll and Spiced Tuna, I ordered the Sukiyaki. Both came with Tea, Miso Soup, Salad and a Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura portion in addition to the aforementioned Mains. All I can say is that if the quality of our lunch is the baseline for the other items on their menu, this is now our go-to spot for Japanese in South Arlington. They don't have an active social media profile, or a website yet. Here's hoping they can grow thru word of mouth - I want to be able to come back often. TSchaad
  5. I'm starting a new thread despite the facts that Daikaya's new Izakaya shares owners, a name and a building with the ramen shop downstairs. I do this because it's a wholly different concept in most every way and I'm guessing the discussions for both will remain active and very different from each other. Of course, if that's wrong (I know the Izakaya is referenced in Daikaya's ramen shop topic title), please just combine the two but thought it worthwhile to suggest the separation. I'm also going to violate my own self-imposed rule of not assessing a new place until it has had to time to work out kinks and/or I've been able to visit a few times. Doing that because I'm not a food critic (or anything close to one), this new open is as anticipated as any in the city in the past year and already has lines waiting for tables, and, most of all, this may be helpful to some (always the goal). HEADLINE A very funky, cool take on the traditional Izakaya with a big focus on spirits, sake, beer and wine and pleasing food. Likely to do very well as a meetup spot and bar but probably less likely to win "best izakaya" in town honors even with time. Lots of good and interesting dishes, impressive beverage program and very good value across the board. CONTEXT After yesterday's NCAA "Elite 8" game at Verizon, we thought we'd try the newly opened Izakaya if there wasn't a very long wait. A good half hour after the arena emptied out into Chinatown and 45 minutes after the restaurant opened, it wasn't a problem at all. We got seats straightaway without any trouble though, by the time we left at maybe around 8:30pm, it was very busy with people waiting and the central bar area pretty full. VENUE I won't write a lot about the specific decor as I don't have much knowledge about Japanese art and design so wouldn't do it justice given all the thought and significance of many features. Both the Post and City Paper have already published excellent overviews of the design philosophy and specifics here and here in their pieces done pre-open. To us, the space is cool, edgy, and interesting in a modern and pop-culturish sort of way. They say the seating capacity is around 90 which includes nicely sized booths toward the back and a gaggle of comfortable two tops with 2 or 3 larger community tables toward the front facing out onto 6th St. The large bar dominates the middle of the space just as you reach the top of the stairs from street level. Entry is a separate door to the left of the ramen shop below, conveniently labeled "Izakaya." Someone was playing around with the lights last night enough for us and adjacent tables to notice and comment as they became darker, brighter and finally darker. Not a big deal but, on average, it's lit a bit darkly. Noise level wasn't bad for us when full but I'm guessing TS will report a noisier, higher number on the Sietsema-Noise-Meter. There is a fine line here between creativity and cutesy with the latter getting in the way of a more practically functional experience to a limited degree. One small example is the menu distribution 'policy' and menu design itself. The small plate, sharing philosophy behind the food is fun and worthwhile, however cliched. But, extending that sharing philosophy to menu distribution is silly. We went back up to the hostess stand to ask for a second menu for our table (we'd only been given one) and, after the hostess explained the intention was "that a table can share a menu," we were given another readily. Another group of six was also seated with only one menu. We found the menu itself cute but a bit annoying with colored paper pages pasted onto the first few pages of a heavy Japanese lifestyle magazine. Some of the pages had two sheets of colored paper pasted on top of each other, implying updated menus. We saw one table literally tearing out a page to see a page underneath it, thinking it an older menu (but it was only the 3rd night). Kind of interesting; a bit funny; more annoying. Suggest maybe considering a simpler, more functional menu or, at least, more than one per table. The bathrooms are cute, indeed reminiscent of shoebox-sized spots in Japan and a bit impractical with very narrow basins that make splatter and overflow more likely and the type of hand dryers that require one to insert hands into the device. FOOD We ended up ordering close to a majority of all dishes on the menu, drawing from sections labeled "Grilled Dishes," "Cold Dishes, Salads and Sashimi," "Braised and Simmered Dishes" and "Unique Dishes." Brief reactions as follows: - LIVE OYSTER GRILLED WITH SAKE & OYSTER SALT ($2.75/oyster): We ordered just a few of these to try them. Fine but nothing special. Maybe a tad under-sake'd and a bit overcooked. - SHISHITO PEPPER WITH GOUDA CHEESE ($3.25): 6 smaller-sized shishitos on two skewers, these were different from the more commonly found straight grilled Shishitos and very tasty. Our waiter told us about one in ten were especially hot and that was right. - MISO COD WITH CARROT PUREE AND PICKLED GINGER ($7.50): Not sure the carrot puree is the best accompaniment for this dish though the fish itself was fine. - GRILLED AVOCADO WITH PONZU AND FRESH WASABI ($6.25): This was an original and delicious preparation. One of our favorite dishes, it came served as a half unpeeled avocado grilled with pit removed and ponzu partly filling the pit cavity. Served with a spoon to scoop out and share. Wonderful combination of flavors. - CHAWANMUSHI WITH SHIITAKE AND PARMESAN ($7.75): Maybe a bit heavy on the parmesan but a very nice rendition of the egg custard dish with the finely julienned shitake almost mistakable for enoki. - FRIED MONKFISH (Comp'ed--See Service Notes): Also one the best dishes. Generous portion with light touch on the breading so plenty of nicely seasoned fish. The table next to us ordered two orders of this citing it as their favorite. - BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND PORK OKONOMIYAKI STYLE ($5.25): Its name notwithstanding (usually a pancake with cabbage and other ingredients? unless this refers just to the pork; maybe more likely?), this was a very well executed version of the familiar 'grilled/broiled/baked brussel sprouts with savory pork' dish found in many restaurants of all types. Very nice char with ponzu or something sweet. A bit more pork belly, even if they had to raise the price a dollar or two, would improve it even more. - “RUIBE” TRADITIONAL HOKKAIDO FROZEN SALMON SASHIMI WITH FRESH WASABI, GRATED GINGER, AND SEKIGAHARA TAMARI (Didn't order): We didn't get this but I wanted to include it here because it was one of the more unusual dishes on the menu. We would have ordered it but were steered away from it by some advisors. Evidently, it arrives frozen, sliced very thin and melts in your mouth quite literally. - HOUSE FERMENTED JAPANESE VEGETABLES; HOME‐MADE NUKAZUKE, NAPA CABBAGE, TAKUAN ($5): As with most of the menu, good value for the price. Pickles a bit ordinary for Japanese restaurants. - STUFFED CABBAGE BRAISED IN DASHI ($8.50): Think this may have been the most expensive dish but still very good value. Generous portion of a mixed pork/beef filling in cabbage gently braised. One of the people at table next to us was from eastern Europe and commented the dish was similar to ones she knew from home. A gently seasoned and satisfying dish. - ANKIMO WITH MISO ESCALIVADA (see service notes): This was from the "unique dishes" section of the menu and unique it is, combining a great Japanese dish of monkfish liver with a Catalan veggie preparation. We were excited to try it. Unfortunately, it tasted of vinegar (not usually part of either dish from what I've experienced) and that flavor was a bit overwhelming. That said, they couldn't have handled this more nicely and graciously than they did (see below). - WASABI OCTOPUS WITH WASABI SPROUTS, GREEN APPLE AND ARBEQUINA OLIVE OIL ($5.50): A delightful, fusion-ish interpretation of the Tako Wasabe I had recently at Seki. Adding the apple and olive oil made this very good. I preferred it to the straight version at Seki and other places. SERVICE We were there on what was only the third night for the Izakaya. And, as we enjoyed dinner, the place slowly filled to capacity. On top of all that, they're using a proprietary order-taking and transmission system that has some complexity and, for whatever reason, some of the servers were helping out from downstairs at the ramen shop. All said, and though of course there are kinks to work out, they performed wonderfully in many respects. Usually a mistake is an opportunity to delight--rather than disappoint--a customer if seen that way by a seller of anything including restaurant operators. Daikaya exudes this ethic whether upstairs or down. We noticed a couple of tables around us waiting a long time for drinks though food seemed to come out of the kitchen quickly. A manager comp'ed drinks. We had an issue with the Ankimo being too vinegary as described above. After a short and entirely constructive conversation with the manager, he took it back, didn't charge us for it and also comp'ed the fried monkfish. That was an above-and-beyond response we really appreciated. No point in detailing other minor service kinks they'll surely be smoothing out in the weeks to come. The hospitality of the staff is a solid foundation upon which to build. BEVERAGE We didn't partake of anything but, by the looks of it, they have a very nice bar and beverage program with many interesting beer, sake and cocktail options. Will defer to others to report on that but suspect the program will earn strong praise. BOTTOM LINE For a 3rd day, this was impressive and, overall, we enjoyed the experience. Most of the dishes were good or very good with a couple standouts. The place is very hip and no doubt will be very popular. Value is very good.
  6. In an update, I went to Kimen Ramen this afternoon for dinner. I had their mazemen ramen (ETA: from the menu: soupless ramen, spicy hot minced pork / egg yolk / fish powder / minced garlic / green onion / chives / dried seaweed -- note, wasn't that spicy) and it was good! I'll be back. That said, I'm not sure the music they were playing was of this world. Or I'm getting old.
  7. Hmmm . . . everything I've ever read about Yamazoto emphasizes that it's a place specializing in, well, humongous "specialty" rolls, which I've found to be a surefire sign that I won't like it. But if other Rockwellians would confirm its quality . . .
  8. Your friends at Sushi Capitol are getting ready to open our second restaurant in your neighborhood. Kanji characters mean "sushi" and we look forward to getting to know our new neighbors when we open our doors.
  9. I've also eaten lunch at Kumo Asian Bistro, across the street, w/ the same friend (who is NOT an adventurous diner)- she had a Chinese dish, I had Thai basil chicken (not terrible, not outstanding), & a couple of rolls (Tokyo & eel avocado, if I remember correctly). It's an attractive place, service was just fine, but there are so many alternatives in the Springfield area (Thai Gang Waan, Bangkok Noodle, Le Bledo, Delia's, Gamasot) & so many that I haven't tried yet (Sampan Cafe, Mediterranean Gourmet Market), I just want to keep trying new places...
  10. My cousin was in town for a conference and she comes from a place of very limited restaurant choices so I wanted to take her somewhere different and unique, and I have to say, I crushed it on the restaurant choice! 😉 I mean, how could I go wrong with a Spanish-Japanese mash up?!!? We opted for the omakase meal and we completely blown away from start to finish. Every dish was as beautiful to look at as it was wonderful to taste, and every part of each dish was just fantastic ( there were no throw away components). Shockingly, the place was fairly empty on Thursday night, but I'm hoping that's because it's so new. The only complaint I had was with the lighting. It was too dark to see the beauty of each course without using the light on my phone. When we were leaving the chef was at the host's stand and we raved about the meal for a bit and then, since I had a captive audience, told him my complaint about the low level lighting. He said they just turned the lights down tonight for the first time because the restaurant designer/stylist told him that with the lights turned up it made the place look like a fast food joint! Unfortunately, neither my words, nor the photos do justice to the experience, but here goes. First up was Hamachi/Citrus Dashi/kumquats - we were encouraged to eat the components and drink the broth at the end. Amazing! They could have served the broth alone and it would have been a successful dish! The fish was so tender that I "chewed" it with my tongue! It was also served at the perfect temperature for maximum flavor. Chawanmushi/tempura oyster/seaweed was next, and it was another wonderful combination of tastes and textures. The tempura oysters were topped off with roe and they were great on their own, but the real star was the chawanmushi. I think I could eat a gallon of that stuff! Botan Ebi/ponsu jelly/uni/crème fraiche was the third course and it was another combination a dozen different flavors and textures. We were told to stick the spoon all the way to the bottom and get a bit of each layer. This dish was very hard to photograph, but I included two photos below so you see the layers. Steamed Cod/Gazpachuelo/Potato Trinxat was up next. The description is how it's written on the menu they gave us to take home, but it was described as Black Cod vs. Cod. Either way, it was amazing. Again the cod was tongue-chewable...so tender!! The fish was amazing but the other components were equally impressive the potato thing was shockingly good, as was the foamy broth on the bottom (visible on the left side of the photo). I don't know if that was the gazpachuelo or just part of it, and I don't care! It was fantastic. I'd also like a gallon of it to take home!! Nameko Mushroom Rice/Scallop/Guanciale was next. It also included the soft, internal part of burrata cheese (not visible in the photo below). We were told to mix the rice and burrata together and eat it like that. The scallop was absolutely perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious yet it was the least impressive part of the dish!! The mushroom/rice/burrata combo was mind blowing. SOOOO GOOOOD! The final dish was Quail/Salsify Puree/Foie Gras Escabeche. The quail was very tender and moist and the foie was ridiculously tender (much more so than what I had at Clarity earlier in the week). The salsify was also a surprising hit. I'm not that familiar with salsify, but I'm considering growing it now!! Dessert was a "Gin and Tonic" - I have no idea how to describe this and the photo below is awful. It was a wonderful and unique and had little bits of cucumber in it! Whatever it was, it was a great success! We also got a Winter Citrus Tart/yuzu curd/mandarin sorbet/coconut which was very good, but probably the most standard/least interesting dish of the night. The final little bite (not described on the menu) were two little candies. One was gumdrop type of dish that was good, and the other was combination of miso, caramel and salt. This was an amazing bite! It was one of those dishes that makes you wonder why no one ever combined those flavors before! Fantastic!! I wanted a dozen more! I did the wine pairing which was nice and included a couple sakes, including a rose' sake that got its color from red yeast. Who knew that was a thing! I can't recommend this place highly enough! This was the most interesting and memorable meal that I've had in a long time and two days later, it's still all that I'm thinking about!
  11. Haikan is opening Saturday, according to the Washington City Paper. Expect Sapporo-style ramen, mapo tofu poutine (!!!!), and a "Wasabi Peas" cocktail.
  12. This restaurant just opened up on a relatively dead strip of King Street. The chef is from Kaz. They offer primarily a Japanese set menu, similar to Kaiseke but less delicate. We had dinner there earlier this week and were pretty pleased with the food, particularly since it was opening week. My wife is a pescatarian and they were accommodating with advance notice. Courses consisted of 1: Sashimi platter--scallop, salmon, tuna(lean),grouper,sweet shrimp--the fish was excellent in quality on par with Ogawa in the city and Takumi ( variety was more pedestrian than both), fresh wasabi 2: Probably the most interesting: Lotus and Eggplant Age-Dashi --- Two slices of lotus root sandwiched around a shrimp mousse and two slices of eggplant with crab in the middle--both fried and in a dashi. The lotus root in particular was really good. The eggplant was cooked perfectly and meltingly tender but the crab stuffing was not as good as the shrimp mousse. The dashi needed a bit more salt but was quite good 3: Kurobota pork tenderloin fried in a panko crust with a coated and fried mushroom: The pork was cooked perfectly--just a little rare but overally this was a boring but good dish 4: grilled black cod: this was given to my wife in lieu of the pork--this was the only dish that failed--- fish was overcooked and oversalted 5: In place of the Oxtail Ramen on the menu they gave us Tuna tempura with soba noodle soup. The tuna was fried to a perfect rare and did not overcook in the broth. Broth was tasty. 6: Desert was a Japanese sweet potato custard---this was fine, nothing special. Set menu was $47 a person---very reasonable for the amount of food. We will definitely be back in a month or so after they have been in business a while longer. For Old Town this is a major score given the dearth of non-tourist trap restaurants. The chef is definitely serious about his food and I will happy to see him succeed in this market.
  13. There's a ramen shop called Ramen Factory 42 in Falls Church that's opening soon, in the mini-strip with Takumi in the former Smashburger location.
  14. O-Ku is located in a building next to Union Market. It is currently helmed by opening chef Brian Emperor, who is apparently well established as a Japanese cuisine chef. We inquired about the omakase ($80 and $120), which generally consist of dishes selected by the chef from the menu. We decided to order on our own so as to get dishes we want and avoid dishes we don't want. Executive Summary: Awesome (and priced to match) We started with 3 items from the Robata Grill, hanger steak, chicken meatballs, and yakitori (chicken thighs). The steak was tender and well seasoned and should be ordered by anyone who loves heifers - I don't think the garlic chips added much though. The chicken meatballs were heavily laced with scallions and the dip is made with raw egg - I think it's pretty tasty (but probably even tastier if made with pork). And the chicken thighs were good too. That was followed by some fantastic tempura soft-shell crab roll. Actually, the two end pieces were tempura soft shell crab, the 3 middle pieces were filled with delicious snow crab meat. All the pieces were topped of wasabi tobiko but none were polluted with avocado as stated on the menu (maybe there was avocado in there but I don't recall tasting any). What I did taste was the fresh crab meat. Then came the sashimi. We went with the Kindai o-toro, aburi toro (aburi means lightly torched, hence the whitish color), and Hokkaido scallop. The blue-fin is decadently fatty but the winner is the Hokkaido scallop, which tasted sweet and pristine. Finally, we had sweet prawn, anago, signature anago, and sea urchin sushi. Again, the quality of the seafood is top notch but I don't have an impression of the rice (it's like the rice isn't even there). With a couple of drinks a piece, the bill was $110 with tax per person.
  15. I went for lunch today (Sushi Day!). The yellowtail was flavorful and buttery. The temaki was amazing, it seemed to surpass the regular rolls. The rice on the nigiri was great and held together very well. I don't know if it was a result of the other people in my party being regulars, but the cuts were on the thicker side. The salmon and the toro were solid. I've had better spider roll elsewhere.
  16. Having gone to Kaz Sushi Bistro countless times over the years, I was interested in seeing what Sushi Chef Jay Yu, who spend 13 years working alongside Kaz at the sushi bar, would be up to in his brand new restaurant in Falls Church, which opened just last Thursday, Dec 10th. It's located right in-between Smashburger and the under-appreciated Meat in a Box. An important note to diners: Takumi will not have a beer and wine license "for about a month," so do not go there expecting to have a Sapporo with your sushi just yet. Another thing: they are currently using a temporary menu which they stress will be changing in about a week. "It's full of typos, and it's embarrassing," a server told me. So please keep those two things in mind if you go anytime soon. I took a seat at the sushi bar Tuesday evening, and ended up feeling like I was at a Kaz Sushi Bistro family reunion: My server works at Kaz, the girl who told me about the menu worked for Kaz, Chef Yu worked next to Kaz (on the diner's right), and - this is possibly the most important thing I'm going to tell you - the Kitchen Chef at Takumi was the *other* sushi chef who worked next to Kaz on the diner's left (I've never known his name, but he's an older gentleman called Taka-san - he has chosen to switch over to being a full-time kitchen chef due to the rigors of endless standing). I was told that for now, Kaz is sending out one different employee a day to help them get started, and Kaz himself stopped in to wish them well on opening day. Isn't it heartwarming to see such a display of generosity and gratitude? And for those worried about the future of Kaz Sushi Bistro, have no fear: he will soon be signing another long-term lease, and is training some younger sushi chefs, as well as working on bringing over some people from Japan - although we've only written each other, I could "feel" an obvious energy and enthusiasm in his notes to me that I haven't felt from him in quite awhile. His biggest concern seems to be the impending arrival of Nobu, which will be located somewhere around 25th and M in quite a large space. Have no worries, Kaz-san - you're a DC institution. I started my meal with a pot of Caffeine-Free, Yellow and Blue, Herbal Tea ($4.50), a chamomile and lavender tisane by Harney and Sons, a very reputable producer of upscale teas, and this carried me through the meal. Browsing through the menu, I noticed some definitely influences and a few very similar dishes than what I've seen at Kaz Sushi Bistro in the past - I was determined to try some of these to compare them, and to see what Chef Yu could do untethered from the mother ship. Sitting next to a woman I correctly guessed was a Yelper, she had ordered the Flounder Carpaccio with Wakame and Yuzu Sauce ($12), and when asked how she felt about it, she came right out and said it wasn't to her liking. This was one of the things I was thinking of ordering, so I told them (nobody else was within earshot) that I'd be glad to take it, and for them to just put it on my bill. This was five fairly thin slices of flounder sashimi, topped with a thick, almost nutty, paste of wakame and yuzu. I thought there were a couple things about this dish that could have been improved upon, and when Chef Yu asked me, I answered him politely, but candidly - this was probably the one dish I had that needs a mild tweaking, but it doesn't need much: The issues I pointed out could be fixed in five minutes. My first dish was a Consommé of Asari ($6), asari being baby clam, sitting on the bottom of the bowl of clear broth, in-shell. This was a delicious consommé, and one that I would happily get again. It was just the right thing to start off a meal with. In something of a contrast to the consommé, I also ordered the Agedashi Tofu with Mushroom ($5), the definition of comfort food: soft, silky cubes of tofu, barely dusted, and wok-fried with plenty of enoki-like mushrooms, and a hot, thickened brown sauce on top. I loved this dish, and highly recommend it to anyone trying Takumi - the only thing I can think of that might improve the dish is if the amount of sauce was dialed down just ten percent; other than that, it was a gift at five dollars. This is one dish that I would strongly urge people to order. Having had the bird's nest at Kaz several times, I had to get the Bird's Nest ($14) here, and it did not disappoint while at the same time being noticeably different than the one at Kaz. Made with sea urchin, calamari, a very light application of truffle soy sauce, and topped with a quail egg, this dish is made to be mixed together before attacking it, and no soy sauce is needed, although this particular rendition was intentionally light on the soy, so I can easily see diners sneaking a few additional drops into the mix. Although there was nothing fattening in here, it came across as almost decadently rich, and despite its moderate size, was quite filling - sea urchin and egg yolk as thickeners in sauces have a tendency to do that. I was pretty full at this point, but I hadn't had a bite of sushi rice, and wanted to end my meal with a maki, so I ordered the Negitoro Roll ($8), made with fatty tuna and scallion, and I'm delighted to report that the sushi rice here is outstanding. I've always thought that Kaz consistently had the best sushi rice in the city, and this rice is a worthy contender. Sushi rice is such an important component of great sushi, yet it often goes unnoticed or unappreciated; not with me - this was first-rate sushi rice, and those many, many years of experience certainly showed up here. Highly recommended. Stuffed, I asked for the check, but Chef Yu offered me a dessert (I think he was pleased that I didn't waste the carpaccio, and that I seemed to have some degree of appreciation for what he has done). I had mentioned before that I liked yuzu, so he sent out a tulip glass of Yuzu Sorbet ($4) which I didn't think I wanted, but right after the first bite of that ice-cold, citrus-flavored sorbet, I knew it was the perfect digestif for this ample-but-healthy meal. When the check arrived, neither the sorbet nor the carpaccio were on it - I protested, saying I wanted to pay for the carpaccio, but they insisted that it was on the house, so I tried to make up for it with a generous tip. Although you can tell that this is a brand-new restaurant, only a few days old, Takumi also shows great promise, and is already one of the best sushi houses in Virginia (if not the best). It will improve a lot as the next few weeks pass, but I also fear that in the long run, Chef Yu may grow frustrated at serving nothing but California Rolls (I mentioned this to him, and he just laughed it off). Takumi is absolutely influenced by Kaz Sushi Bistro, and I believe that, with time, this restaurant will make the master proud.
  17. We stopped in for a quick dinner at what I suppose is a relatively new addition to the Capitol Hill sushi scene, "Sushi Capitol" on Pennsylvania Ave. SE between 3rd and 4th St. SE. This place is really bare bones - a small place with a handful of 2-top tables and a sushi bar in back. No real decor to speak of, and Japanese pop music playing on a boom box in the back. So far, so good, as it really reminded us of the places we loved back in New York. A pot of hot tea was brought out soon after we sat (a small thing, but not a guarantee since we were brought hot water and a lipton green tea bag at Hikari on H St. NE). We started with a nice version of seaweed salad inexplicably served over ribbons of romaine, and tempura vegetables. A couple of pieces of the tempura were ever so slightly greasy, but most were appropriately crunchy...no major complaints on either of these. The sushi was certainly a level above the quality at Hikari, Sticky Rice, and Nooshi. Based on this one visit, I'd put it below Sushi-Ko, but repeat visits may change that. It was served with freshly grated wasabi, which was a nice touch. A word of warning, the "spicy" rolls look to be served with a heavy dose of mayo, so if that's not your thing, steer clear. They have no liquor license, and I didn't think to ask about their BYO policy, but that is definitely something we'll be inquiring about before our next visit. Bottom line: I love hole in the wall Japanese places, and that may have inflated my opinion here, but I think of the sushi joints in the Capitol Hill hood, I'm putting Sushi Capitol on top.
  18. Zento opened a few weeks ago in the space previously occupied by Burrito Grill (North Washington near the corner of Wythe St). In addition to the sushi and sashimi menu, they have a variety of teriyaki dishes, ramen, bento boxes, and small plates. We stopped in last night to check it out and were happy with what we tried. They have a happy hour from 5-7pm daily, with a selection of discounted beverages, small plates, and roll combo (2 from a list of 6 varieties for $9.95). The spicy tuna roll and tuna avocado were both very good, with fresh ingredients. Edamame and seaweed salad are pretty standard fare - no surprises there. We shared a sushi/sashimi combo . Other than a few pieces of sashimi that were a touch on the cold side (better than too warm), we had no complaints. Pieces were generous, clean, and well-cut/prepared. Veggie tempura was fresh and hot, with vegetables still fresh and crispy. My only quibble was that it was a touch greasy. We're looking forward to heading back and trying some other things. The dishes we saw at other tables all looked very nice. Service is friendly and efficient. Free parking in the two retail lots with entrances on Pendleton and Wythe Streets (if you pull in somewhere you have to take a ticket, that's the wrong entrance). This has become a decent block to stop for lunch or dinner, with Teaism on one side and Zento on the other.
  19. Just wanted to bump this thread and let people know that Himitsu had its official opening last night. I was lucky enough to attend a preview dinner on Wednesday; raw fish preps and the entire beverage program are absolutely going to be highlights. Not really fair to "review" or critique, as they weren't even really open yet, but multiple plates are priced substantially lower than they should be. Happy to post photos of the menus and / or food if helpful. A super talented young duo, and one that should do quite well in the space. Cheers!
  20. I haven't been for dinner yet, nor ordered off the menu, but the $12 AYCE sushi buffet at lunch is spectacular. Very good fish, cut to an appropriate size with a good proportion of well vinegared rice. A very good selection of fish and rolls, far beyond the usual tuna/salmon/veggie selections. Constantly refreshed - it's a small place, yet 3 chefs were constantly making rolls, and I never saw a single empty tray on the buffet. A few cold/hot noodle dishes, salads, seaweed, etc. Also some pretty decent tempura, including shrimp that were a pretty good size. Price also includes tea and mushroom miso soup. No, this isn't Sushi-Ko/Kaz/etc. It's more like Kotobuki. But it's TWELVE DOLLARS. They lost money on me... P.S. Closed Mondays, no matter what the website says, and at 1:30p today there was a wait (albeit brief) for a table.
  21. I cut the above from Eater, which got the info from Washington City Paper. I think the concept is pretty awesome for people who haven't had a lot of different types of instant ramen and don't have high blood pressure (them instant ramen are generally pretty salty). One can go by and try a couple of packs per meal. It would be even better if they have some veggies and fishballs that can be added in addition to an egg. As an experienced international instant ramen noodle eater, I'd be willing to offer my consulting services for a small fee.
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