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Sushi Para, a Chicago Chain Opening at Van Ness Metro


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Sushi Para will be opening next to Indian Ocean on Connecticut Ave. in Van Ness. They are a chain out of Chicago that is opening their first out of state location. Supposedly it is an all-you-can-eat type place with additional menu items. Hopefully it is decent. Anyone ever been to it in Chi-town?

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I would crown Sushi Para the third best restaurant in Van Ness. Unfortunately in Van Ness that's not necessarily a grand achievement.

I generally consider Spices as my baseline for "everyday" sushi. Have a craving for some raw fish on a Wednesday but don't want to blow a hole in your wallet? Spices can scratch that itch. Toss in some ginger salad and Vietnamese spring rolls and you have yourself a nice meal. Sushi Para does not reach this baseline.

Gyoza - About as good as the frozen gyoza one can buy at H-Mart.

Tatsuta Age - Described as Japanese fried chicken, it was a plate of about 6 little chicken nubblets. Overfried, no flavor, not worth the calories nor the $3.50 price. Avoid.

Giant Eel Roll - Flat out boring.

Mountain Roll - Drenched in chef's spicy sauce...and not in a good way.

Sushi - went with Hamachi, spicy scallop, and uni. Really the biggest problem was the rice, it basically tasted like plain rice, I could detect no seasoning with vinegar or anything else. The uni was the best of sushi we tried, but that's more of a commentary on the uni.

Considering the DC menu is identical to the Chicago locations, one gets the sense that not much is going to change and Sushi Para is already on automatic.

So thus we have a quandary. Does one walk the five minutes for sub-par sushi or walk the 20 minutes to Spices for baseline sushi (and that ginger salad!). No doubt we will walk the five minutes several more times before giving up...maybe we can find a handful of items that are worth the walk. I will report back if such items are found.

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So thus we have a quandary. Does one walk the five minutes for sub-par sushi or walk the 20 minutes to Spices for baseline sushi (and that ginger salad!). No doubt we will walk the five minutes several more times before giving up...maybe we can find a handful of items that are worth the walk. I will report back if such items are found.

You could take the red line 10-15 min to Sakana in Dupont on the south side of P St just west of the circle. That and Kotobuki out on MacArthur are my two go-to, less expensive, decent quality sushi spots in town. Haven't been to Sakana in over a year but only because we've been in a Kotobuki rut when not high-browing it. Used to go to Sakana all the time. Definitely better than Spices.

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Sakana and Kotobuki are all well and good...but sometimes you just want to walk down the street. Hop on the Red line and they start single tracking through Cleveland Park and Woodley Park (as they have been doing recently) and it's just not worth it.

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Sakana and Kotobuki are all well and good...but sometimes you just want to walk down the street. <snip>

Indeed! That's the beauty of living in a livable (more or less) city. Now if we could just get more of the Cleveland Park restauranteurs to open for lunch just to the south of you, we'd be in business. But that's off topic ;)

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