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The Sushi Bar, for Adults Only in Del Ray - From The Owners of Mango Mike's


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I agree in some ways but there is a need for those without kids to enjoy a night without having strollers and high chairs all over the place. I have two kids, one is 7 years old and he is great in restaurants, but i also have a 4 month old that is a volcano sometimes. The unfortunate circumstance is that while I feel the need to leave if i see the volcano is about to erupt, too many others choose not to and use the explanation "What are going to do, they are just a baby" in a rather sassy and unforgiving tone. Yes my neighborhood is a stroller and dog neighborhood, but at the same sense, what about parents who get a baby sitter and want a quiet night out? This is an option.

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I wish him the best, but I think that this is a massive misreading of the population of Del Ray.

Mike is already ensconced in Del Ray, so he surely knows exactly what he is gettng into with this policy. In terms of community reaction, a friend of mine who lives in Del Ray mentioned that there was some online forum (I don't remember what it was) whose posters likened this to apartheid. Really?

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I wish him the best, but I think that this is a massive misreading of the population of Del Ray.

Think of it as a real-life sociology experiment on someone else's dime. :)

BTW, you have to be 21 years old to get into SpaceBar in Falls Church after 5 PM - and they specialize in grilled cheese sandwiches!

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Mike is already ensconced in Del Ray, so he surely knows exactly what he is gettng into with this policy. In terms of community reaction, a friend of mine who lives in Del Ray mentioned that there was some online forum (I don't remember what it was) whose posters likened this to apartheid. Really?

The online forum of which you speak is the Patch article linked in Mike's post. Take the time to read the comments, they are amazing. These apartheid people are real and not just internet trolls, my wife had a conversation with some yesterday. Words fail me.

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As well people can make the choice to visit said establishment or go next door to either side for Pork Barrel or Holy Cow, both establishments allow children. Some people in the nieghborhood have some serious entitlement issues. Most of the parents I have spoken to whose kids play on my sons baseball team think its great.

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The comments really are wonderful. I like that "Mango" Mike responded to them with class, but more importantly, hilarity.

I think that they should also have a "hipster-free" venue. I'm tired of people like myself, and I really need a good night in once in a while.

S

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I thought this was going be a story of people eating sushi off of nude models or something. I wonder if the sushi will raise the general bar for that genre in DC. Any word of who the chefs will be?

Yup. This would have a better shot of success if strippers were involved.

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The discussion is up to 9 pages on DC Urban Moms. I haven't read it so I don't know which way the wind is blowing there.

I wouldn't go because the tenor bothers me. It is the same reason I avoid other, beloved, institutions that have obnoxious websites or grating online presences. I freely admit my perception is colored by growing up a block from a hot singles bar in the 80s that didn't allow anyone under 18 in. It is still there and 30+ years later, I wouldn't go in if you paid me...

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Mike is already ensconced in Del Ray, so he surely knows exactly what he is gettng into with this policy. In terms of community reaction, a friend of mine who lives in Del Ray mentioned that there was some online forum (I don't remember what it was) whose posters likened this to apartheid. Really?

That person doesn't know what apartheid is! It's like Tom Waits song "Step Right Up" when he says "Cures the heartbreak of psoriasis...buddy, you don't know what heartbreak is!"

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The discussion is up to 9 pages on DC Urban Moms. I haven't read it so I don't know which way the wind is blowing there.

I just scanned through it and it's surprisingly positive. Usually the mom boards are filled with vitriol against anyone who doesn't see children as being the center of all life.

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The outrage over this is a bit obsurd. It's not like this is the only restaurant in Del Ray or the only sushi place in the area. Your kids want sushi? Go somewhere else or get take out. You want to have dinner out in Del Ray with your kids, pick any of the other 20 plus places.

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The fury and vitriiol of the comments in the Patch article is astounding. Apartheid? Really?

This is why completely unmoderated forums can never succeed. All it takes is one angry troll - in this case the cowardly "E11" (who wouldn't dare sign his/her real name, and who is probably sitting back and masturbating to the hostility) - to unravel an entire community.

It would be so awesome if someone could find out who this person really is, and reveal his identity (yeah, it's probably a male). I want it to happen just so I can see the troll be humiliated. In the meantime, I wish the other commenters wouldn't take the bait, and simply ignore this craven loser.

That person doesn't know what apartheid is! It's like Tom Waits song "Step Right Up" when he says "Cures the heartbreak of psoriasis...buddy, you don't know what heartbreak is!"

To which I'd reply, "Buddy, you don't know what psoriasis is! Wanna trade?"

(Admittedly getting a touch off-topic here. :lol:)

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I had asked some time ago whether high end restaurants disallow kids (I had assumed most did because who would want to have an expensive evening ruined by crying/unruly kids). To my surprise, I was told there are no restaurants that have a stated policy of forbidding kids and that this Sushi joint may be the first in DC. As a parent who loves to eat with small children, I was more flabberghasted than overjoyed.

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I'm not familiar with Mike Anderson, nor his other restaurants, but based on the news show I saw, he has a burger and BBQ place. That makes me question whether he really knows what he's doing just from the perspective of opening a sushi place. Not anyone can open a decent Japanese restaurant, which brings me to my point about disallowing children. My personal favorite Japanese restaurant is Makoto, but haven't been there since our kids were born. It is simply not a restaurant conducive to bringing kids. I don't think they have a no kids policy, but they have essentially put one in by structuring the restaurant the way it is. Sushi Taro likewise, just doesn't allow high chairs at certain times/nights, but still allow kids if you are willing to manage without the aids to make bringing kids easier. I think I would much rather get sushi from either one of those restaurants over this new place anyway.

As for restaurants that have outright bans on kids, Jean Georges restaurants in NYC have age minimums. Nougatine is 3 yrs and the main dining room of Jean Georges is 10 yrs. It's not on their website but is in the confirmation email you get upon making the reservation. We had to cancel the reservation at Nougatine due to our 18 month son. I think these restrictions are much more reasonable than an outright ban, and those restaurants are in an entirely different class from the restaurants in Del Ray. Note that J&G Steakhouse here in DC does not have any age restrictions as we brought our daughter there when she was probably 2 yrs old.

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I'm not familiar with Mike Anderson, nor his other restaurants, but based on the news show I saw, he has a burger and BBQ place.

He also has I think two other restaurants in Alexandria... Mango Mikes and I think there is another in addition to Pork Barrell and Holy Cow. He is a really nice guy and very involved in Alexandria (I see him at all the Chamber events and other events). Being of the non-stroller crowd, I think it's a good idea. If you don't like it don't go, but I see no reason to get all up in arms. I don't know how many kids would be vying to eat sushi anyway, and if your kid is that affluent you probably would be going somewhere else for it anyway. I know lots of Moms in the Junior Friends who probably will go too. I would think he would have a pretty good read on the area. At least with Pork Barrell he seemed to align with knowledgeable people on the venture.

I hope it turns out to be good as I go to happy hours in that area a lot and would go. Also, he supports a lot of local causes in Alexandria, including the Campagna Center which is mine. He normally caters our firm party, maybe this year we can get sushi! (Doubt it, but maybe)

When I saw adult only sushi bar, I thought there was some more taboo quality to it and I was like, "In Del Ray??? OMG!!!" But this is much tamer than my imagination.

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This makes me think of Meridian Pint. No, really.

See, upstairs at the Pint is a restaurant. Kids. Smaller bar. Fewer tvs. Downstairs is a larger bar, pool table, shuffleboard table, many tvs, No kids.

Yet the parents who want to bring kids downstairs get SOOOOOOO angry that they can't. Some parents are cool with it, but some are now boycotting the upstairs because downstairs is not a kid space.

I don't get it.

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I don't know how many kids would be vying to eat sushi anyway, and if your kid is that affluent you probably would be going somewhere else for it anyway.

I have no problem with the rest of what you said, but this doesn't ring true. My kids have eaten sushi since they were toddlers, and most of their friends are the same.

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I have no problem with the rest of what you said, but this doesn't ring true. My kids have eaten sushi since they were toddlers, and most of their friends are the same.

People have been known to say they east sushi but they really just eat CA rolls and other not particularly fishy rolls.

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According to this article in the Alexandria Times, the chef will be Pete Kannasute, who is coming over from Sushi Rock.

"We’d be silly not to have some sort of barbecue-pork sushi roll,” Blackburn said.

They're going thru all this fanfare to make it adult-only and civilized, and then they are going to do a BBQ pork sushi roll? Not tempting.

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I have no problem with the rest of what you said, but this doesn't ring true. My kids have eaten sushi since they were toddlers, and most of their friends are the same.

I've eaten sushi since I was little too, I loved salmon avacado and philadelphia rolls growing up. I agree, its pretty standard these days.

They're going thru all this fanfare to make it adult-only and civilized, and then they are going to do a BBQ pork sushi roll? Not tempting.

Horrifically bastardized sushi rolls are one of my guilty pleasures. Deep fried sushi is not authentic, but it is delicious. I'm guessing I'm not alone on this front.

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Horrifically bastardized sushi rolls are one of my guilty pleasures. Deep fried sushi is not authentic, but it is delicious. I'm guessing I'm not alone on this front.

Maybe there is a poetic justice to swearing off your kids to enjoy "bastardized" sushi rolls. I'm not trying to judge anyone's guilty pleasure, but I just don't get creating a kid-free zone for BBQ pork sushi. If anything, that should be on a kid's menu.

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Maybe there is a poetic justice to swearing off your kids to enjoy "bastardized" sushi rolls. I'm not trying to judge anyone's guilty pleasure, but I just don't get creating a kid-free zone for BBQ pork sushi. If anything, that should be on a kid's menu.

I'm sorry, but BBQ pork and sushi should never exist in the same paragraph, much less in the same forum. Call me old-fashioned (go ahead, I dare you) but sushi is fish and rice (okay, maybe tomagi too). Anything else is not sushi, it's blasphemy.

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I thought this was going be a story of people eating sushi off of nude models or something.

Ditto. I had so many jokes ready! Okay, maybe not so many. Just a couple.

(Personally, while I find the concept of eating sushi off nude models funny in theory, I also find it quite skeevy.)

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I think this is absolutely fine. I take my child with me pretty much everywhere, but if there is somewhere that wants to be child-free, I completely understand, and I would greatly appreciate actually being told that rather than allowing it and then being upset. And, I can see how this would be very welcome in Del Ray. There are a ton of kid-friendly places there, and they do tend to get overrun by the noise. I bet that people (even parents) may appreciate a place where they can get some solitude (if the food is good). On the other hand, as there aren't any other sushi restaurants right there that I know of, I would hope that they would allow carryout for those that can't find a babysitter, as that may be cruel to deny a way to satisfy the craving.

As to DCUrbanMoms, I participated in that thread and it was one of the few in which there was almost complete agreement. Parents didn't find it a problem. This isn't like a plane-type situation where it severely limits parents' options. There are a lot of other places to eat in the neighborhood. This just won't be one of them. I also must speak up for those who try to bring their kids downstairs at Meridian Pint, as I tried to do so just two days ago. Some of us just say, oh, sorry I didn't know (as I didn't), and go back upstairs. I'm sure there are some crazies everywhere, but that isn't limited to parents.

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I think this is absolutely fine. I take my child with me pretty much everywhere, but if there is somewhere that wants to be child-free, I completely understand, and I would greatly appreciate actually being told that rather than allowing it and then being upset. And, I can see how this would be very welcome in Del Ray. There are a ton of kid-friendly places there, and they do tend to get overrun by the noise. I bet that people (even parents) may appreciate a place where they can get some solitude (if the food is good). On the other hand, as there aren't any other sushi restaurants right there that I know of, I would hope that they would allow carryout for those that can't find a babysitter, as that may be cruel to deny a way to satisfy the craving.

I'm sorry, but I just had a good laugh at the image of adults being asked to present geneology charts before being allowed to order carryout. ;)

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Some of us just say, oh, sorry I didn't know (as I didn't), and go back upstairs. I'm sure there are some crazies everywhere, but that isn't limited to parents.

That seems like the perfect solution to me.

And agreed.

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Being of the non-stroller crowd, I think it's a good idea. If you don't like it don't go, but I see no reason to get all up in arms. I don't know how many kids would be vying to eat sushi anyway, and if your kid is that affluent you probably would be going somewhere else for it anyway.

I didn't think I was up in arms about their no-kids policy, it's more of a questioning of whether he knows what he's doing opening a sushi place and the proposed BBQ pork roll would seem to support my point of view.
Back to the kids issue. I was also trying to convey that there are other credible sushi places that are de facto kids free (Makoto), or have policies (Sushi Taro) that discourage bringing kids that are going to cause problems for other diners enjoying their meal. I think there can be reasonable limits on kids, without what seems to be a blanket policy as being implemented here. The Jean Georges example is one that is reasonable in my opinion.
As for my kids, 18 months and 4 years and both do eat sushi and sashimi, though without wasabi, except for the times we forget to request it without which can result in an unpleasant few moments for us and the tables nearby. We're not all that affluent, but if I'm going to spend money on sushi, it better be good. Generally, the spread in price between bad and good sushi is not usually as great as the disparity in quality. You can give the same piece of fish to two different sushi chefs and get a totally different experience depending on the chef's understanding of the cut.
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I didn't think I was up in arms about their no-kids policy, it's more of a questioning of whether he knows what he's doing opening a sushi place and the proposed BBQ pork roll would seem to support my point of view.

I didn't mean you were up in arms. I meant some of the people on the patch comments and on some of the Alex Mom forums on the web, so sorry for the confusion.

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First of all, the rumor that they had a BBQ Pork roll is completely false. So, let's end that nonsense.

It opened this weekend, and I got a chance to go yesterday. I tried to go to Del Ray Pizza, but the bar was full and I didn't want to sit at a table. So, walked towards the Star and noted that the Front Porch was open and running, too (it's another NRG operation, in that open space next to Planet Wine). The menu looked good, but wasn't what I was in the mood for. So, remembered that Sushi Bar was opening up and walked back up to there. I wasn't expecting much, because I don't like the food at Pork Barrel or Holy Cow, but I do go to Pork Barrel for beers, because the servers are very nice, and it's kind of fun to throw a few back with Mayor Euille, who's a regular.

It's very pretty/loungey inside. Looks like a big city sushi place. Everyone is dressed in black and quite attractive. They were super attentive as soon as I walked in. One of the guys that worked that even tapped me on the shoulder to ask how I've been. I don't know who he is, wonder if he confused me for the other Indian doctor that lives in Del Ray. I ordered a Sapporo. They were out. I ordered a Kirin. They were out. Inauspicous beginning. So, I got an Optimal Wit by Port City. The have a pretty extensive sake list, but I don't know sake and only order it if I'm with somebody else.

I ordered the spicy sashimi salad for an appetizer ($7). There wasn't a whole lot of sashimi int there, some tuna and some white fish, but it tasted clean and fresh. There was some jalapeno and the spicy sauce/dressing it had was tasty. It came in a martini glass, I think, and it aesthetically was pleasing. I got 2 nigiri - they come in 2 piece orders as per usual - the yellow tail and the red snapper. They both were good - fresh, decently sized and fairly priced ($6 and $4). I got two rolls - rainbow and kamikaze. Rainbow was smaller than I'm used to, but cheaper ($7). Again, presented well, fish were fresh. And the Kamikaze ... That was your typical gimmick roll, mixed fish, crunchy stuff (potato, I think), some reddish topping, a spicy sauce, and some thin crispies that reminded me of Indian sev. I liked it, it was regarded as the bar girl's favorite.

Peter, the chef, came up to me and enthusiastically introduced himself. He was very excited and wanted to know if there were particular things I liked that he could make, and I told him I'd definitely get the Omekase next time ($50).

I like the place, the vibe is good. It is nice to have a 'grown up' place here. I think it will do well. It's not Nobu or even Sushi Ko, but I don't care that it isn't. Saves me from having to go to Old Town for some sushi, and I'm happy Mango opened the place.

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Lamely enough, the name of the restaurant is the symbol that's on the glass.

Not many places where a restaurant can long survive using an unspellable symbol for a name, but Del Ray might be one of the few. If not, paging "Sushi Bar Rescue" -- maybe Jon Taffer can remake it into a pirate sushi bar...

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I find it incredibly satisfying seeing these parents get angry.

My sentiments exactly. Not sure what that says about both of us though.

I will likely never go here because Del Ray is FAR away from us, and we have a one year old, but I hope that they do well.

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