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Ogawa - Sushi by the Owners of Sushi Capitol on Connecticut Avenue and Kalorama Road in North Dupont


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On 10/25/2014 at 11:57 PM, The Hersch said:

Gee, I really should try to keep up. The Pines of Florence on Connecticut Avenue just south of Kalorama Road is most definitely gone, my dog and I have just confirmed. Apparently, it was going to reopen as something called the "Jambalaya Room", featuring some simulacrum of Louisiana cuisine, but is now slated to become a Japanese restaurant called "Ogawa". The marquee over the entry walkway already has the "Ogawa" name up along with what I take to be Kanji characters that mean nothing to me. There is very little information here.

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. 

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I've never been to Sushi Capitol.  Last night, the omakase (for $80) was: clear soup with shrimp ball; the "daily appetizer trio"; pomfret and fried shrimp head; Miyazaki Wagyu and uni; about sixteen pieces of nigiri; toro handroll; and dessert (green tea ice cream and persimmon).  The starters, aside from the pomfret, weren't much to write home about, but the sushi was superb (as was the beef, of course).

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I've never been to Sushi Capitol.  Last night, the omakase (for $80) was: clear soup with shrimp ball; the "daily appetizer trio"; pomfret and fried shrimp head; Miyazaki Wagyu and uni; about sixteen pieces of nigiri; toro handroll; and dessert.  The starters, aside from the pomfret, weren't much to write home about, but the sushi was superb (as was the beef, of course).

Did you do the sashimi supplement or is the price $80 higher than the menu listed above?  $60 seems reasonable for what you listed, but $80 is starting to get a bit steep even if the sushi is really good.

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Did you do the sashimi supplement or is the price $80 higher than the menu listed above?  $60 seems reasonable for what you listed, but $80 is starting to get a bit steep even if the sushi is really good.

I did not get the sashimi supplement, but I did get the Miyazaki Wagyu.  Honestly, I didn't even look at the menu before I asked for "omakase" and this is what I got.  I would imagine without the beef it would have been $60.

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I did not get the sashimi supplement, but I did get the Miyazaki Wagyu.  Honestly, I didn't even look at the menu before I asked for "omakase" and this is what I got.  I would imagine without the beef it would have been $60.

I've seen things such as Miyazaki Wagyu cost $30 and $40 by themselves - I'd love to know what the upcharge is for that (and what is a "sashimi supplement?")

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My wife and I went last night and had a fabulous time at the omakase bar chatting up Chef Ogawa, who might be one of the nicest people I have ever met.  I have to agree with Simon, I thought everything that came out of the kitchen was average at best, and I would even say that the Miyazaki Wagyu, while good, was not worth the extra space in my stomach that could have been occupied by the absolutely delicious, perfectly prepared sushi.  The chutoro and otoro were exemplary, perhaps two of the best versions of each that I have ever had, summoning up memories of that glorious time when Kaz got the Kindai Bluefin Toro 7 years ago.  We already have reservations to go back and sit in one of the private rooms with a larger group in a couple weeks, but next time we will stick with sushi and sashimi and eat our hearts out.

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My wife and I went last night and had a fabulous time at the omakase bar chatting up Chef Ogawa, who might be one of the nicest people I have ever met.  I have to agree with Simon, I thought everything that came out of the kitchen was average at best, and I would even say that the Miyazaki Wagyu, while good, was not worth the extra space in my stomach that could have been occupied by the absolutely delicious, perfectly prepared sushi.  The chutoro and otoro were exemplary, perhaps two of the best versions of each that I have ever had, summoning up memories of that glorious time when Kaz got the Kindai Bluefin Toro 7 years ago.  We already have reservations to go back and sit in one of the private rooms with a larger group in a couple weeks, but next time we will stick with sushi and sashimi and eat our hearts out.

Say hi next time.   B)

MichaelBDC and I capped off a week of gluttony with an omakase extravaganza at courtesy of Chef Ogawa and Can. After a parade of delicate and decadent nigiri, we finally had to tap out. Chef Ogawa seemed to revel in watching each person at the omakase bar proclaim the deliciousness of the pieces of nigiri he served them. Highlights for us were the salmon belly, gizzard shad (which he served us after overhearing us talk about it), the fishes ending in -jack, horse mackerel, and a piece of wagyu beef served nigiri style with a delicate swipe of uni between the rice and the beef. We couldn't have asked for a greater experience at Sushi Ogawa and look forward to visiting again soon.

Congratulations to Chef Ogawa and Can, a most gracious host. Now, the hard part will be deciding how to split our time, stomachs, and bank accounts between Sushi Ogawa and Sushi Capitol. Not a bad problem to have.

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My wife and I have a sushi extravaganza planned for this weekend as we have child care( thank you to my folks!).  Last night we did the omakase at Ogawa.

1) the restaurant is beautiful and the partions from the main dining room really give you the sense that you are all alone at the sushi counter with the chefs in front, v similar to our experience in Japan and at Brushstroke by Ichimura in NYC.

2) we had eaten at sushi capitol before and loved it, but the ambience was lacking--they have corrected this

3) we don't eat beef so we skipped the wagyu nigiri but the rest of the meal was as follows:

-sliced salmon,octopus and asparagus with salted cucumbers and kewpie mayo--octupus was perfectly cooked, mayo was a bit overpowering

-trio of cold prepared dishes--sweet/sour salmon, pomfret collar braised in sake/mirin, whelk that appeared to be braised in mirin/soy as well--these were alright with the pomfret being the star

-in no specific order the following nigiri: two types of salmon(presented one after another as comparison), california uni followed by Hokkaido uni( as comparison), toro, torched scallops, spanish mackerel torched, cornet fish( this was the showpiece as the has this huge head to show you which fish it came from), saury, sea eel, small bowl of baby sea eel with grated daikon and mirin/soy/sake glaze and red yuzu kosho, local snapper, japanese snapper, sweet shrimp, toro hand roll, small bowl with cured salmon roe and raw quail egg, young yellowtail with yuzu zest and sea salt, cucumber scallion sesame hand roll, pickled daikon and scallion hand roll, sweet shrimp head miso soup, followed by a bowl of green tea

In short this meal was excellent and hands down the best sushi meal we have had in DC, equivalent to many of our favorites in NYC.  When you facotr in that the meal was $80 dollars, I think its one of the best deals in DC as well.  This is particularly relevant given the recent discussion of the cost/value at Sushi Taro where we have eaten many time and have always felt that it was overpriced--returning simply bc of quality of food.  Our meal at Ogawa was better cheaper, and a lot more intimate.

One note of worry---they were not full on a Friday---I would encourage people to go--I think the omakase counter is going to be hard to book once word gets out

We are headed to Takumi tonight for an omakase meal so will be interesting to compare the two--they will have their work cut out for them to compete with what we had last night--will report back

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My wife and I have a sushi extravaganza planned for this weekend as we have child care( thank you to my folks!).  Last night we did the omakase at Ogawa.

1) the restaurant is beautiful and the partions from the main dining room really give you the sense that you are all alone at the sushi counter with the chefs in front, v similar to our experience in Japan and at Brushstroke by Ichimura in NYC.

2) we had eaten at sushi capitol before and loved it, but the ambience was lacking--they have corrected this

3) we don't eat beef so we skipped the wagyu nigiri but the rest of the meal was as follows:

-sliced salmon,octopus and asparagus with salted cucumbers and kewpie mayo--octupus was perfectly cooked, mayo was a bit overpowering

-trio of cold prepared dishes--sweet/sour salmon, pomfret collar braised in sake/mirin, whelk that appeared to be braised in mirin/soy as well--these were alright with the pomfret being the star

-in no specific order the following nigiri: two types of salmon(presented one after another as comparison), california uni followed by Hokkaido uni( as comparison), toro, torched scallops, spanish mackerel torched, cornet fish( this was the showpiece as the has this huge head to show you which fish it came from), saury, sea eel, small bowl of baby sea eel with grated daikon and mirin/soy/sake glaze and red yuzu kosho, local snapper, japanese snapper, sweet shrimp, toro hand roll, small bowl with cured salmon roe and raw quail egg, young yellowtail with yuzu zest and sea salt, cucumber scallion sesame hand roll, pickled daikon and scallion hand roll, sweet shrimp head miso soup, followed by a bowl of green tea

In short this meal was excellent and hands down the best sushi meal we have had in DC, equivalent to many of our favorites in NYC.  When you facotr in that the meal was $80 dollars, I think its one of the best deals in DC as well.  This is particularly relevant given the recent discussion of the cost/value at Sushi Taro where we have eaten many time and have always felt that it was overpriced--returning simply bc of quality of food.  Our meal at Ogawa was better cheaper, and a lot more intimate.

One note of worry---they were not full on a Friday---I would encourage people to go--I think the omakase counter is going to be hard to book once word gets out

We are headed to Takumi tonight for an omakase meal so will be interesting to compare the two--they will have their work cut out for them to compete with what we had last night--will report back

It has *pained* me to have Nora as the #1 restaurant in North Dupont for what seems like forever; now, we have a new leader, Ogawa, ranked #1 in North Dupont and Italic in the blind, based on reviews like this and my personal experiences at the terrific Sushi Capitol.

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A slightly different take from someone who ate in the dining room. The dining room is a small, spare room to the left of the long entry way and hostess stand as you walk in. The most important thing, though, is that the dining room is completely cut off from the sushi counter, which is around the corner to the right. So you're brought these beautiful plates of fish but they could be coming out of a regular restaurant kitchen for all you know. You might not think it would make a difference but it does. There's something about being in the same room as the sushi chef -- even if you're not at the counter -- that is an integral part of the experience. Seeing the freshness of the fish. Watching the chef's knife skills. The banter back and forth. All of that is missing in the dining room, which creates a detached (but still delicious!) experience. Next time, I'll know the up-charge to sit at the counter is worth it.

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We finally had an omakase at the sushi bar.  It was a really fun experience.  The servers were gracious (and steered us towards reasonably-priced sake).  The food was quite good.  And they had many interesting things to try, including baby eels and three kinds of uni.  My only nit is that I found the rice a bit too soft and some of the fish had too much soy glaze or wasabi.  Thus, several pieces were falling apart, and I sometimes thought the purity of the fish was overpowered.  But that said, it was still delicious and, at least by DC standards, a terrific sushi experience.     

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I know nothing about this hood. Where might I park on a Fri night?

Depends on the time, and I'm only taking an educated guess (but it's a pretty good one). There should be street parking on Connecticut after 6:30, or on any of the nearby side streets at any time (pay attention to the "Zone X Parking Only" signs, which tend to be on only one side of the side streets). There's *nothing* here but the restaurant and a bunch of houses, so I think you'll be okay parking-wise (regardless, if the options I gave you don't work, you're totally hosed unless they have valet parking). My backup would be to park wherever you can and take Uber, but I really don't think it's going to be a problem. In this particular situation it doesn't apply, but Capital Bikeshare isn't a bad idea for parallel scenarios, especially on places like Barracks Row.

Can, can you chime in?

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Depends on the time, and I'm only taking an educated guess (but it's a pretty good one). There should be street parking on Connecticut after 6:30, or on any of the nearby side streets at any time (pay attention to the "Zone X Parking Only" signs, which tend to be on only one side of the side streets). There's *nothing* here but the restaurant and a bunch of houses, so I think you'll be okay parking-wise (regardless, if the options I gave you don't work, you're totally hosed unless they have valet parking). My backup would be to park wherever you can and take Uber, but I really don't think it's going to be a problem. In this particular situation it doesn't apply, but Capital Bikeshare isn't a bad idea for parallel scenarios, especially on places like Barracks Row.

Can, can you chime in?

I know nothing about this hood. Where might I park on a Fri night?

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.

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Wow, I'm surprised by the quality of the sushi here.  Based on the sushi alone, it may be better than Sushi Taro, but Sushi Taro still has the edge in terms of selection/diversity.  The sushi was generally served at room temperature or above, which really lets the seafood flavor shine.  There's a touch of wasabi and a brush of soy sauce.  You are not given any soy sauce or wasabi, only pickled ginger to cleanse your palate.  

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MichaelBDC and I went to Sushi Ogawa with the sole purpose of eating an insane amount of amazing raw fish. We arrived 15 minutes late for our 8pm reservation due to the torrential downpour, but Can could not have been more understanding. We were seated at the sushi bar with a young couple who spent their whole time on their phones. It was weird. 

Chef Ogawa was not there but Chef Tatsuya did not miss a beat. We had marinated elkhorn oysters and two fried fish dishes from the kitchen to start before the parade of nigiri which included a trio of white fish I can't remember, a duo of regular salmon and white salmon, seared mackerel, salmon belly, gizzard shad, chutoro and otoro, eel and octopus, uni from Maine and uni from Japan, the tuna scallion handroll, and a broth with shrimp head to finish. Can stopped by intermittently to make sure we were having fun and eating well. He even gave us two extra bites at the end of our favorite fish: the octopus and eel for MichaelBDC and the otoro and Japanese uni for me. We left incredibly full and happy. 

MichaelBDC and I had a wonderful evening and look forward to more sushi from Chef Ogawa and hospitality from Can. Chef Ogawa has ruined mediocre sushi for me, first with Sushi Capitol and now with Ogawa. I don't think I can do mediocre sushi again, not like that is a bad thing. 

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Hi Can,

I ate in the dining room in February, though we had hoped for seats at the sushi counter. We were curious what the difference was to the omakase service between the dining room and the sushi counter, but our server didn't really know.

thanks for the reply!

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11 hours ago, peasoup said:

Hi Can,

I ate in the dining room in February, though we had hoped for seats at the sushi counter. We were curious what the difference was to the omakase service between the dining room and the sushi counter, but our server didn't really know.

thanks for the reply!

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 

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Went for my birthday a couple weeks ago, sorry about the delay in posting. Rather than get the kids their own a la carte dinners, we tried the omakase and had them split it, which turned out to be a good move, with some extra support from our gracious hosts. Starter dish of three appetizers included a small piece of fish which the kids loved. I ate half of mine and let them have the rest. They loved the crab shells for the crab appetizer. Fortunately for me, they didn't eat so much of theirs so I got to eat more, so long as they got to keep the shells, which were nicely cleaned by the kitchen for us to take home. We had discussed maybe getting some tempura for the kids, but decided not to, with the thought we could add it later if the kids did not eat enough of what was in the omakase. Can surprised us with complimentary tempura for the kids, which was a nice assortment of vegetables. The sushi came in two waves with a nice assortment of both common and not so common fish. Rice was really good, nicely vinegared and just the right balance of stickiness and also amount relative to fish. Dessert was done nicely with birthday candles for both my son and me, his birthday was also just a few days before mine, so this was actually a double celebration, though he elected to get salami for his birthday dinner a couple weeks earlier, though that decision was also made knowing he could get good sushi a couple weeks later. (I also made some sushi for the kids a couple weeks earlier too)

Can, and the rest of the staff were wonderful hosts, as always both here and at Sushi Capitol, which made this a great place to spend our special occasion. 

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We really loved our recent dinner here.  $100 omakase option for both of us and worth every penny.  The rice is great as always, the practice of scoring the fish and warming the fish to above room temperature does wonderful things for texture and flavors of each piece of sushi.  The service and atmosphere is just perfect.  It felt like as close to a perfect overall restaurant experience as I can reasonably expect.  

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Sat at the counter this past Friday and went for the $100 omakase option to celebrate my birthday. @MichaelBDC and I had an amazing time thanks to Chef Ogawa, Can, and the team. Really enjoyed everything that was presented to us. Highlights included the sea bream, amberjack, uni, and toro. I have never had to turn away sushi before, but had to stop with two pieces remaining because I was too full. Three days later, my mind still wanders back to the variety of sushi we had. Can brought out a delicious sparkling sake for us to enjoy with desert. I would definitely order the sparkling sake at the beginning of the meal the next time we are there. It was a delicious and fun night, a perfect way to celebrate turning a year older.

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2 hours ago, eatruneat said:

Sat at the counter this past Friday and went for the $100 omakase option to celebrate my birthday. @MichaelBDC and I had an amazing time thanks to Chef Ogawa, Can, and the team. Really enjoyed everything that was presented to us. Highlights included the sea bream, amberjack, uni, and toro. I have never had to turn away sushi before, but had to stop with two pieces remaining because I was too full. Three days later, my mind still wanders back to the variety of sushi we had. Can brought out a delicious sparkling sake for us to enjoy with desert. I would definitely order the sparkling sake at the beginning of the meal the next time we are there. It was a delicious and fun night, a perfect way to celebrate turning a year older.

It truly was a great time with @eatruneat.  @CanY and his staff are at the top of their game and there wasn't a moment that we wanted for anything.  As always, the fish was fresh and amazing.  Especially the amberjack.  I would have eaten the entire fish if I had any room after the wonderful variety of sushi that came before and after it.  I know there are other, more expensive sushi restaurants in town, but I can't imagine what they could possibly do better than the team at Sushi Ogawa.  We'll be back soon

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3 hours ago, JonS said:

We have not been yet, but am wondering whether Tetsuyasan came over from Perry's.  We are old fans of "Tets" from Murasaki, so wondering whether we can find him now at Ogawa.

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

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13 hours ago, CanY said:

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

Thanks for the quick reply, Can.  He helped provide sustenance for our kids in their early years.  Great to know, and we'll absolutely plan a visit soon.

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I went last night and thought it was good but not as transcendent as some of the other posters seemed to think.  Perhaps the problem was that I sat in the dining room, where I had the $80 omakase, rather than at the bar.  Appetizers included a pumpkin-eggplant dish that came out without eggplant (and was not remedied when pointed out to the server).  The fish was very good but mostly standard varieties like salmon and tuna - I wish I would have gotten some of the types referenced above, like uni.  Also the nigiri had a lot of wasabi put on by the chef between the rice and fish.  I like wasabit but it was a lot for me.  My wife had to take off the fish and scrape it off.  The dessert was a chocolate pudding with some blueberries and strawberries on top.

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18 minutes ago, afelton said:

I went last night and thought it was good but not as transcendent as some of the other posters seemed to think.  Perhaps the problem was that I sat in the dining room, where I had the $80 omakase, rather than at the bar.  Appetizers included a pumpkin-eggplant dish that came out without eggplant (and was not remedied when pointed out to the server).  The fish was very good but mostly standard varieties like salmon and tuna - I wish I would have gotten some of the types referenced above, like uni.  Also the nigiri had a lot of wasabi put on by the chef between the rice and fish.  I like wasabit but it was a lot for me.  My wife had to take off the fish and scrape it off.  The dessert was a chocolate pudding with some blueberries and strawberries on top.

Putting together this, plus several severe downhill alerts at Sushi Capitol, plus Don's bar rave, adds up to the possibility that Chef Ogawa is putting all of his energies into the bar at Ogawa, and that it doesn't make much sense to choose either of the other two options.

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We were there about a week or so ago, also on a Saturday night, and also in the dining room. Our first experience at either of his restaurants. Everything was good, but we left somewhat disappointed (perhaps in part by how amazing Himitsu was the night before). The pacing of the meal was very strange. We were racing through courses at the beginning, and then had a long (like 30 minutes) gap.

One thing our server told us is that they are currently working on three new restaurants which will all be open relatively soon. That could also be taking attention away from other things. 

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