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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 8/6/2017 at 9:38 AM, 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.

On 8/8/2017 at 11:24 AM, Mark Dedrick said:

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. 

On 8/6/2017 at 9:59 AM, Marty L. said:

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.

Given that afelton and Mark know what they're doing (and they do), I think Marty's comment must be taken seriously. I can assure people that while Chef Ogawa was serving us, there is *no way* he was making any food for the dining room. As of right now, based on what I've heard and experienced, I'll go and drop $100 at the Sushi Bar 10-out-of-10 times before I come here right now - even if it costs double, it's worth it, despite the price restricting it to something of a special-occasion experience.

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35 minutes ago, dinoue said:

This isn't related to the Ogawa situation, but it's interesting that this hit my inbox at 2:34 this afternoon:

Don,

Did you know that when a customer pays the tip with a credit card, the money doesn’t always go to the server?

We're collecting stories and data about tip theft and where it happens — you can help by filling in this quick survey.

Many restaurants allow customers to pay the bill and the tip with their credit card instead of cash. Credit card companies charge separate fees to process both of these transactions. Because the tip has to be processed through the restaurant, the restaurant can legally take a percentage of each tip to pay the transaction fee.

In short, restaurants are taking the tip you gave to the employee to pay a business expense.

To help us better understand tip theft, tell us your story.

In Solidarity,

ROC United

 
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7 hours ago, DonRocks said:

This isn't related to the Ogawa situation, but it's interesting that this hit my inbox at 2:34 this afternoon:

Don,

Did you know that when a customer pays the tip with a credit card, the money doesn’t always go to the server?

We're collecting stories and data about tip theft and where it happens — you can help by filling in this quick survey.

Many restaurants allow customers to pay the bill and the tip with their credit card instead of cash. Credit card companies charge separate fees to process both of these transactions. Because the tip has to be processed through the restaurant, the restaurant can legally take a percentage of each tip to pay the transaction fee.

In short, restaurants are taking the tip you gave to the employee to pay a business expense.

To help us better understand tip theft, tell us your story.

In Solidarity,

ROC United

 

Is this theft??  If I pay $10.00 but the restaurant receives $9.00 and gives the server the $9.00, what are they stealing?  They're not paying the processing fee out of their own pocket to make the server whole.  I just really struggle to see that as theft - it's magical thinking to say that no one should bear the price for payment convenience.

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1 hour ago, zgast said:

Is this theft??  If I pay $10.00 but the restaurant receives $9.00 and gives the server the $9.00, what are they stealing?  They're not paying the processing fee out of their own pocket to make the server whole.  I just really struggle to see that as theft - it's magical thinking to say that no one should bear the price for payment convenience.

Payment convenience also leads to increased revenue.  By and large, people spend more on a card than with cash, not to mention that fewer of us are carrying sufficient cash on a regular basis.  So even paying 1$ in processing fees likely leads to increased income.

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1 hour ago, zgast said:

Is this theft??  If I pay $10.00 but the restaurant receives $9.00 and gives the server the $9.00, what are they stealing?  They're not paying the processing fee out of their own pocket to make the server whole.  I just really struggle to see that as theft - it's magical thinking to say that no one should bear the price for payment convenience.

ROC United is known for rabble-rousing - consider them the Greenpeace of the restaurant-workers' world. I submitted that email without commentary for a reason; I just thought it was somewhat timely given the situation at Ogawa.

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What are you complaining about Eric?  That's a mere 240% increase from earlier in this thread!

 

I'm beginning to think some of these places are pushing the envelop to absurd levels because there are enough suckers and fools out there to support this insanity, present company excluded of course!  I mean, I have no problem dropping stupid money on a great meal, but lately things have gotten ridiculous.  I was looking at the menu for Jont (sister restaurant to Bresca) the other day and the cheapest wine by the glass is $20!  (You can get the entire bottle of that Pinot Noir retail, for $23!).  The average price for all of their wines by the glass is 40 bucks!!!  They also have an item on the menu called "Jont goes all in" for $650!!  Not sure if that includes wine or not, but it doesn't mention that, so I doubt it.  They also charge you a $2 processing fee for making a reservation, WTF?!?!  You'd think they could just eat that charge for those kind of prices.  #tacky.

 

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand, I took my daughter to Sushi Taro for her 21st birthday last November and we got the $100 Kaiseki meal and it was transcendent.  I probably ruined both kids for "regular" sushi for the rest of their lives, but maybe I'm naïve and clueless (guilty!) but I find it hard to believe that this meal would be twice as good as what Sushi Taro put out.  I realize that "twice as good" is a ridiculous and unmeasurable statement, but if I had $200 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd hit up Sushi Taro twice, in a heartbeat.

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On 4/9/2021 at 3:41 PM, Bart said:

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand, I took my daughter to Sushi Taro for her 21st birthday last November and we got the $100 Kaiseki meal and it was transcendent.  I probably ruined both kids for "regular" sushi for the rest of their lives, but maybe I'm naïve and clueless (guilty!) but I find it hard to believe that this meal would be twice as good as what Sushi Taro put out.  I realize that "twice as good" is a ridiculous and unmeasurable statement, but if I had $200 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd hit up Sushi Taro twice, in a heartbeat.

This is one of the guiltiest pleasures of parenting. Show them something they won’t be able to afford for years. About ten years ago my family got a 4 person upgrade to business class on our flight back to the US. I actually posted a picture saying this may be the worst thing that ever happened to me as a parent. Well - several upgrades later (BA is liberal with these when you’ve got Gold status) we took a train trip to Venice for Carnival. My 4 year old lost his s!^t in his seat. Once we calmed him down he explained that his seat was broken because it wouldn’t turn into a bed so he could sleep. Oy. 

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1 hour ago, zgast said:

This is one of the guiltiest pleasures of parenting. Show them something they won’t be able to afford for years. About ten years ago my family got a 4 person upgrade to business class on our flight back to the US. I actually posted a picture saying this may be the worst thing that ever happened to me as a parent. 

The first time I was on an airplane was 1972. Dad was working for Xerox, and they were transferring him to CA. So we all got on a plane. I was 7, and I was the oldest of 4. And it was paid for by Xerox. And they sent us first class. I have been spoiled ever since. The handouts were not peanuts. They were macadamias. First time I ever had those. (And the last for quite a while too. Expensive!) We all got little wing pins. And big seats. (That was also the first time I remember staying in a hotel. They put us up for a week until our furniture arrived. That was so cool. Except for having to share a bed with my sister, who kicks in her sleep.) Man, what a letdown my first flight in coach was. Although, it was many years later. When we came back east, we drove. I don't think I flew again until I was 17. And I was alone, going to visit a college. (And a great aunt, who lived close to one of the schools I was considering.)

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:41 AM, Bart said:

What are you complaining about Eric?  That's a mere 240% increase from earlier in this thread!

 

I'm beginning to think some of these places are pushing the envelop to absurd levels because there are enough suckers and fools out there to support this insanity, present company excluded of course!  I mean, I have no problem dropping stupid money on a great meal, but lately things have gotten ridiculous.  I was looking at the menu for Jont (sister restaurant to Bresca) the other day and the cheapest wine by the glass is $20!  (You can get the entire bottle of that Pinot Noir retail, for $23!).  The average price for all of their wines by the glass is 40 bucks!!!  They also have an item on the menu called "Jont goes all in" for $650!!  Not sure if that includes wine or not, but it doesn't mention that, so I doubt it.  They also charge you a $2 processing fee for making a reservation, WTF?!?!  You'd think they could just eat that charge for those kind of prices.  #tacky.

 

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand, I took my daughter to Sushi Taro for her 21st birthday last November and we got the $100 Kaiseki meal and it was transcendent.  I probably ruined both kids for "regular" sushi for the rest of their lives, but maybe I'm naïve and clueless (guilty!) but I find it hard to believe that this meal would be twice as good as what Sushi Taro put out.  I realize that "twice as good" is a ridiculous and unmeasurable statement, but if I had $200 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd hit up Sushi Taro twice, in a heartbeat.

Unfortunate on so many levels. These aren't corporate run restaurants, rather small businesses trying to survive during an extinction level event for their industry. Consider capacity limits and their impact on a restaurant's bottom line. For wines by the glass, what if one orders a glass of wine on a Sunday evening and the restaurant isn't open again until Tues/ Wed - do you expect the restaurant to take a loss on spoilage? Do you think that fewer people in the door could result in fewer BTG wine sales, and greater spoilage? Have you considered the difficulty in hiring and retaining staff during this pandemic, and the need to be adequately compensated for their efforts?

While I agree that a $2 processing fee is tacky, it's not an impediment to me if I really want to enjoy the restaurant, as I've enjoyed Ryan Ratino's food since he was at Auberge Provencal. I also understand the need to clutch pearls and be snarky every once and a while (heck, I've loved Statler and Waldorf on the Muppets since I was a little kid). But this thread has 6.6k views - how many of future views will see a post unrelated to the food, service, decor, or overall experience at Ogawa (or Jont), and decide against dining at either because of one or two people's notions of perceived value and speculation about one sushi restaurant's potential quality over another?

Buy the ticket, take the ride. Or don't. Senseless complaining about pricing absent critical commentary on the actual food and experience serves to foster negativity and potential harm for businesses just trying to make it through, like many others.

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