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Takumi, Sushi Bistro on S. Washington Street in Downtown Falls Church - Chef Jay Yu Comes From Kaz Sushi Bistro


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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.

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Yes, I think this is currently the best sushi in NoVA (and rivals the best spots in the DC area). I asked Chef Yu to serve me omakase and he presented the following:

  • Branzino with lime zest
  • Tuna with black truffle
  • Hokkaido hotate
  • Seared scallop with lemon and salt
  • Salmon with Old Bay
  • Hamachi with uni
  • Aoyagi
  • Seared salmon belly
  • Uni
  • Smoked ankimo (disclosure: comped by Chef)
  • Ikura

With 2 pieces per order, plus a Brussels sprout salad and miso soup to start with, I was properly stuffed by the end of this lunch. While much of the menu will look familiar to Kaz regulars, there's a hard-to-pinpoint generosity of flavor that made me prefer Takumi's versions to the originals. I think the fish-to-rice ratio might be more to my liking.

Service was great, and I enjoyed practicing my rusty Cantonese with Chef Yu (he's from Guangzhou). I do worry about his ability to keep a diverse selection of seafood on the menu. Chef mentioned that it's been a challenge to meet the suppliers' minimum order quantities for some ingredients. Will customers order the more adventurous stuff that helps to make Takumi stand out amongst other small, neighborhood Japanese restaurants?

aoyagi.jpg?dl=1

Aoyagi (orange clam)

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House-smoked ankimo (monkfish liver)

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Dinner last night - called for rez for 7 for two but was asked to arrive at 7:30. All tables and bar were full. We had a great meal- over- ordering to sample lots of things- highlights were the calamari pasta( nest), the agedashi, oh toro, salmon with mango purée and hamachi with uni.

 
By 8:30 the place was nearly empty- no second round seating. The chef asked how we heard- DR-

 
He said, ah Don! Second patrons today..

 
I hope the word will spread- I hate to see an empty place of this caliber- FYI-still no liquor llicense. We will be back with friends.

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I went to dinner here last night with a close friend.  We started with two tightly rolls, a spicy tuna and a negitoro. We then got the calamari pasta, and while we both thought it was excellent, my friend thought it could perhaps use a touch of acid because it was so rich with uni and the quail egg. We then had grilled baby octopus, which was good and surprisingly tender with a teriyaki-like sauce covering it. I opted for the Fresh Cuts of the Day, which that day included two bronzini, two chu-toro, two scallop, two clam, two smoked ankimo and a spicy scallop roll.  The sushi tasted fresh with no off-tasting fish slices and generous cuts of each fish. APparently they now have a liquor license because we drank an Echigo Koshihikari and warm sake with our meal, which I thought was a good contrast of cold and warm on an icy night.

Overall, this is an excellent sushi place that serves great fish and has great service. Definitely to my taste matches the other top sushi places in Northern Virginia. While we were there, a trickle of customers continually came in and there were a few take out orders as well. While I am slightly dismayed that they didn't have more business, it may be harder to get in if it gets popular because it is definitely not a very big place.

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I went to dinner here last night with a close friend.  We started with two tightly rolls, a spicy tuna and a negitoro. We then got the calamari pasta, and while we both thought it was excellent, my friend thought it could perhaps use a touch of acid because it was so rich with uni and the quail egg. 

If you go back and read my description of the Bird's Nest in Post #1, I was pretty much saying the same thing in less-direct language (they had just opened, after all) - some acidity or soy would have been to the Bird's Nest benefit. But I also knew that if I said that out of context, people might not try this little gem, and so I measured my language - now that a few other people are coming out and extolling Takumi's virtues, I'm comfortable using more direct language: I think that Bird's Nest could have really used something to cut through the richness.

Like some sake or a beer. Do they have alcohol yet?

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My wife and I went here the day after we had our dinner at Ogawa and we really enjoyed ourselves.

The service:  Let's start with Chef Yu---extremely gracious. somewhat reserved but is eager to discuss all dishes if you engage him.  His wife runs the floor and had a wonderful personality as well.  You can tell that the restaurant is their baby and they take great pride in what the do and serve.

The food:  We ordered the omakase with the addition of soup( mushroom miso and clam miso) and the sea urchin birds nest.  As part of the omakase they had live Santa Monica uni served in the shell which were amazingly sweet with a hint of salinity at the end.  The birds nest appetizer was something that I enjoyed but my wife did not.  The dish is really a texture dish and the naturally mucilaginous texture of the japanese yam with the texture of the egg yolk and the squid was too much for my wife.  The flavor were sweet and clean.  The rest of the omakase did not disappoint--I cannot name the individual nigiri but we were impressed.

We enjoyed the food and the hospitality so much that we recommended him to my brother who was looking to have a sushi chef come to his home for his wife's 40th birthday.  I put him in contact with Chef Yu and they were able to make it work.

I have to say I was even more impressed with the sushi he created for guests at my brothers party.  He and his assistant came fully prepared and made the most amazing nigiri--even more impressive given the location in my brother's kitchen.  We had set pieces that he was to create and he was able to do that on site and deal with a few small children who would come up to him with respect.  He never acted with any annoyance even if was not part of the set menu and happily created hand rolls of salmon and tuna for the children and let them try things they had not tried before.  He made an excellent ceviche with squid.  The best bite of the night was a torched king salmon belly nigiri that melted in your mouth--rivaling most pieces of seared toro in decadence.  All of the pieces he served had a special touch--tuna with olive, mackerel with lemon zest and scallion, yellowtail with uni and shiso.

This man is gem--and serves amazing food.  The location of his restaurant is a little odd but I would urge everyone to make it out there.

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I agree with one reviewer that Chef Jay Yu is offering us the best sushi in this Virginia area. I am so happy to have some unique menu offerings, such as Salmon Carpaccio w/olive oil,basil, and avocado, among the more typical offerings. Even his simpler Hawaiian roll, salmon w/basil and pineapple was a unique treat. The flavors of the combined ingredients is very well balanced. The standard sushi items seem to stand out differently in their freshness, presentation, and yes the delicious sushi rice, all of which makes me want to keep eating more sushi than usual without getting full!. There are still some tiny surprising additions to the standard rolls. So grateful too that the Takumi sushi is not heavy on the sauces. I stay away from gooey sauces offered so often elsewhere.

The place is tiny and cozy making Chef Yu accessible to answer your curious questions about his dishes. He is very gracious about that.

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Enjoyed a really fun and delicious progressive sushi tasting with Chef Yu today. Since he knew that I would likely be sharing the pictures here, he wanted to be clear that this was an off-menu omakase that may not be possible to repeat (based on availability of fish, how busy he is behind the counter). But it was absolutely representative of the quality and passion that I've consistently experienced at Takumi (this was my third visit).
 
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Whitefish tasting (L-R): bronzini, medai, hamachi belly

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Tuna tasting (L-R): regular maguro, chu-turo, o-toro, seared

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Salmon (and friend) tasting (L-R): artic char, salmon w/ Old Bay, salmon with crème fraí®che and ikura, seared salmon belly

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Mackerel tasting (L-R): marinated saba, smoked saba, aji

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Shellfish tasting (L-R): aoyagi (muscle), aoyagi, seared scallop with lemon & sea salt

Not pictured, a smoked ankimo salad appetizer and a terrific (not house-made) lychee sorbet

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We asked for omakase at lunch on Friday and was told it wasn't available. They didn't skimp on the uni with the calamari pasta, which was delicious. The ankimo appetizer was a little bland though. The 9 piece nigiri set was good, at $22 there wasn't anything exotic though.

Was this uni on calamari the Bird's Nest? (With little black straws of seaweed and a quail egg in the middle?) If so, I *love* that dish, and I still haven't found better Ankimo in DC than Izakaya Seki. but I can't remember Capitol's or Taro's, and have never had Ogawa's - so many places purchase it; Seki makes theirs in-house. I would expect more exotic nigiri to cost more than $2.50 per piece, although for lunch, maybe not. You should give it a shot during dinner - did they say why the omakase wasn't available? Maybe it's dinner-only.

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Was this uni on calamari the Bird's Nest? (With little black straws of seaweed and a quail egg in the middle?) If so, I *love* that dish, and I still haven't found better Ankimo in DC than Izakaya Seki. but I can't remember Capitol's or Taro's, and have never had Ogawa's - so many places purchase it; Seki makes theirs in-house. I would expect more exotic nigiri to cost more than $2.50 per piece, although for lunch, maybe not. You should give it a shot during dinner - did they say why the omakase wasn't available? Maybe it's dinner-only.

I guess they changed the name from Bird's Nest to calamari pasta. And yes, the ankimo at Seki was better, both softer in texture (more like foie gras) and more flavorful. I don't know who was at the sushi counter and why they didn't offer omakase for lunch.

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I guess they changed the name from Bird's Nest to calamari pasta. And yes, the ankimo at Seki was better, both softer in texture (more like foie gras) and more flavorful. I don't know who was at the sushi counter and why they didn't offer omakase for lunch.

I sat at the bar for lunch a week ago and, in effect, had an omakase:  We told Chef Yu two or three things we wanted, and asked him to supplement with whatever was good that day (but not the really pricey o-toro).  At ten pieces, we'd had enough:  bronzino, medai, hamachi belly, another hamachi of some sort, char, three types of salmon, walu, aji; approximately $37 or so -- not cheap for lunch, but in NYC it would've been twice that.

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I sat at the bar for lunch a week ago and, in effect, had an omakase:  We told Chef Yu two or three things we wanted, and asked him to supplement with whatever was good that day (but not the really pricey o-toro).  At ten pieces, we'd had enough:  bronzino, medai, hamachi belly, another hamachi of some sort, char, three types of salmon, walu, aji; approximately $37 or so -- not cheap for lunch, but in NYC it would've been twice that.

I sat at the bar of Takumi Sushi Bistro the other evening, and began my evening with an Echigo Premium Red Ale ($8 for 11 ounces) from Niigata, Japan. I *love* this beer, and generally order it whenever I see it - as you know, I prefer a malt profile to a hoppy one, and Echigo Premium Red Ale is right up my alley - if only it wasn't so expensive. Does anyone know where to find this at retail?

The beer went delightfully with the Sushi Fresh Cuts of the Day ($40), which included 10 pieces of superior nigiri, and 1 maki roll. In this case, there were 2 pieces each of madai, hamachi suna-zuri, shima-aji, sake harasu (brushed)and o-toro, one raw, the second lightly seared with a handheld torch. The maki was the exact roll you see here on the top-left (I'm writing this post entirely from memory, and don't remember the exact prep, but it was a worthy follower to the nigiri).

I eat sushi more slowly than I'm supposed to, but nevertheless, this was a quick excursion - expensive, and worth it. Takumi remains the best sushi bar in Northern Virginia, and I don't even know what's close.

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Went tonight on the recommendation of Tyler Cowen, who in turn was advised by @DonRocks. I think I can appreciate good sushi and Japanese izakaya items, but I'm no expert, so I'll leave to others to grade the quality. But I was very satisfied and perhaps more inclined to return here than other more heralded spots in DC.

Had six nigiri selections. Standouts were: tunaaji (horse mackerel), and uni. But everything was great: fatty tuna (maki), arctic charsalmon, and a special I can't recall. Also had a reasonably priced Taisetsu ("Ice Dome") sake.

Fair but efficient service, casual environs. Music (Hidden Beach-style smooth jazz) could use some work. But the star attraction, Chef Jay Yu and his product, are top notch and for whatever reason I felt appreciated. As Tyler put it: "This is the best sushi place around, period.... It compares favorably with the elite places of DC." I can't disagree but I don't have the wherewithal to offer judgment. 

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It's our favorite place to get lunch.  In addition to the free miso soup and salad at lunchtime, we get agedashi tofu (piping hot and savory), two orders of chirashi, and the lychee and yuzu sorbets for dessert.  And they don't mind when we bring lunch for our non-sushi-eating 5-year-old.  Top notch all around, and a great value.

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18 minutes ago, tobychun said:

It's our favorite place to get lunch. 

[assuming you're in that area] How's Pizzeria Orso lately? I'd found their quality had a high variance, not unrelated to various chef changes (e.g., Edan Macquaid, Will Artley, etc). I ask b/c between Takumi, Orso, and Elevation + Smashburger, that block is becoming quite a lunch hub.

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Haven't been to Pizzeria Orso since Will Artley left (though driven more by changes in my family's preferences than the change in chefs) or Smashburger ever.  I like Elevation well enough, but I keep coming back to the fact that the lunchtime price of Takumi's Chirashi ($18) stacks up so well against the price of an entrée salad or entrée at Coastal Flats (another family go-to) and you get a miso soup, a small salad and a plate of some of the best sashimi-don in the area - it's hard to pass up for other places!

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I had the best intentions of providing an account of my visit a couple of weeks ago, but I failed to follow through. Other members have provided outstanding write-ups already, so I'll try to keep this short. The hospitality was evident, and Chef Yu was very welcoming. I brought my daughter, who is currently a vegetarian, and she thoroughly enjoyed the food as well.

We sat at the sushi bar, and Chef Yu was kind enough to provide me with somewhat of an off-menu omakase. Each and every piece of nigiri was fresh and delicious, and I really enjoyed some of the creative versions of the sushi as well, such as tuna nigiri with an olive "tapenade". 

Chef Yu also recommended a couple of the Italian and Mexican rolls for my daughter, and they were also excellent. We were both a bit skeptical about the Italian roll, as it featured sun-dried tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, cream cheese, and basil, but it really worked, and it turned out to be a nice surprise.

Chef Yu has a great concept with broad ranging appeal. The menu will certainly appeal to less experienced/new sushi eaters with some "basic" items, while it also offers creative sushi as well as fish that's not often seen in this area. 

Looking forward to a return visit. 

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stopped here for lunch after a dental appointment nearby.  Got a somewhat off-menu omakase:  tuna with truffle, butterfish, bbq eel and a flame seared salmon, also a shrimp tempura roll.  Chef Yu highly recommended the butterfish and it was as light and bright and clean tasting as any fish I've ever had.  My favorite, though, was the tuna with truffle (and I admit to being a bit of a truffle slut).  Also have to agree with whomever said it upthread, but the rice itself was far superior to any rice I've had in a sushi restaurant before.  8 pieces of nigiri, 1 roll, and miso came to $33 before tax & tip.

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Returned after a few months hiatus and a month in Japan.My daughter's birthday and her first visit. We let chef make suggestions and were happily sated- seared salmon belly, o toro, calamari spaghetti which included particularly unctuous Uni, Japanese snapper, unagi rolls and more. The rice was exceptionally good and chef and his wife are wonderful hosts.

Close to home and always delicious.

 

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It was my  birthday on Tuesday, but it had been a crazy weekend and the week looked like it would present more of the same.  All I wanted was to sit in a quiet restaurant eating good food with Mrs. Taco.  We went to Takumi.

We sat in a booth and ordered omakase.  We started with live uni, served in its shell, which was awesome.  Then, we moved on to ankimo with yuzu jelly.  I agree with Eric that this dish was bland.  I kept trying to scoop up as much jelly and salad as I could to add flavor.  I still ate my share, which could have proved disastrous (read on).

Two sushi courses were as described by everyone else: fresh and with great rice.  By some sushi magic, the dollops of sauce and accompaniments are both subtle and bright. 

Then, the waitress asked if we wanted another course.  I was almost full, so we said yes. It was, sincerely, one of the best decisions I have made this year.  The last course included seared o toro and seared salmon belly.  This is where eating the ankimo could have come back on me.  If i had been too full to eat those last two pieces, I would have missed out on something special.

Chef came around to see how we liked everything, which capped off a great dinner.

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On 3/12/2016 at 9:59 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

The 9 piece nigiri set was good, at $22 there wasn't anything exotic though.

This mirrors my recent experience.  We'll definitely order more adventurously next time.  The place was dead when we arrived for lunch at 12:30 but started filling up quickly after that.

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38 minutes ago, DIShGo said:

I visited Takumi for the first time about a week ago, and I thought it was fantastic. We enjoyed a variety of nigiri and I loved it all. The fish fresh, tender and full of flavor. I will definitely go back.

More accurately, we told the server we'd each like a $60 sashimi/sushi omakase. This remains the second-best restaurant for sashimi and sushi in the area (with the distinct possibility of Sushi Taro being an exception), after the Sushi Bar at Sushi Ogawa.

Takumi is more "Kaz-like" than Ogawa - if you're familiar with DC sushi, you'll know what I mean.

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I had a fantastic meal there this past Saturday night.  I've been here around 5 times, and almost every time I've left the restaurant with a sensation of giddiness / extreme satisfaction that I've only really felt with sushi (maybe this is just the sensation of excellent food minus excessive fullness or drunkenness but I digress...).  If Mercury poisoning wasn't a thing I'd probably eat here multiple times a week.  Anyway I got my usual order of the Sushi fresh cuts of the day for $40 - one thing I did not realize is that at lunch they'll bring you out a small salad and miso soup with this order while at dinner this is not included - not a complaint, just an FYI. 

IMG_5419.JPG.5e0fc1df03d94f96d3a797405826cb51.JPG

*Apologies for the giant image size.

From left to right / top to bottom as best as I can remember : Branzino with a hint of lime, Artic Char (I think the topping was a small bit of Japanese mustard), white fish I can't quite recall, lean tuna, Japanese yellowtail with uni, Monkfish liver (I think with a bit of yuzu jelly),  other white fish I can't recall, fatty tuna, I think some time of jack fish, torhced salmon belly, and then 3 fatty tuna rolls, and 3 rolls with a white fish and jalapeno.  Except for the one in between the fatty tuna and the salmon every single piece was a knockout.  I recently got what would be the equivalent of this order at Sushi Taro at the bar for lunch and to my taste thought this was definitely a bit superior.  The freshness of this fish is fantastic, but what sets Takumi apart in my book is the little individual touches on each piece of nigiri that perfectly complement each fish.  My main dining companion has never been as big of a sushi fan as I am was also blown away by this meal.

I had room for a little more and decided to spring for the Bluefin tuna tasting pictured below for $22 (I know from a sustainability POV I shouldn't order this, but I'd never tried it before).

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From left to right : lean tuna, fatty tuna, I think they called the 3rd a tuna carpaccio roll,  and torched tuna.  One again this was phenomenal.  A waitress had previously told me during a mid-week lunch that they had the best variety of fish in on the weekend which definitely seemed to be the case from the tasting and the large number of specials listed on the sign outside.  Next time I can get a seat at the counter I am definitely looking to try the Omakase option mentioned on here.

 

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50 minutes ago, FranklinDubya said:

Next time I can get a seat at the counter I am definitely looking to try the Omakase option mentioned on here.

Omakase is always a good choice  if your wallet can afford it. It is worth every bite. I usually always opt for it when I go for sushi, on account I like the watching the masters at work. It is the equivalent of dining at the Chef's table. Your meal looks amazing. I will need to add this spot the next time I am in the DMV. 

You had me at sushi,

kat

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22 minutes ago, kitkatpaddywak said:

Omakase is always a good choice  if your wallet can afford it. It is worth every bite. I usually always opt for it when I go for sushi, on account I like the watching the masters at work. It is the equivalent of dining at the Chef's table. Your meal looks amazing. I will need to add this spot the next time I am in the DMV. 

You had me at sushi,

kat

Of note: Takumi is still one of very few restaurants here with a 100% positive-approval "rating" (i.e., posts).

I urge anyone living in Falls Church, Arlington, Fairfax, or McLean to become regulars here - can you imagine if this were to close for lack of business?

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28 minutes ago, MarkS said:

I work in Reston and will plan on lunch here soon.  Sounds phenomenal.

You'd be well-advised to lower your expectations a tad:  It is not phenomenal, nor is it trying to be.  It is, however, something rarer than that around here:  A very fine sushi place at a reasonable price, run by very nice folks.  Only thing comparable these days is the Sunday Mirai pop-up.

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The Stevester and I had lunch at Takumi yesterday.  We sat at the sushi bar and asked for the omakase.  We were first presented with an expertly dissected scallop (one each).  Never had a whole scallop raw before.  Surprisingly all the parts were pretty good, including the coral.  The texture ranges from soft to crunchy, and the taste ranges from sweet to slightly bitter (from the coral).  A lovely experience.

The sushi came in two waves.  There were some nice chutoro and otoro, snapper, artic char, etc.  The ice fish  was interesting.  I couldn't really taste the fish because the nori had a stronger flavor.  The Steve-meister spat his out.  Can't take that gaijin anywhere.

Some comments - I thought the rice was bland and Steve-arino thought the rice was too dry.

With 1 large beer each, total with tax & tip was $90 pp.

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1 hour ago, Sthitch said:

The rice was bland, dry, and there was way too much of it.  It ruined the the experience of eating such exquisite fish.

That's odd -- the rice has never been dry when I've been there.  Not the greatest sushi rice ever, but hardly dry.  

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When I'm desperate for sushi, and don't want to commute, I go to the serviceable, but largely mediocre, Takohachi  - which features dollar sushi, and self-service wasabi (you literally have to take the fish off the rice, put on your own wasabi, and plop the fish back on top) - if you have their menu, they'll also prepare a carryout platter for you, but make sure you ask them to have it ready when you arrive.

If I'm feeling flush, and want something of much higher quality: I live something close to midway between Takumi and Sushi Capitol, so I choose one or the other - the quality of these two fine restaurants is similar, but Takumi is a better value for the money. 

Last night, we went to the sushi bar, and requested a $60 omakase, primarily sashimi (the best way to fly here, is to request an omakase (also to say how you want it weighted (mostly sashimi, mostly nigiri sushi, mostly maki sushi, mostly from the kitchen, or an even balance (*)), and to say how much money per person - it isn't considered boorish, and actually makes the chef's life easier). Chef Yu had some remarkable fish last night, including some of the best toro I've had recently (has anyone noticed that at the top end, really good toro has gotten easier to find in recent years?) He started with a salad of scallop and cucumber, progressed to an Italian-influenced dish of salmon, olive oil, salt, tiny tomatoes, and basil, went on to a tuna tartare that was out of this world - then, the sashimi started arriving. It was an incredible meal, and never even got to $60 per person - they got one heck of a tip just to make sure. Takumi also has really good Japanese beers (Echigo, Hitachino, etc.) and sake, both of which we enjoyed.

Takumi is a Top 3 restaurant in Northern Virginia.

(*) In case you think I'm so wise: At the end of the meal, Chef Yu asked if we'd like anything else. I asked for a Tekka Maki, and he diligently made and served a tuna roll. I had a brain malfunction; I meant to say Temaki.

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Since I rarely get to FC these days, I had not heard of Takumi until it came up in a Yelp search this very afternoon.

Lately I've been going mainly for sashimi instead of sushi to minimize my carb intake, so the fish had better be good. Takumi's is excellent. I got scallops, sweet shrimp, enoki mushrooms, a yellowtail, maybe an amberjack, one other delicious fish, and a roe. (See pic) Also got the tuna tartare napoleon app, which turns out to be four canapes instead of a single napoleon. Not exactly what you'd expect but it was quite tasty. (See pic)

Takumi is not cheap, but the fish is top-notch and the vibe is really good.

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Really spectacular sushi lunch with pristine fish, mostly from Japan and some prawns from South America. Nice that the menu is mostly sustainable species. I had Kanpachi, yellow tail, amberjack, Hokkaido hotate scallops {spectacular, perhaps the best piece of sushi I have had sine Little Tokyo in LA 20 years ago} and more.  Hella expensive, even if worth it, so return trips will be only to celebrate major occasions. 

Onikorishi sake at not too extreme a price for a freshly opened small bottle was a welcome surprise.  Killed the rest of my day. Either I ate too much, or given that Onikoroshi translates to demon slayer, I must be part demon. Or both.  

Could easily get to $200 to $250 a couple but this is the best sushi I have had in DC area.  

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2 minutes ago, Marty L. said:

Interesting, thanks.  I've never been (too far) but am tempted.  After tonight they're moving to a few indoor seatings and a $48 bento-ish takeout.

6 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I just asked DIShGo what she thought (we each had one), and her answer was identical to my thoughts: The quality of ingredients was beyond reproach, but the dish was too busy, with too much going on - it needed editing (incidentally, the sauce atop the squid on the left was quite mild, and worked well with the dish).

$20 was a very fair price.

Have you had any luck w/carry out at Takumi, Don?  How's the chirashi there?

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10 minutes ago, Marty L. said:

Have you had any luck w/carry out at Takumi, Don?  How's the chirashi there?

This is an awkward question for me. Until sometime in 2019, I would have said that Sushi Capitol and Takumi were my favorite "semi-special" sushi haunts in the area, but within a one-week time frame, I went to both restaurants, and had the only "off" meals I'd ever had at either one.

I've been afraid to pull the trigger at either restaurant since then (these meals were not cheap), and have been waiting for someone else to give confirmation before returning. I was actually wondering if there was something terribly wrong with the local supply chain that particular week.

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