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Sushi Nakazawa, a New York-Based, Upscale Sushi House in the Trump Hotel in Federal Triangle

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I offer another perspective, courtesy of two of my friends. While they wouldn't declare themselves sushi experts, they have eaten at many outstanding restaurants, and they have eaten sushi numerous times, so I trust their opinions without question.

They reported Sushi Nakazawa to be outstanding. 21 courses, and most of the fish was sliced to order. The restaurant is not inexpensive, but my friends deemed it worth the expense. 

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10 minutes ago, reedm said:

I offer another perspective, courtesy of two of my friends. While they wouldn't declare themselves sushi experts, they have eaten at many outstanding restaurants, and they have eaten sushi numerous times, so I trust their opinions without question.

They reported Sushi Nakazawa to be outstanding. 21 courses, and most of the fish was sliced to order. The restaurant is not inexpensive, but my friends deemed it worth the expense. 

[I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this (culinary-based) post. Thank you.]

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On 6/22/2018 at 9:47 AM, Bob Wells said:

I would agree. It's rare to see a restaurant that so brazenly alienates a large percentage of its potential client base.

...Or Not....

I was speaking with an old friend whom I hadn't seen in years.  She has been managing restaurants for over a decade, including a name downtown restaurant (that gets mention here) that significantly caters to the DC downtown (near the WH) business world.   It is very political, govt officials, members of Congress, significantly lobbyists with their corporate clients.  The various local diners lean Dem or Repub, and the staff knows who is who and which side of the fence they sit on. 

Per her words, since the election, and more prominently since the 2017 inauguration, the GOP side of these business oriented diners has migrated in mass to restaurant(s) at the Trump hotel.  Her restaurant and others like hers have felt the impact. 

While I used to do many business lunches and dinners, I had virtually zero connection to the very large scale in DC politically oriented world of business dining.   Maybe others here are familiar with it. 

Its possible that the mere address of this restaurant will attract so much corporate CC dining that the restaurateur could have said anything and it might not matter.

I have zero sense of this....but its possible.

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This is a horrible generalization. But. The Republican lobbying crowd/GOPers/out-of-towners is much more of a steak house scene.  Raw fish not so much (not saying there aren't sushi fans of course).

Plus the goal of going to the Trump hotel is to be seen, make it look like you are a player.  My understanding is Nakazawa is tucked away in the hotel, off the beaten path (correct me if I'm wrong on that). It's not really a place you hangout to press the flesh.

I'm sure Nakazawa will get expense account business, but I'm dubious it will be on the circuit for the DC Trump hotel denizens. 

Although from what I have read/heard the Trump Hotel has been raking it in when it comes to political events, fundraisers, happy hours etc. 

I won't step foot in the place now, which is sad because I use to go to the Old Post Office food court all the time for falafel and the veg Indian place.

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33 minutes ago, Tweaked said:

I use to go to the Old Post Office food court all the time for falafel and the veg Indian place.

Their Curried Potatoes were frozen french fries drizzled with curry sauce. :(

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I'd really like to go here but they don't like to let solo diners sit at the bar for dinner... bit of a deal breaker for me.

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2 minutes ago, cocobinga said:

I'd really like to go here but they don't like to let solo diners sit at the bar for dinner... bit of a deal breaker for me.

Really?  Did they say they rather have you sit at a table by yourself?  Seems a bit weird.

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I'm basing this on the online reservations only. There are a few lunch spots open for solo diners, it seems, but I've never seen anything other than the dining room for dinner.

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The NYC location only accepted reservations for 2 at the counter when it opened, but maybe they've softened that now. If you were to walk in or arrive on a dining room booking and there were open seats at the counter (more likely in DC?), would they really turn you away? (in the USA; I could totally see this happening in Japan)

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On a cold and rainy early Friday evening, we arrived at the Trump International hotel lobby.  After scanning around for signs to Nakazawa, we asked a staff where it is.  You have to exit the lobby to the east, walk around the hotel to the north, and go to the back of the hotel.  And there it is, next to Starbucks.  Why they don't have access through the hotel is beyond me.

We had seats at the counter for the 7 p.m. seating.  The staff was very friendly and they confidently assumed we would love the meal and become regulars.  We did love the meal, but regularly dropping $300+ pp for sushi and sake is not happening.

Here, the sushi rice is served warm.  Many pieces were blow-torched.  Each, except the unpictured handroll, should be consumed in 1 bite.  No soy sauce, no wasabi, only ginger as palate cleanser - not to be eaten with the sushi.  I can't remember every fish but we had salmon, scallop, mackerel, 3 grades of blue fin tuna, Maine and Hokkaido sea urchin, A-5 wagyu.  Almost every bite is fantastic.

ETA - the last pic is conger eel - it actually tastes like canned tuna.  I've never had conger eel before, didn't even think anyone eats them.  Also not pictured is tomago (egg), which I don't like.

It's the best sushi within 200 miles.

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22 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Many pieces were blow-torched. 

It's the best sushi within 200 miles.

You can see how good it is from the pictures. Blowtorched sushi is called "aburi sushi," btw - they're crazy for this style in Vancouver, and there's even a place where you can get an aburi omakase. 

I was just talking with Andy Hayler yesterday - in the top places in Japan, you add neither wasabi nor soy sauce; in most of the top places here, you don't add wasabi, but you're still (usually) encouraged to do a little soy sauce dunk (unless they tell you not to).

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22 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

On a cold and rainy early Friday evening, we arrived at the Trump International hotel lobby. 

...

It's the best sushi within 200 miles.

Lovely progression of (mostly) fish. Thanks for the report! I'm dining here for lunch later this month...they advised they do not accept solo diners at the bar for dinner, which is very odd. I hope there is no difference in quality between lunch and dinner.

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Lunch was delicious and Uchino-san is a very talented, personable chef. Any Trump-related anxiety was assuaged by the magnificent food and service.

It compares favorably to places I've dined at in Ginza -  Tokami, Ryusuke, Arai. Most importantly, the shari is served warm and a healthy vinegar kick.

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