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Murasaki, Japanese (with Sushi) on Wisconsin Avenue and River Road in Tenleytown - Closed


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So, I just had lunch at Murasaki today, and I've got to say it was fantastic. Good service, nice atmosphere, and most importantly, a great deal. Their bento boxes are a good price (mostly 8.95 - 9.95, with a few sushi options rising above that), and they've got an awesome variety of "designer rolls" that are truly unique. What's even better is that there's a full list of them on their website , with pictures

What my friend and I had today:

Grilled Mackerel Bento - $8.95: Miso soup, A small portion of shioyaki (salt grilled) mackerel, which wasn't overly salty and was quite good, a small salad with an interesting creamy green dressing that I'd never seen at a Japanese restaurant before, a small seaweed salad, a single, very crispy gyoza (I've seen reviews complaining about the greasiness of their gyoza, but this was perfect; what at first glance could be mistaken as oil/grease was actually a drizzling of some sort of lightly sweet sauce), a rather generous serving of light, crispy tempura (2 shrimp, 1 zucchini, 1 sweet potato, 1 broccoli), and a bowl of rice.

Kabayaki Bento - $9.95: All the same items, except with a nice portion of broiled eel intead of the mackerel.

Eagle Roll - $9.95: "Baked salmon, asparagus, cucumber, avocado, eel and spicy sauce." Since my friend can't handle anything spicy, we asked for it without the spicy sauce. There were 8 large pieces, topped with a beautiful layer of salmon that was lightly baked on top yet still cool where it came into contact with the rice. Inside the rolls was the eel and the crisp asparagus, which offset the sort of creamy texture of the salmon nicely. It probably would have been even better with that spicy sauce.

If anything could have been better, it was the bowls of rice - the rice was a bit dry, as if it had been sitting for just a little too long. Other than that, everything was spot-on. Plus the place was relatively busy for lunch time in Tenley, and from the looks of the sushi, sashimi, and giant pots of soup that passed by during the course of our meal, it's not just the bento boxes that are good. Murasaki is definitely my go-to place for sushi at this point, until I get around to trying Kaz and other major names in DC.

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Had lunch at Murasaki on Monday, and I'm sad to report that I did not enjoy the experience at all. I had the sushi deluxe and the fish was just not up to par. I don't think I'm all that particular about sushi (I think SushiSushi is perfectly acceptable.) but some of the pieces were downright inedible. Maybe it was an off day for them, and not all of the pieces were bad, but after choking down a bad nagiri, I couldn't stomach another piece. I gave the tuna a sniff and just couldn't do it.

They have an extensive picture menu of interesting looking rolls, but in general, I like to go simple, either sashimi or sushi so that I can just taste the fish. In this case, I wish I hadn't. I won't be going back.

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OK, obviously this place has/had not garnered much attention over the years.  That said, it became and has been our regular, reliable sushi joint since it opened (when we lived just around the corner).  It's been closed for about a week and a half (apparently following a DOH inspection for issues that don't seem particularly unusual or difficult to remedy).  Anyone have any further information (recognizing that a week and a half closure, a web site that is apparently down, and a phone that no one's picking up and doesn't have a message doesn't bode well)?  We're somewhat in denial that it may be closed for good, but the signs are certainly not encouraging.

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OK, obviously this place has/had not garnered much attention over the years.  That said, it became and has been our regular, reliable sushi joint since it opened (when we lived just around the corner).  It's been closed for about a week and a half (apparently following a DOH inspection for issues that don't seem particularly unusual or difficult to remedy).  Anyone have any further information (recognizing that a week and a half closure, a web site that is apparently down, and a phone that no one's picking up and doesn't have a message doesn't bode well)?  We're somewhat in denial that it may be closed for good, but the signs are certainly not encouraging.

"Murasaki Closes Due To Financial Woes" by tenleytowndc.org

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