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Hinata Sushi Carryout & Grocery, Bethesda


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I had lunch today at Daruma, the Japanese market/lunch counter in Bethesda. They offer a variety of udon, ramen and rice dishes as well as Japanese curries and a small assortment of sushi. Many of the dishes come with traditional Japanese sides such as pickled vegetables. They also have a hamburger and fries served on rice.

I have to say that my favorite for inexpensive sushi is still Hinata on St. Elmo, near Old Georgetown. The sushi chef and owner used to be the sushi chef for Tako Grill among other jobs. It's more of a straight Japanese market (carries mainly foodstuffs) with a small sushi bar and a couple of tables.

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I completely agree, they start making the natto roll when I walk in :P I also go there for fish when I pretend I know how to make sushi at home. (For those of you who were in Bethesda 8 or so years ago this is the guy who had the sushi stand in Cameron's seafood market on Bethesda Ave.)

But as far as I know, Daruma is the only place around that serves this kind of food. I would love to be wrong on this one.

Shogun, they are definitely open on Saturday and I am pretty sure they are open on Sunday. The lunch counter is open until 3:30 or 4.

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they start making the natto roll when I walk in

I'm glad I don't live in downtown Bethesda, because if I did I'd spend all my time and money at Hinata. What a gem of a place, right in the middle of the action.

A Sushi Special ($8) consisted of 3 pieces of nigiri - rockfish with shiso, salmon, and tuna - and 2 maki - an avocado roll, and a "lettuce roll" with shrimp and a touch of mayo. I added a single piece of O-toro ($3) to complete the plate. All the fish was very good, but the one thing that stood out was the quality of the sushi rice, which was as good or better than any other sushi restaurant I've found in this area. Vegetable rolls ($3 for 6 pieces here) live or die by the quality of their rice, and the rice here is so good that I wouldn't hesitate to assemble an inexpensive feast out of these.

The service was genuinely friendly, and if anyone is looking to buy me a holiday present, I'd love a "Hinata Sushi" T-shirt ($12, XL) - I would have bought one myself today had I not been embarrassed.

And Hillvalley, I even bought a carryout Natto Roll ($3) for dessert in your honor (natto is the "chilled monkey brains" of vegetarian cuisine, running neck-and-neck with boiled okra for most disgusting tactile impression).

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Natto Roll ($3) for dessert in your honor (natto is the "chilled monkey brains" of vegetarian cuisine, running neck-and-neck with boiled okra for most disgusting tactile impression).

Cheers,

Rocks.

Natto is pretty tame stuff! Besides its so useful.... You can patch a hole in your roof with it, gross out squeamish friends with it, and it make yamaimo seem crunchy and dry in comparison.

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I'm glad I don't live in downtown Bethesda, because if I did I'd spend all my time and money at Hinata. What a gem of a place, right in the middle of the action.

A Sushi Special ($8) consisted of 3 pieces of nigiri - rockfish with shiso, salmon, and tuna - and 2 maki - an avocado roll, and a "lettuce roll" with shrimp and a touch of mayo. I added a single piece of O-toro ($3) to complete the plate. All the fish was very good, but the one thing that stood out was the quality of the sushi rice, which was as good or better than any other sushi restaurant I've found in this area. Vegetable rolls ($3 for 6 pieces here) live or die by the quality of their rice, and the rice here is so good that I wouldn't hesitate to assemble an inexpensive feast out of these.

The service was genuinely friendly, and if anyone is looking to buy me a holiday present, I'd love a "Hinata Sushi" T-shirt ($12, XL) - I would have bought one myself today had I not been embarrassed.

And Hillvalley, I even bought a carryout Natto Roll ($3) for dessert in your honor (natto is the "chilled monkey brains" of vegetarian cuisine, running neck-and-neck with boiled okra for most disgusting tactile impression).

Cheers,

Rocks.

Hinata is the only place I know of where you can have the Japanese experience of eating in a tiny sushi restaurant run by an old husband and wife, except this couple is young and you are in the corner of a Japanese food market. There are only four seats available to eat in (take away is the bulk of their sushi business) and you have the chef's attention the whole time.

The rice is amazing. He will sell it to you for about a $1.50 for a container if you want to take it home. I make my own chirashi using his rice and fish every once in a while.

The daily special doesn't change a whole lot. It's always the same number of nigiri and a couple of rolls. In 10 or so years I don't think the price has gone up more than a $2-3 dollars.

Oh, and one of the best natto hand rolls in the city can be found at Hinata. In case you have a craving :(

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Naniwa in Mclean is also gone, apparently it closed a few months and the owners 'retired'. Other than the new place on U Street, Hana Japanese Market, the Washington DC metro area has lost its Japanese grocery stores. While Super H Mart and other Korean or Chinese super grocery stores have Japanese products usually they are lacking higher quality ones.

Hinata on St. Elmo Ave. in Bethesda is still open, and has been doing tons of business since Daruma closed. It's a lot smaller than Daruma, but still has a decent selection, and there's a very nice little sushi stand in the back.

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Hinata on St. Elmo Ave. in Bethesda is still open, and has been doing tons of business since Daruma closed. It's a lot smaller than Daruma, but still has a decent selection, and there's a very nice little sushi stand in the back.

Thanks! I didn't know about Hinata. Will check it out soon, since I'm in the mood to cook some fried fish with Japanese rice flour.

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I did check out Hinata last March like my plan earlier constructed in this thread. It's a fairly small Japanese grocery store with a small sushi counter. The cooking ingredients I purchased were reasonable in price, however there was less variety that expected. The few pieces of sushi that I tried at the counter during my visit were ok.

Definitely agree it's a representation of a 'small' sushi place like in Japan when you're sitting at the counter and in that sense, enjoyable to experience.

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We've gotten large orders of sushi for carryout from Hinata on a couple of occasions and been very pleased. I really like their negitoro maki. I also really like being able to buy Japanese favorites (mostly C.C. Lemon and maple buns), as well as hitomebore rice, which feels like our adopted home. :) Beware the dashi-no-moto, though: it contains sugar, which I found made it unacceptably sweet in everything.

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The Hinata Sushi location in Old Town has been really good since they opened.  I think it is one of the higher quality sushi restaurants right now.  I also got a Katsu box the other day for lunch and that was a really nice box with a huge pork cutlet (it wasn't bad, but it wasn't Tokyo either).  I think this is better than Zento, Momo, etc.  I haven't been to the Handover yet, but honestly right now I feel like they are on the top of their game, so I am happy they aren't far from my office.

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