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Tono Sushi, Woodley Park - Japanese and Thai on Connecticut Avenue and Calvert Street


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Before I knew of my food allergies (soy, nuts, sesame) I was a sushi addict. I would be still; however I find sushi in DC to be sub-par to NY, and the same goes for service, unfortunately. I realize this is a generality but it is sadly true in most cases.

I often order sashimi from Uni sushi but decided to re-try Tono tonight. When I called and gave my phone number/address, the manager said that he saw I hadn't ordered recently. I explained that this was due to my allergies- especially the fact that Tono had blatantly disregarded them in the past, including soy sauce which spilled all over my order. Major problem! The manager explained that he was the new Sunday floor manager, and would take special attention to make sure my order arrived allergy free. Wonderful.. I ordered the Sashimi-jo, no sauce anywhere, no allergens, please do not even include soy sauce in the bag, and they were happy to sub a salad for the miso soup.

Sounds promising, right?

Well, I was told my order would arrive within 45 minutes. An hour later, it showed up. Forgivable, whatever. I opened up the order to see some sort of fried crawfish/shrimp(?) along side my sashimi. What is it fried in? What is it? I called and asked to speak to the manager. He told me it was fried in peanut oil. Ok, so obviously you did not pay attention to my allergies. Then the manager had the gaul (balls even) to tell me not to order Japanese food again, due to my allergies to most of the main ingredients.

Sir, I eat fish safely. I eat wasabi, ginger, vegetables- safely. But if there is a peanut fried item in my sashimi, I throw out the 25 dollar order which you refused to refund.

And, FYI, I regularly order sashimi from Uni sans probleme. And if there ever is a problem they are gracious about it, at least apologizing and not telling me to stay away from all Asian food. No, I am not foolish enough to wander into Thai restaurants. But I can and do eat Chinese food on occasion (steamed of course, no sauce)... If I could prepare wonderful (and safe) sashimi in my kitchen, I would. God forbid I try to pay you for it.

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I ate here right after seeing "Jiro dreams of sushi" and it hit the spot. This weekend, due to the warm weather and not wanting to cook, I ate heavily here twice in one weekend, Thursday and Saturday night. They didn't have uni on Thursday but they did on Saturday night and it was fresh and sweet. They also had o-toro and chu-toro on special and it might be on my list for what I would have for my last meal on earth. I also recommend the baby clam miso soup if you ever see it on the seasonal menu. They add such a great depth of flavor to the miso, you will be glad you ordered hot soup when it's over 90 degrees and humid out. I am picky- I don't like cilantro or green onions on my food - and they remembered! Service for me was friendly and attentive every time I've been here. The little free snacks that are traditional are unexpected, small, tasty bites (sesame oil dressed pickled bean sprouts, a special kind of clam in a spicy sauce with julienne cucumber) and really make you feel welcome. I like this place a lot.

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I like this place a lot.

I too like this place a lot for two reasons -1) nice, neighborhood sushi place that is one of the few decent places in Woodley (Lebanese taverna is the other standout in my book, sorry never tried District Kitchen). 2) full Japanese menu. We love to go to Tono in the summer and get the zarusoba, cold soba noodles that you dip in a sauce and slirp up. This dish is super popular all over Japan in the summer - traditionally served with tempura (and Tono has good tempura too), but you almost never see it and some of the other traditional Japanese items on the menu here. We went recently had the zarusoba of course, along with good sushi (various maki and nigri), mushroom miso soup (larger than usual size and packed with a variety of mushrooms), and chicken satay (for the kids, but it was rather good). Mostly I stick to the Japanese food here - but they do have a large pan-Asian menu too.

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