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Sushiko, Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase - The Original Glover Park Branch Is Now Closed

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[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

Trio of Burgundy Sorbet
In his New Years Eve fervor, Koji had decided to make a dessert with Champagne, and then he realized that they have tons of Burgundy on the wine list. Hence this dessert, a fitting ending to the brilliant savory courses at Sushi-Ko (this evening was the inauguration of the soup with grilled hirame and steamed ankimo, served with baby spinach in a broth brilliantly thickened only with kuzu starch).

The trio begins with an aspic of sparkling white Burgundy - a 2001 Michel Frères Blanc de Blancs - which Koji had to special-order, served with peeled and macerated white grapes. The charming server Kiyomi (who, out of sheer coincidence, happens to be Koji's wife!), threatened a lawsuit against me if I didn't completely finish each sorbet as I would logically progress in a Burgundy tasting: sparkling, white, and then red, the latter two wines being on their by-the-glass list. The White Burgundy aspic with White Burgundy sorbet was made with the 2003 Rijckaert Hautes Cotes de Nuits "Aux Herbeux," and the Red Burgundy aspic with Red Burgundy sorbet uses the 2001 Jean-Jacques Girard Bourgogne. This little burst of inspiration is a perfect ending to a meal of raw fish, and will set you back $7.50.

Which brings me to Komi. (Subject change).

But it's not really a subject change, because the first time I ever met the great chef Johnny Monis was at Sushi-Ko, where Koji introduced us. And it's not surprising that Komi is one of Koji's favorite restaurants, and it's also not surprising that the first time I met Sebastian Zutant was at the bar at Nectar, because there's a common thread running through all this: if the words elegance, finesse, detail, lightness, and complexity strike a chord with you, then Koji, Johnny, Sebastian, and our beloved duo Jamison Blankenship (whom we just lost to Bouley) and the immensely talented Jarad Slipp are already in your basic repertoire.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

Being a Washingtonian and having known Daisuke for several years, I was sold on the red Burgundy and raw fish pairing many moons ago. In addition, he once told me that every great dish needs a certain amount of poison in it. He didn't mean poison literally, of course, but rather some small undertone of conflict that lends an edge of tension to the dish.

There is a small selection of aged red Burgundies on Sushi-Ko's list, but I generally agree that young, powerful Burgundies do not go as well with sashimi and sushi. Case in point: I was there a week ago, and brought a bottle of 1993 Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin which was breathtaking with every single portion of raw fish, from sweet shrimp topped with caviar, through uncontroversial tuna and salmon, all the way to sea urchin at the other end of the spectrum. (The time before that I brought a 1997 Freddy Mugnier Musigny which worked equally brilliantly (Sushi-Ko allows their patrons to bring their own wines for a $15-20 corkage fee.)) Having run out of the Drouhin, I ordered a half-bottle of 1999 Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay ($28) which was consumed towards the end of the meal, and it simply did not work as well because the fruit was too vibrant and the tannis were harder - from personal experience, I can vouch that aged, light-to-medium-weight red Burgundies work much better within this theory.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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There is a small selection of aged red Burgundies on Sushi-Ko's list, but I generally agree that young, powerful Burgundies do not go as well with sashimi and sushi. Case in point: I was there a week ago, and brought a bottle of 1993 Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin which was breathtaking with every single portion of raw fish, from sweet shrimp topped with caviar, through uncontroversial tuna and salmon, all the way to sea urchin at the other end of the spectrum."

I was just there last Sunday and was interested in trying Volnay, but instead was geared towards a Chambolle-Musigny. Boy, the food and wine were a heavenly revealing experience! It made me think—hmmm, I can have this everyday!

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"Enjoy wine today, tomorrow there may be none." - Plato. Or some other wise person, potentially from Ancient Rome or Greece.

It has therefore become a tradition of sorts to have a last dinner before leaving the country for a few weeks at a place certain to deliver a mindblowing experience .

"And another beautiful sendoff meal," she says gleefully, looking down at her 9 pm reservation at Sushi-Ko bar tonight.

drool.gifdrool.gifdrool.gifdrool.gif

Wine guidance much appreciated; will be field-tested tonight, Rissa :lol:

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[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

Trio of Burgundy Sorbet

In his New Years Eve fervor, Koji had decided to make a dessert with Champagne, and then he realized that they have tons of Burgundy on the wine list. Hence this dessert, a fitting ending to the brilliant savory courses at Sushi-Ko (this evening was the inauguration of the soup with grilled hirame and steamed ankimo, served with baby spinach in a broth brilliantly thickened only with kuzu starch).

The trio begins with an aspic of sparkling white Burgundy - a 2001 Michel Frères Blanc de Blancs - which Koji had to special-order, served with peeled and macerated white grapes. The charming server Kiyomi (who, out of sheer coincidence, happens to be Koji's wife!), threatened a lawsuit against me if I didn't completely finish each sorbet as I would logically progress in a Burgundy tasting: sparkling, white, and then red, the latter two wines being on their by-the-glass list. The White Burgundy aspic with White Burgundy sorbet was made with the 2003 Rijckaert Hautes Cotes de Nuits "Aux Herbeux," and the Red Burgundy aspic with Red Burgundy sorbet uses the 2001 Jean-Jacques Girard Bourgogne. This little burst of inspiration is a perfect ending to a meal of raw fish, and will set you back $7.50.

Which brings me to Komi. (Subject change).

But it's not really a subject change, because the first time I ever met the great chef Johnny Monis was at Sushi-Ko, where Koji introduced us. And it's not surprising that Komi is one of Koji's favorite restaurants, and it's also not surprising that the first time I met Sebastian Zutant was at the bar at Nectar, because there's a common thread running through all this: if the words elegance, finesse, detail, lightness, and complexity strike a chord with you, then Koji, Johnny, Sebastian, and our beloved duo Jamison Blankenship (whom we just lost to Bouley) and the immensely talented Jarad Slipp are already in your basic repertoire.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

Being a Washingtonian and having known Daisuke for several years, I was sold on the red Burgundy and raw fish pairing many moons ago. In addition, he once told me that every great dish needs a certain amount of poison in it. He didn't mean poison literally, of course, but rather some small undertone of conflict that lends an edge of tension to the dish.

There is a small selection of aged red Burgundies on Sushi-Ko's list, and I generally agree that young, powerful Burgundies do not go as well with sashimi and sushi. Case in point: I was there a week ago, and brought a bottle of 1993 Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin which was breathtaking with every single portion of raw fish, from sweet shrimp topped with caviar, through uncontroversial tuna and salmon, all the way to sea urchin at the other end of the spectrum. (The time before that I brought a 1997 Freddy Mugnier Musigny which worked equally brilliantly (Sushi-Ko allows their patrons to bring their own wines for a $15-20 corkage fee.)) Having run out of the Drouhin, I ordered a half-bottle of 1999 Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay ($28) which was consumed towards the end of the meal, and it simply did not work as well because the fruit was too vibrant and the tannins were harder - from personal experience, I can vouch that aged, light-to-medium-weight red Burgundies work much better within this theory.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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"Enjoy wine today, tomorrow there may be none." - Plato. Or some other wise person, potentially from Ancient Rome or Greece.

It has therefore become a tradition of sorts to have a last dinner before leaving the country for a few weeks at a place certain to deliver a mindblowing experience .

"And another beautiful sendoff meal," she says gleefully, looking down at her 9 pm reservation at Sushi-Ko bar tonight.

drool.gifdrool.gifdrool.gifdrool.gif

Last Friday, small plates were the star of the night at the esteemed This Restaurant Next Door to Good Guys. I am sure that their sushi rock, too, but if you're dining there, I would really urge you to hit on the small dishes on the list. They are tiny little gems of flavor and goodness.

My grilled baby octopus with mango sauce packed a beautiful combo of smoky, firm flesh with a pleasantly acidic mango. Tuna tataki was just barely seared in a briefest of all encounters with the heat and oozed fresh, unctuous, pure taste. Crisped eel with balsamic reduction - mmmm, what can I say, I love eel any which way, and this is an ingredient that would shine if the kitchen has the presence of mind to leave it unmolested. These crispy flavorful bits were wonderful on their own, not that balsamic reduction took anything away.

Of course, then the desserts came along and all hell broke loose. Chocolate cake layered with mousse, fresh cream and rice crispies on top served in a martini glass...pure decadence. I shall return, and soon.

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I have reservations here tonight. Is there any chance of getting 3 seats in front of the chef at the sushi bar? Has anyone been recently?

Koji just got back from Dubai (yes, that Dubai) where he was helping Daisuke open a restaurant in the United Arab Emirates. He's in this week and working this evening. Go before 6 PM and you'll have a good chance at snagging a seat in his vicinity (you can request this when you walk in the door).

By the way, all the desserts at Sushi-Ko are now being made by Koji's charming wife, Kyomi Ito.

Also, if you like Inca Cola, or even if you don't, you have to order a Ramune (rah-moo-nay) which is about the coolest children's drink I have ever seen. It's worth the nominal cost just to examine the bottle.

Cheers,

Rocks(hrimp) Maki

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Also, if you like Inca Cola, or even if you don't, you have to order a Ramune (rah-moo-nay) which is about the coolest children's drink I have ever seen.  It's worth the nominal cost just to examine the bottle.

Wait....they have RAMUNE?! :lol: I'm there!

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I went to Sushi Ko again with my best friend and brother for a sort of mini-bachelor party this past Saturday. When I made our reservation I found out that Chef Terano was away on vacation but when we took our seats at the sushi bar we were pleased to find that the food and gastronomic magic show does not suffer in the least when Chef Terano is away.

I have dreams about that slab of fatty tuna behind the glass that looks almost like the most over the top super-marbled hunk of steak in existence. The soft shell crab tempura was outstanding with its perfect crunch and pure crab meat taste. Seared rare duck breast rivaled any preparation I've had. The simple mushroom soup settled and soothed our taste buds in between the thrilling rides of other courses. And all of the sushi and sashimi was utterly pristine.

All 3 of us went the Omikase route and enjoyed a couple of bottles of sake for a little over $100/head tax and tip included. It was an amazing way to start our night (we ended the night at BdC if that gives you any indication of our final condition).

Sushi GO!

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I went to Sushi Ko again last night and had some of the freshest monkfish liver.

It was steamed and then topped with grated daikon and yuzu.

Yum! Oh, and the salmon roe with a raw quail egg in the center is a adventure worth taking.

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I don't know if it's still on the menu, but a couple weeks ago I had their crabcakes and they were simply perfect: lump crab and avocado battered and deep fried with yuzu emulsion and green tea salt. They loosely resemble quenelles upon presentation, and are just a little bigger than a mouthful, making them the perfect size for a little dipping, a little sprinkling of the fragrant green tea salt, an a splash of lemon juice. There are quite a number of them, so you'd think you'd get bored, but not a chance. Classic crab and avocado are carried on a crisp raft of entirely greaseless golden batter, and the yuzu mayonnaise with green tea salt make this dish sublime.

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Let's do a little math.

This past weekend I went to Sushi-Ko for dinner and sat at the bar for the Chef's Sashimi Plate - $28.95. The plate came artfully arranged with 3 generous slices of beautifully marbled toro, 2 pieces of amaebi with caviar, 3 large pieces of yellowtail, a couple pieces of salmon, a couple thick slabs of tuna, 3 slices of snapper, a couple more slices of mackerel, and lump crabmeat and salmon roe nestled side by side in a small teacup. So that's about 18 pieces of fish and a gratis bowl of steamed rice and green tea for $28.95 or about $1.60 per piece of fish. Now let's compare this to Kotobuki's prices. For the most part, Kotobuki is selling its nigiri pieces for $1 each. Toro, yellowtail and salmon roe all go for $1.75 according to their online menu.

Using these prices (I realize that it may be unfair to use a la carte nigiri prices to calculate the sashimi plate, but Kotobuki doesn’t currently offer a comparable special), let’s calculate what the Chef’s Sashimi Plate would cost at Kotobuki. 3 toro + 3 yellowtail + 1 salmon roe at $1.75 each + 11 pieces at $1.00 each = $23.25. As long as Kotobuki gives you tea for free, it comes out about $5 ahead. And while Kotobuki has good pieces of fish, the quality at Sushi-Ko (as well as the atmosphere) is far superior. I think it’s an extra five bucks well spent.

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If you work in the area, Sushi Ko has a great Bento Box for lunch. $14.95 for your choice of beef, chicken or glazed salmon with 3 or 4 peices of Nigri, two types of seaweed salad, shrimp and veggie tempura, white rice and miso soup. Quite filling and quite a deal.

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went to sushi ko and had the omakaze last night. Three of us went and sat that the bar and had an amazing time. First course were some lightly fried pieces of eel served over seaweed and cucumber with a balsamic vinegar reduction. This was without a doubt the best eel I've ever had. The second course were pieces of seared white tuna with daikon,avocado and fried garlic. This was delicate and really brought out the flavor of the fish. The third course was a soup with spanish mackeral. This was good but didn't have the same pronounced flavor as the rest of the meal. The fourth course were several pieces of nigiri. The most outstanding was a piece of salmon paired with passion fruit, The fifth course was broiled lobster which was some of the best I've ever had.

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The bay scallop tempura that they had for a special last night was simply dazzling. The crunch of the flawlessly prepared tempura was a great contrast to the creamy texture of the scallops. Even the Asparagus spears that came with the scallops were perfect.

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Is someone about to win a Major Award? Or leave?

Linda Roth is reporting that "Sushi-Ko will open a second location on upper Wisconsin Ave., NW. Chef will be Koji Terano, a 10-year veteran of Sushi-Ko."

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Linda Roth is reporting that "Sushi-Ko will open a second location on upper Wisconsin Ave., NW. Chef will be Koji Terano, a 10-year veteran of Sushi-Ko."

Would this be the second Sushi-Ko location expected to open in Friendship Heights in the new Giant shopping center? According to this article, it will open next spring.

http://www.examiner.com/a-415973~Allen_Smith__Sushi_Ko.html

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Believe the hype!

Excellent food at Sushi-Ko tonight. For starters, the eel and octopus were gorgeous. They were both progressive preparations, but the texture, saucing, and seasoning were spot on. Testament: the eel and octopus hater at our table had several bites of both! The shrimp and aparagus tempura were also very good, though my one piece of asparagus was pretty fibrous, and the pieces got a bit greasy toward the bottom of the pile.

I got the "uber combo" as an entree (the largest sushi-sashimi-roll combo on the menu, $27), and the fish was as good as any I've had. Not only was the quality top notch, but it was clearly prepared by a great talent. The temperature was perfect, the taste was sublime, and the texture was transcendent. Transcendent. The mackerel, as described above, tasted just as mackerel should, and utterly lacked the funk you seem to get at so many places. (Matsutake in DCA is another place that gets subtle mackerel right on.) The tuna and salmon were ... well, perfect. Period. The crunchy toro roll was a great surprise, too, made with oshinko instead of tempura drops--like they have at many locals--and, well, it just tasted great too. My sweet shrimp was a bit sticky and had a little ammonia flavor to it, but I think I should have eaten it when it first arrived, rather than saving it to the end (another reason to go omakase...).

Unfortunate, though, that the service didn't live up to the food. Our waters went unfilled (even though that's all that one guest--our designated driver--was drinking), and dirty plates lingered on the table. Worst, though, was the timing of the "drop." Three of us got entrees and two just ordered a mess of nigiri and rolls to share between them. The three entrees came at the same time, and ... uh ... ? Nothing. The platter didn't arrive for nearly ten minutes after, during which time no server could be found. I understand that it's tough to make that much sushi for one table come out at the same time, but ten minutes? If this is supposed to more of a tapas-like experience, why did all three entrees come out at the same time? Could not one roll have been brought out for them to start on? If not, why no explanation or apology for the wait? It was just really uncomfortable for us to sit for five minutes staring at our food, then eating in front of them when they finally insisted we start.

Anyway, stickler for service though I am, I will fondly remember that meal for a long, long time. If there's one thing I won't be eating in Sudan, it's raw fish; thank goodness I can fantasize about this wonderful night until I get back... :P

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Has anyone been to Sushi Ko during Restaurant Week? I am going tomorrow night and have a feeling I will be ordering off the regular menu (old favorites), but I am wondering what is on offer?

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