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Question Two: Sushi

  • k

My other question is, where to go for sushi?

Background: I've been to several places in the Maryland/DC area, one in Virginia. So far, the current favorite is Niwano Hana, which has really good sushi for a decent price. I've been to Momo Taro, maybe it was having an off night, but it wasn't as good as Niwano Hana. I've been to Tako Grill several times, it was mediocre. I've been to Aji Nippon, it was mediocre (though Tako was better). I've been to Matuba for lunch, mediocre to poor (which was disappointing because I'd heard good things). I've been to Hinode for their lunch buffet, the quality of the fish seems fine, but the lunch sushi is not great. I've been to Sushi-Ko, it was quite good. I have been to Yamazato, it was also quite good.

Here's the problem: While I've been to several places in the area, at the best they are very good. Not excellent. I am searching for an excellent sushi place. Places I've been to in other cities, just to give an idea what I'm thinking of (if any of you are familiar with them). San Diego: Sushi Ito, Ono Sushi. Both very good. St. Louis: Drunken Fish. Very good. Las Vegas: Nobu. Good.

The crux of this is that I spent 8 years in Boston. I've been to Fugakyu, which is very good, sometimes excellent, Ginza, which has slipped downhill, and the star, Oishii. In my mind, Oishii is excellent. Every time. I want to find a place that is consistently excellent in the DC area, but so far all I've managed to find are places that are very good.

So, where do I go around here that is excellent? I've not been to Kaz Sushi Bistro, and I intend to go. Any other suggestions? I'm willing to drive a ways here, as most anything in the area is closer than Boston. Thanks in advance for any help, and thanks for reading this whole thing!

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    Eric In Virginia

    In Virginia, I like Yamazato for their lunch platters ("sushi B") which are good value and Matsui in the Landsdowne Center, particularly their shiro maguro (white tuna), which is exquisite. This little place is bright and clean, a real find, and has a strong following from the Ft. Belvoir crowd that have served overseas. I'd rate these "very good," but not quite excellent.

    Akasaka on Van Dorn gets better reviews than either of the above, but I don't like it as much, the place is getting run down and there's a smell in the dining room, perhaps the staff are allowed to smoke in the back. The sushi is fine, but overall, I prefer the previously mentioned spots.

    I do not care much for Osaka in Springfield.

    You probably want to look into Kotobuki in DC, it has a strong following.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Eric In Virginia

      My favorite in McLean is Tachibana. They have great lunch specials, especially on the weekends. Also, once a year, they have an "appeciation" dinner where for a set price, you get get their full menu buffet style.

      http://www.j-netusa.com/com/tachibana/

      FYI, this place is authentic japanese, meaning it's not owned by Koreans or Chinese.

      1. re: RL

        I recently tried Sushi Kappo Kawasaki near Dupont Circle (19th street). It is pricey, but the sushi there is terrific and better than all of the other places I've been to in the D.C./Virginia area, Maryland including Kotobuki, Tachibana, Hama Sushi. It is definitely authentic and not a roll place, much more focused on standard sashimi/sushi and chirashi. There are also a lot of traditional Japanese appetizers and specials.

        1. re: Peter Lin

          I've eaten at this place before, and nothing really stood out. It's frequented by Japanese businessmen doing business in the city. For whatever reason, their offerings seemed generic to me.

      2. re: Eric In Virginia

        I love Makoto, but it's really much more than a sushi place.

        I've always liked sushi-ko and think it's consistently pretty good, so I'm not sure what to recommend if it's not up to your standards. (Pls. don't read a snotty tone into that, I don't mean it to be there.) I've never been to Kaz, but it's the one that folks most often discuss in the same breath with sushi-ko.

        Good luck.

        1. re: smokey

          I've been to Kaz's and was not impressed. Also, it's been closed a few times by the health dept. Sushi-Ko is good, but the portions are small and the decor reminds me of a deserted department store. Makoto is good also, but you won't be full and it's a bit overpriced. Haven't tried Kotobuki, it's neighbor, but I've heard good things. Sushi taro is probably the best in dupont, and Tako Grill is more glam than substance.

          1. re: smokey

            Don't worry, no offense taken!

        2. It sounds odd, I know, but the best sushi I've had around here was toro at Spices, the pan-Asian place in Cleveland Park.

          1. Try Chopsticks in Georgetown

            1. Thanks for all the responses, that's a bunch of great leads I'll try!

              1. Now I've been to Kaz. Like smokey, I was also not impressed. My sushi was fine, but not really great. The "special" Hawaiian Hamachi nigiri I ordered was not as tender or flavorful as the standard hamachi that came in a friend's sashimi bowl. (In addition, the friends that ordered seafood salad were horribly disappointed that it was mixed with mayonnaise, and they couldn't get a no-mayo version.) I wasn't full when I left, and I spent what I consider a reasonable amount, buying one of the dinner sushi sets.

                I think next I'm going to try Kotobuki, but a friend of mine has also been raving about Joss in Annapolis. Anyone have any thoughts on Joss?