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DC Hound going to Ushi Wakamaru for first time

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Hey Guys,

I'm coming up to the city in two weeks so I sent my friend an email telling him to make us reservations at Yasuda... he told me he found this new place called Ushi Wakamaru that he went to about two weeks ago, had a fantastic experience, and thought we should go there. After a couple minutes searching on chowhound I found that Ushi has a pretty good following and I'm always up for trying new places. We're gonna try to get reservations at the bar in front of Hideo...

I just wanted to check with you all to see if there is anything we absolutely need to get when we go there. I was gonna do the Omakase but other than that I'm open to anything. Are there any must not miss items?

Thanks!

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  1. Do try to get seated with Hideo and buy him some rounds of the Draft Sapporo. He will show you the way. His specialty is featuring seasonal stuff, like last time he had glass fish, little fish that I'd never had before. I order pretty unconventionally, as I like some things only Japanese people really ever try, so he knew I was up for anything. He mad some tataki toto with a baby flame thrower that was obscenely good. He also had some engawa, my favourite, the outer fin of the halibut, and he did it in ponzu with the chopped daikon or whatever that orange stuff is. I ate huge amounts and we had many Sapporo drafts and my bill was a bit over $100. It was very fair, given what a novel experience it was. Note: one of the sushi guys there loves vintage Blues, so they have the best music of anywhere I know.

    6 Replies
    1. re: sing me a bar

      fantastic!

      I just called and we have reservations in front of Hideo at the bar. I will most certainly keep the beer flowin for him! I'm very adventurous and eat pretty much anything so I'd like him to prepare some things that he might otherwise not serve to his non-japanese clientel.

      I'll keep an eye out for the tataki toto and engawa.

      Thanks!

      1. re: MarcDC

        I meant tataki toro, my typing isn't on a par with my sushi expertise. Also, I went once before and my brother ordered some amazing cooked dishes. I usually stay with the raw until finishing with unagi or anago, but there's a "specials" board with cool little cooked dishes that are really good. He also does the salmon skin with that mini-flame thrower and it is very different from the "in the toaster" variety.

        1. re: sing me a bar

          I had a FANTASTIC meal at Ushiwakamaru. We sat at the bar in front of Chef Hideo and it was a truly memorable experience. The needle fish, Belt fish, horse mackerel, uni, and amber jack were all fantastic. We kept the beer flowing for Hideo all night (prob about 6 glasses of beer) and he kept the sushi coming. He told us some really great stories too. I definitely cant wait to go back

          I also had dinner at Stanton Social (very fun) and brunch at Jane. Great trip.

          1. re: MarcDC

            How much was your meal? Can you tell me a bit more?

            I haven't been back since they were shut down by the DOH and want to know if anything has changed.

            1. re: eatfood

              the meal was expensive, $570 with tip for four people, but we drank heavily and ordered well over the 15 piece chef's selection of sushi. we had two large bottles of sake, about 6 glasses of wine for the girls, roughly six beers ordered for Hideo, and I'd have to guess upwards of 20 (if not more) pieces of fish from Hideo.

              When the waitress came around we simply told her, we're just gonna let Hideo give us whatever he wants until we say we're full. It was a fantastic time and I will definitely be going back. Hideo is a great entertainer and the place looked pretty spotless to me, but obviously I didn't go back into the kitchen. This was my first experience and Ushiwakamaru and it was a memorable one.

              One thing that I really thought was great was one of the girls we were with wouldn't eat the nigiri pieces whole, she'd bite them in half and eat it in two bites. After the second time she did this, Hideo proceeded to cut all of her portions in half for her before he served them. I'm sure it pissed him off to no end for her to "butcher" the fish like that but he took it in stride and simply cut it in half for her. It was great.

              1. re: MarcDC

                wife and I went there and it was great...probably second best in the city for us. Prices are really good. i was told that when you enter a sushi place, the head chef is the closest to the door and the further back down the line, the lesser the skills. So if you ever find yourself at the back with the last guy, he is the least skilled in the house. We sat with the 2nd chef and he was great. Cuts were great..