Washington DC: Three Dining Experiences
I just visited Washington and ate at Corduroy, Mokoto, and Oyamel. I provide more extensive info about them on my website, but let me provide a summary here.
I really enjoyed Corduroy. It is a really comfortable restaurant with excellent, although not superb, food. If you like ordering small portions of multiple courses, this isn't the place for you. There is a first course, a second main one, and dessert if you wish. The servings are rather large. The wine list is terrific.
It was my second time to Mokoto and I had to be talked into going back by my mate, who wanted to give it a second chance. I won't go back. The food is not very good (except the sashimi) and the restaurant is very uncomfortable.
Oyamel has long been a favorite of mine when I just wanted simple, but well-spiced tapas-style Mexican food. I think it serves really excellent dishes and the quality has not diminished despite its increasing popularity.
Just out of curiosity did you go to Corduroy expecting it to be a small plates restaurant? I've never heard it advertised as such (mostly because it isn't). But hopefully you weren't told it was by someone, because I imagine that would be misleading and therefore disappointing.
Thanks for your review. Would you mind providing a link to your website to see the full review?
I looked at your Web site.
I've never been to Makoto. However, I have to say that, If I lived in Hawaii, I wouldn't go to a Japanese restaurant in Washington, DC.
We do have good Vietnamese food in the DC area, and decent Chinese (mostly in the suburbs), but the Japanese choices are limited.
re: Lori D
Surprisingly, there are no really good Japanese restaurants—not even sushi bars—on the island where I live (Kaua'i), although there are some pretty good izakayas on Oahu. You are right; I agree that I made a mistake to try to find one in Washington, although I was inspired to do so by the fond memory of a place I used to eat at when I live in DC a decade ago. It was on the river front in Georgetown, but not anymore.
If you must have sushi in the DC area, and you have access to a car, try Tachibana in McLean. If you are looking for good Asian food, try Vietnamese. There are some places that aren't too good (particularly the majority of those in DC proper), but there are some very good choices.
Personally, even though I love sushi, I would rather wait and have even kaitenzushi in Japan instead of settling for most of what is available here.