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Jan 30, 2009 02:45 PM

Sushi but no Sushi Taro?

Hello, I'm coming into DC Sunday staying around Dupont Circle and just read that Sushi Taro is closed for renovation. Can anyone recommend a substitute in the area?


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  1. There are at least 3 more joints nearby. One is Sakana, one is Uni, and another is Cafe Japone. I'd go with Sakana.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chownut

      I like Sakana (have had issues with their tempura - but maybe it was a bad day - anyway why have that at a sushi bar?) Kaz isn't too far for a walk if the weather cooperates.

      1. re: hill food

        Kaz....the last time I "ate" there, I left hungry.

        A better bet maybe to visit Sushi-Ko either in Glover Park or Chevy Chase.

        1. re: hill food

          we're trying to solve this same dilemma of replacing sushi taro.
          Went to Sakana on Saturday and was not that impressed. Had only one decent roll -- the Sakana DC roll. Everything else was pretty bland, actually.
          Back to the drawing board for us...

        2. re: Chownut

          Definitely not Cafe Japone. Uni is the best out of the three of them, and has the most consistent/fresh Japanese food across the board. A little more downtown is Nooshi and Singapore Bistro. Thai Chef also has great sushi, which is in Dupont.

          1. re: Jacey

            I had a decent meal at Uni a long time ago, but given the choice, I would prefer an authentic Japanese owned sushi joint vice a non-Japanese owned sushi place.

        3. Hmm. If you're willing to go a bit outside the area, I'd recommend:
          Zengo and Oya for interesting sushi (and SEI, a new restaurant) in Penn Quarter, and Sushi Ko / Matuba for normal sushi.
          (And Spices! It's on the red line, but by the zoo [cleveland park]. Far, but worth it, and no transfers!)

          Rice, rated one of the top Thai restaurants in the area is a few blocks up at Logan Circle, and Nooshi is in Farragut West (few blocks from Dupont). (Great happy hour specials).

          There are also two kaiten-zushi places (conveyor belt sushi) in the area. Sushi-Go-Round (GalleryPl/Chinatown, but walk-able from Metro Center which is only one metro stop or two from Dupont) is not that good, but is cheap, and Wasabi is a tad more expensive, but I liked some of their offerings.

          Honestly, you're not missing much from Sushi Taro. The sushi was well done when I went recently (December), but over priced and nothing to go back for or that I would 'crave' for.

          Oya Restaurant & Lounge
          777 9th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

          Zengo Restaurant
          781 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

          Spices Asian Restaurant
          3333 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

          Rice Restaurant
          1608 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

          Nooshi Restaurant
          1120 19th St NW, Washington, DC

          Wasabi Sushi
          908 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006

          7 Replies
          1. re: discojing

            and I've heard the owner of Taro plans on reducing seating and increasing prices - in this economy, gives one pause to ask WTF?

            1. re: hill food

              yes. now the prices are about $30 per person (not in my opinion) and they plan to cut the seating in half and double the price to about $60 and have it be more "upscale".

              they need to keep the customers they have! it's a bit out of the way in a bad location, so the only thing going for them was its authenticity and slight-affordability. (both which are lacking in my opinion)

              1. re: discojing

                Thanks for all of the responses! i'm embarrassed to say, I went to Sakana but got there too early and I simply could not wait (it was cold and i was starving) so I went to Kramer books cafe and had some suprisingly, Id almost say,shockingly, good food. I know its not gourmet but I was really impressed. And by the way the night before I had been to Vidalia and had the $75 tasting menu and left starving and unimpressed.....

                Thanks again!


                1. re: martaburke

                  I hold out hope that sushi taro will have some lunch specials at least--they were such a hit. I do think they were heads and shoulders above sakana. I really liked the authentic Japanese home cooking that was featured at lunch. Given the economy, perhaps they will adjust things. Anyone know when they are set to reopen?

                  1. re: martaburke

                    What did you order? I had an appalling dish of ravioli there once, although I was okay with the seared tuna deconstructed-sushi salad.

                    1. re: martaburke

                      Kramer does have selectively good food, like their "Best Piece of Bass in Town" Sea Bass. It's miso glazed and damn good. I hate the brunch and some of their other dishes, though.