sushi


There are a handful of restaurants that I can honestly tell you that I’ve been more than 10 times.   Heck, more than 20 times.  Cafe Asia is one of those few places.

  • Food: Their fried tofu is pretty good and crispy except they put a couple of tofu pieces into a soy sauce with other seasonings so it gets soggy.  But the sauce and tofu is good.  I’ve ordered tons of their sushi and it’s also good. 
  • Service: They’re usually nice, but sometimes they’re extremely absent.
  • Atmosphere: From the outside, the restaurant doesn’t look as big as it actually is.  It’s two stories with high ceilings and a contemporary feel.  Check out their photos here.Their tables are a bit low and in the first floor, none of their chairs have backs — it’s all low stools.  They do have a few booths though.  On the second floor, there’s chairs with backs…it’s good to know how long you’re going to stay since backless chairs can get to be a bit tough to stay in for a long period of time.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Here’s what I like about Cafe Asia – it’s not fancy and there’s usually not a wait.  You can chill at the their tables and participate in their happy hours (unlike most places where you have to stay in the bar area). 

Happy Hour: $1.25-per-piece nigiri, $2 sake and $2.50 beers at both their downtown DC and Arlington location daily from 4:30-7:30 PM

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-11pm; Fri 11:30am-12am; Sat 12pm-12am; Sun 12pm-11pm
  • Address: 1720 I Street NW; Washington, DC
  • Ph: 202.659.2696
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I’ve been to Kaz Sushi Bistro several times, but I hadn’t been in some time (or at least since I started the blog).  They were supposed to do fugu this spring, but when I called and put my name on the list, they never did call me back.  Bummer.  I’m going to try fugu one day!

  • Food: My food friend and I decided to go to Kaz.  I ordered the blue crab sushi (top left) which was good.  Tuna and jalapeno (middle 6) which wasn’t spicy, but insanely fresh.  It was amazing because unlike some places, they did a great job of balancing enough jalapeno for a small amount of heat while not overpowering the fish.  I think this was my my favorite roll!  I also ordered the asparagus and red pepper roll (“sandwiching” tuna and jalapeno rolls).  Plus, they give you white ginger (not pink).  My friend ordered salmon teriyaki and she loved it. 

Kas Sushi Bistro  Kas Sushi Bistro Salmon Teriyaki

  • Service: When I’ve actually eaten in the restaurant, it’s been good. 
  • Atmosphere: Inside it’s a pretty small restaurant that does pack people in a bit like sardines.  It’s tight and cozy – and not the place to go if you want to have a conversation that you wouldn’t want others to hear. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Hands down, this is one of the best sushi places in the city.  Plus, it is a great place to take anyone from friends to clients to dates to parents. 

Details:

  • Reservations recommended for peak times.
  • Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:00; Dinner Mon-Sat 6:00-10:00; Closed Sundays
  • Address: 1915 “Eye” St. NW, Washington, DC 20006
  • Ph: 202.530.5500

Next to Java Green (the best vegan place), Cafe Chopsticks opened.  Well, actually the restaurant opened in July 2008 and after giving them a month to sort out any “bugs,” I thought it was about time I tried the place out.  BTW, here’s their menu:

   

  • Food:I ordered the veggie ramen which at first, was delicious.  I’ll talk about my initial thoughts on the food first, then go into the after-thoughts.  The broth wasn’t too salty and had a little heat.  The ramen noodles were cooked perfectly.  The problems with the vegetable ramen?  There weren’t a lot of veggies — a couple of bean sprouts, spinach, and tiny shreds of what appeared to be carrots, zucchini, and green onions.  I slurped my way through the bowl and while I was incredibly full, I also felt there was a weird after-taste.  Is there MSG in their soup?  Does anyone know?  And while I was there, I saw someone’s bento box.  It was huge!  Think the size of a cafeteria tray — wow, a lot of food I think!

Cafe Chopsticks Vegetable Ramen Soup  Cafe Chopsticks Vegetable Ramen Soup

  • Service: When you walk in, you can either look at their board or at takeout menus.  Then you order and pay at the counter.  They give you a number and you wait until it’s called.
  • Atmosphere:The interior is quite spacious and comfortable — a bit Zen-like.  Unlike some restaurants, they don’t cram too many tables and chairs.  Plus, they use eco-friend containers and utensils, recycled napkins, etc.  All good stuff!
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall:I really liked the veggie ramen, but would love it even more if they had more veggies in there.  Also, I’d love to know if they add MSG to their soup.  I think for now, I’ll stick to Java Green’s “chicken” ramen.  But I’ll go back to try their very reasonably priced sushi and a bento box.  BTW, they do offer delivery, but only within a 3 block radius, a $70 minimum order, 5% delivery charge, and 24-hour notice. 

Details:

  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30 AM-9 PM
  • Address: 1020 19th Street NW; Washington DC  20036
  • Ph: 202-429-1705

I had been to Thai Chili/Sushi Go Round once before a few years ago and recently stopped by again for a quick bite. 

  • Food: The sushi conveyor belt has 4 different color plates — blue, yellow, green, and red.  They clearly label the prices each plate color cost (but I can’t remember their prices).  I think the most expensive is around $5 and the cheapest is $2-3.  I’ve tried a lot of their sushi and it’s good.  They offer a good selection, but as with all sushi conveyor belts, you do have to know your sushi/nigiri!  Otherwise, you may end up paying for something you don’t like. 
  • Service: I’ve only eaten at the Sushi Go Round, but they are quick to clear any garbage you have and the covers to the sushi plates.
  • Atmosphere: It’s like there are two different restaurants.  Neither one has a lot of seats, but the Thai side has 10-12 tables and chairs while the Sushi Go Round has 20-25 stools around the conveyor belt.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: If you’re in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area and are looking for something quick and healthy without going to a chain, I recommend trying this place out.  It’s decent sushi and let’s be honest, the conveyor belt is fun.  Ha ha.   

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM-10:30 PM; Fri 11 AM-11 PM; Sat 12 noon – 11 PM; Sun 12 noon – 10:30 PM; Delivery Hours: Mon-Fri 11 AM-3 PM, 5-10 PM; Sat & Sun 5-10 PM (min $20)
  • Address: 701 7th Street NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: (202) 393-2905, (202) 393-2906

I  vaguely remember when Suki Asia opened — I think two or three years ago.  I have been once before and remember ordering sushi and it was pretty good.  But it had been a couple of years since I had been so I thought I’d try it again for the blog.  Their menu is pretty brief and actually fits on one page here

11/2008 – Here’s their updated menu.  Page one here and page two here.

  • Food: I was hungry and so I decided to order their original bibimbap and a bagel roll.  First, the bagel roll.  They get points for not dying their ginger to that horrible pink color and instead, leaving it to its original state.  I also give them major points for not giving me so much wasabi that I feel like I’m wasting it.  Their bagel roll was pretty good and I’d definitely order it again.  Next to the bibimbap.  I thought it was OK, but the bulgogi cart definitely makes a better version.  Plus, there was no egg.  And there wasn’t that much in there, but what was there was decent.

Suki Asia Bibim Bap  Suki Asia Bagel Roll

UPDATE: My lunch buddy kept raving about their udon mushroom with tofu so I had to try it.  It was really good (no MSG so no weird after-taste).  There weren’t a lot of veggies though, but the noodles and broth were really good.  A super filling lunch!

Suki Asia Udon Mushroom with Tofu  Suki Asia Udon Mushroom with Tofu

  • Service: They’re very nice and while it can seem busy with a lot of people, they are pretty efficient. 
  • Atmosphere: While it’s not a very big location, it has 5-7 tables.  The interior lacks much decoration, but considering most people are grabbing and going back to their office for lunch, it doesn’t really matter.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall:I think I’ll skip their bibimbap and go to the Bulgogi cart instead since it tastes so much better and is cheaper.  But I do like their sushi so I would definitely go back for that. 

Details:

  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30-5:30
  • Address: 1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202.463.3400

I know I said I’d only blog about the really good restaurants, but sometimes there are good concepts that don’t go quite as I think the chefs meant.  I think that’s what happened with Left Bank breakfasts. 

Before I get to the food, I wanted to bring up that the chairs (not the booths) are just slightly too high for the tables.  So it makes eating just slightly awkward.

Anyway, I went with a friend for breakfast one morning and ordered the Eggs Norwegian.  I chose the poached eggs (am into that style right now) and it was sitting on top of a toasted English muffin, smoked salmon, spinach, and chive hollandaise.  Sounds really yummy right?  All really tasty components and healthy (minus the hollandaise)!  Good concept!

Now I’m not much of a hollandaise fan but my friend that I went with, she knows hollandaise.  So I ordered it on the side so she could tell me how it rated.

Apparently, it was just so-so.  And that’s how I’d explain my breakfast.  There was perhaps 3 TBSP of potatoes on the side — it was a bit of a sad looking plate.  Plus, one of the eggs was not poached, but hard (the yolk never broke).  Everything was also cold. 

Interior is fun though and would be a great spot to grab drinks with friends, just not breakfast (especially since there are so many other great places in the area!).  It’s a wide open bar/restaurant and would be a spectacular spot on a beautiful weather day when their floor-to-ceiling windows are open. 

BTW, they also have some good happy hour offerings.  Daily happy hours until 7 PM with $4 beers and $5 rails.  Mondays are half-priced red and white wines; Tues & Wed are Smirnoff & Flavors night with mixed drinks going for $5 and martinis for $6; Thursdays are martini madness with half-priced Left Bank specialty drinks until 8 PM.  Sat and Sun starting at 10 are $9 Moet Chandon Mimosas.   

Details:

  • Hours: Brunch Sat 10 AM-4 PM & Sun 10 AM-4:30 PM; Dinner Sun-Thurs 5-11 PM & Fri-Sat 5-12 AM; Sushi Sun-Thurs 5-11:30 PM, Fri-Sat 5-1AM
  • Address: 2424 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 464-2100

When I moved to DC, I loved that you could order sushi and it’d be delivered to your door.  Where I used to live, Thai was about as exotic you got for delivery. 

I’ve eaten at Uni a few times before this review. 

  • Food:Working late one night, I ordered the Chilled Smoked Calamari Salad (left photo) and Mango Salmon Roll (left) and Extreme Picante Escolar Roll (right).  The salad was tasty and I would definitely order it again.  It was light and fresh — yum!  The Mango Salmon was OK (it’s not peak mango season so it was flat and tasteless).  The mint was also really bad.  So bad in fact that I had to take the leaves out and I love mint!  The Picante Escolar Roll was pretty good and I would order it again because it did have a nice kick. 

Uni Seafood Salad  Uni Rolls 

Update:So I ordered the Chilled Smoked Calamari Salad, Sundance Roll (with sun-dried tomato), and the Mango Salmon Roll.  The chilled Smoked Calamari  wasn’t smoky and not as delicious as I remember it.  The Mango Salmon was better, but it’s not my favorite.  And I absolutely hated the Sundance Roll.  There’s way too much sun-dried tomato. 

Uni Chilled Smoked Calamari Salad  Uni Sundance & Mango Salmon Roll

  • Service: I’ve eaten here before and the service is a bit “hit and miss.”  I’ve had really nice, pleasant waitstaff and then really unpleasant, rude ones.  And when I ordered for delivery, they had a person who didn’t speak English very well (at all) answering the phone. 
  • Atmosphere: Inside it’s a pretty small restaurant, but if you’re looking for a sushi restaurant with a private room — this is about the only place in the city. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I think it’s decent sushi at a reasonable price.  While their service can leave something to be desired, they do deliver to my office ($15 minimum food order for free delivery).  And if you’re looking for their menu, here you go: Uni Menu Page 1 and Uni Menu Page 2.

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 12 PM-2 PM “Sake-tini”

Details:

  • Hours: Lunch Monday-Friday 11:30 AM-2 PM; Dinner Mon-Thurs 5 PM-10 PM; Friday 5 PM-11 PM; Sat 1 PM-11 PM; Sun 5 PM-9:30 PM
  • Address: 2122 P Street NW; Washington, DC 20037
  • Ph: 202-833-8038

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