Kaz Okochi to Open Oh Fish! With Custom-Made Sushi Rolls (Menu Included)

The owner of Kaz Sushi Bistro is applying the Chipotle model to sushi rolls.

By: Anna Spiegel

Left, the Maki Master machine binds rice; Kaz Okochi has another machine, the Maki Cutter, to slice rolls. Right, a finished maki roll. Photographs by Emma Patti

Washington is full of picky diners, but for restaurateur Kaz Okochi, that's wonderful news. In the next few weeks, the Kaz Sushi Bistro chef/owner will open Oh Fish!, a casual sushi joint at 19th Street, Northwest, between L and M streets, where diners can build their own maki rolls.

Given that Okochi—who's also a partner at Masa 14 and El Centro D.F.—serves tuna with foie gras and truffles at his flagship raw-fish spot, it may seem odd that his new restaurant's inspiration is . . . Subway. But it was after ordering an Italian footlong (no mayo, extra pickles) that he came up with the idea for assembly-line-made maki, tailored to each diner's taste.

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The ordering process at Oh Fish! is quite similar to Subway: first, pick your roll size (eight fat rolls or skinny ones with less rice) then a protein (options include spicy tuna, eel, and crispy shrimp); and finally three veggie fillings (think avocado, kimchi, cilantro, and pickled pineapple). The basic price, $6.50 to $9, includes sauces—which range from familiar (spicy mayo) to less-traditional (spicy tomato)—and such toppings as crunchy rice balls and sesame seeds. Other garnishes—jalapeño masago, for example—as well as sides, such as edamame and seaweed, salad are extra. Indecisive customers can pick from seven pre-designed creations such as the "suki suki" with shrimp salad, avocado, citrus-soy sauce, and crispy panko crumbs.

To ensure that the rolls are consistent, Okochi brought in two machines: one to shape the rice and another to slice the finished product.

With only 15 seats inside, the place is meant primarily for takeout (Okochi will eventually introduce online ordering, delivery, and a second location in the Foggy Bottom Whole Foods, set to open in September).  Like other local DIY spots, such as the Greek Cava Grill in Bethesda and the Indian Merzi in Penn Quarter, the emphasis is on a Chipotle-like experience—fast and customizable—without a chain's mass-produced feel.

"Basically the concept is: Give the customers what they want," says Okochi.

Menu

1. Choose a size:
- Regular (7 ounces of rice)
- Skinny (5 ounces of rice)

2. Choose one fish:
- Tuna (raw) $8.50
- Spicy tuna (raw) $9
- Tuna salad (cooked) $7.50
- Salmon (raw) $8.50
- Smoked salmon (cooked) $9
- Shrimp salad (cooked) $8.50
- Crab stick (cooked) $8
- Eel (cooked) $9.50
- Vegetarian (choose up to 5) $6.50)

3. Choose three veggies (free; additional veggie 50 cents):
- Cucumber
- Avocado
- Lettuce
- Carrot
- Red jalapeño
- Spicy sprouts
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Kimchi
- Asparagus
- Celery
- Red bell pepper
- Pickled red onion
- Sweet tofu
- Pickled pineapple
- Green onions
- Basil
- Cilantro
- Mint

4. Optional flavor (all $1):
- Masago (smelt roe)
- Jalapeño masago
- Habanero masago
- Cream cheese

5. Choose a sauce (free):
- Soy-tofu
- Wasabi
- Sweet soy
- Citrus soy
- Jalapeño soy
- Spicy mayo
- Wasabi mayo
- Honey mustard
- Spicy tomato

6. Choose a topping (free):
- Crispy bread crumbs
- Crunchy rice balls
- Sesame seeds
- Spicy sesame seeds
- Japanese chili powder

 Sides:
- Edamame $2.50
- Seaweed salad $3.50
- Miso soup $2.50

Signature Maki:
Kira Kira $9
Spicy tuna, lettuce, cucumber, jalapeno, green onion, wasabi soy sauce, seven-chili powder

Suki Suku $9.50
Shrimp salad, cucumber, celery, avocado, masago, citrus-soy sauce, crispy bread crumbs

Poka Poka $8.50
Tuna, kimchi, radish sprout, cilantro, wasabi soy sauce, spicy sesame seeds

Doki Doki $8.50
Salmon, lettuce, red bell pepper, pickled pineapple, basil, spicy tomato sauce, crunchy rice ball

Peko Peko $9
Crab stick, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, masago, spicy mayo, sesame seeds

Mote Mote $9.50
Smoked salmon, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, mint, cream cheese, honey mustard

Niko Niko $6.50
Avocado, cucumber, carrot, sweet tofu, red bell pepper, basil, citrus-soy sauce

Breakfast (7 to 10:30 AM) $6
Breakfast maki (4 pieces, sweet egg, pickled daikon radish, cucumber, carrot, sesame seeds, wasabi soy sauce), miso soup, green tea

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