100 Best Restaurants 2010: Sushi Taro
Comments () | Published January 1, 2010
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Sushi Taro
Address: 1503 17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202.462.8999
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Downtown
Cuisines: Seafood, Sushi, Japanese
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2, open for dinner Monday through Saturday 5:30 to 10. Closed Sunday.
Nearby Metro Stops: Dupont Circle, Farragut North
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Marinated whole baby octopus; thin-sliced Kobe beef; nigiri of eel, yellowtail, sweet shrimp, and salmon; sashimi of uni, scallop, and o-toro black-sesame brûlée; house-made mochi.
Price Details: À la carte sushi $6 to $12, sashimi $15 to $22. Omakase menu $100 to $120, kaiseki menu $75, sushi tasting menu $75, sashimi tasting menu $65.

Cuisine: With so many American chefs spouting the mantra of seasonal and local, procuring high-quality ingredients is too often regarded as a certain route to great food. In sushi, however, where the quality of fish is directly proportional to the quality of the restaurant, sourcing isn’t just desirable; it’s eminently preferable. Flying in fish from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji market, including a host of varieties never seen in this area, DC’s most ambitious sushi restaurant is turning out fresh (and sometimes shockingly expensive) selections of nigiri and sashimi and setting a new standard.

Mood: A serene, high-toned dining room that channels a spa, right down to the music, and is meant to put the focus on what hits the table.

Best for: Sushi fanatics who know that when it comes to quality and freshness, you have to pay to play.

Best dishes: Marinated whole baby octopus, an excursion in texture and funky depths; a dramatic presentation of rich, fat-striated Kobe beef, sliced thin; nigiri of eel, yellowtail, sweet shrimp, and salmon; sashimi of uni (oceanic, rich, creamy), scallop, and the best o-toro in the area; black-sesame brûlée; house-made mochi.

Insider tips: Raw is the way to go here; the cooked tends to be hit or miss (though the hits are big). But if you order à la carte and forgo the omakase menu—in which a chef will devise a special menu for you—you may have to take charge with your server and self-pace your meal; dishes can pile up at the table.

Service: ••

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews