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100 Best Restaurants 2011: Sushi-Ko
Comments () | Published January 20, 2011
100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Sushiko I
Address: 2309 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-333-4187
Neighborhood: Glover Park
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Friday 6 to 10:30, Saturday 5:30 to 11, Sunday 5 to 10.
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Spot-prawn nigiri; a presentation of scallop sashimi, alternately rich and clean; sashimi or nigiri of salmon, yellowtail, yellowtail belly, and mackerel; a light and crisp deep-fried soft-shell crab with ponzu sauce; salmon teriyaki.
Price Details: Entrees, $10 to $28.

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

Daisuke Utagawa brought DC its first sushi bar when he opened his Glover Park location in 1976. It now has lots of competition, but his artful interpretation of Japanese cuisine, expressed best in his small plates, keeps his restaurant and its newer sibling interesting.

The emphasis is less on authenticity and more on creativity—crispy blocks of fried eel are paired with a balsamic reduction, and rock shrimp are rolled with jalapeño, cilantro, and mayo in an unusual maki. Fish flown in from Japan—often on the specials list—shines most. Recently, that included flash-seared salmon belly, me-dai (a smooth white fish), and mejina (sweet black fish). The Chevy Chase spinoff is flashier in design and its sushi slightly better; together the restaurants are a smart pair.

Also good: Chicken dumplings with basil-like shiso; soft tofu in spicy chili-and-ginger broth; nigiri with toro and uni; soy-and-sake-marinated tuna sashimi; salmon and tuna five ways; spicy crunchy tuna roll; house-made coconut ice cream with mango mousse.

DC location open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday through Monday for dinner. Chevy Chase open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate to expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/20/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews