4822 MacArthur Blvd., NW
Washington, DC 20007
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest, Palisades
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese
Open Tuesday through Saturday noon to 2 and 6 to 10, Sunday 6 to 10.
Price Range: Very expensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Stepping into the Zen-like calm of this Japanese dining room is transportive. Street shoes are shed for soft slippers, cell phones are turned off, and bags are slipped into the wooden stool/bin that's your seat for the evening. The $60 eight-to-ten-course tasting menu means ordering is stress-free, too. The element of surprise--there's no printed menu--can up the adventure factor. Diners also have the option of ordering from an à la carte menu of sushi and Japanese delicacies.
The tasting menu is orchestrated much like a ballet: Courses rhythmically come and go, and thought goes into every detail, from the sake glasses--each sake commands a different one--to the personal pans for cooking shabu-shabu.
What to get: Smoky mussel soup; rice-cracker-coated soft-shell crabs, fried and served with chili and green tea; shabu-shabu of well-marbled beef; tuna, scallop, and floundernigiri; mackerel and yellowtail sashimi.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Very expensive.