Matuba gets by with simple decor, a limited menu, good food, and conscientious service. There are few frills. As a result, prices are comfortably within the Cheap Eats budget. Aside from some sushi and sashimi combinations, no dinner main course is over $13.50 and some preparations are under $10, including tempura udon (with thick rice noodles), chicken teriyaki, and katsu donburi (breaded veal over seasoned rice). Diners with serious appetites should visit the Bethesda restaurant for the all-you-can-eat buffets. Patrons sit at a counter, and the food, mostly but not entirely sushi, rolls by on a conveyer belt. The buffet is $10.95 Tuesday through Friday at lunch, $12.95 for Saturday lunch, and $16.95 at dinner Sunday.
Appetizers include à la carte sushi starting a $3.25 a pair, steamed dim sum-like shu mai and fried gyoza, chicken teriyaki, and crisp tempura, also available as a main course. Good main courses are the teriyakis of chicken, beef, and salmon, and the tempuras. More-exotic offerings may appear as daily specials.
Matuba, 2915 Columbia Pike, Arlington, 703-521-2811 (no lunch on weekends); 4918 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, 301-652-7449 (no lunch on Sunday).