Moby Dick

November 2005

This sliver of a restaurant with classic sushi-bar decor is where locals go for a Japanese-food fix. Start with edamame, steamed soybean pods, or crunchy "crab" salad made with surimi, cucumbers, and tobiko and flavored with mayo and sesame. Fried fixings–tempura shrimp and vegetables and tofu–are done right, as is that Japanese soul food, broiled eel over rice with a thick soy sauce. Sushi and rolls are in the Korean style, not as delicate as traditional Japanese sushi. The tempura roll with shrimp and crab and the California roll with egg are good bets.

Sakes are limited to one hot and three cold; the usual Japanese beers are available. And for diehard Marylanders, there's spicy steamed shrimp, a holdover from when Moby Dick was a seafood shack. Don't miss the fried green-tea ice cream wrapped in mochi–a traditional Japanese New Year's sweet.

Moby Dick, 11220 Triangle La.; 301-949-3910. Atmosphere: Small and cozy with traditional sushi-bar decor. Sushi rolls, entrées, and bento boxes: $7.95 to $22.95 with special sushi assortments going up to $49.95. Bottom line: A solid neighborhood Japanese eatery. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch, daily for dinner.