A sleek DC fixture for some of the freshest raw fish around.

From January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants

THE SCENE. The spare interior, mingling sleek Asian minimalism with the cost-cutting aesthetic of Ikea, is a haven for Georgetown students and faculty, guidebook-toting tourists, couples, groups, black-clad fashionistas, and sushi obsessives, the latter plunking themselves down in the coveted stools by the front corner of the sushi bar to watch wunderkind Koji Terano wield his $2,000 knife.

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. The oldest sushi bar in Washington remains a model of consistency, serving up some of the freshest, most pristine raw fish around. It's also a successful innovator, pairing red Burgundy with sushi and bridging East and West in ways both subtle and flavorful. Still in his twenties, Terano is as flexible as he is talented, capable of whipping up a rich and varied feast with his omakase menu or wowing you even if you ask him to work within a strict budget.

WHAT YOU WON'T. The cheap, hard seats and stools don't encourage lingering, much less slow sipping of sake or Burgundy. And it's best to resist putting together your own menu at the bar or setting a budget if Koji isn't there.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.