100 Best Restaurants 2010: Sushi Sono

No. 40: Sushi Sono

Cuisine: Some of the most creative, exuberant sushi-making in the area emerges from the busy kitchen at this lakefront restaurant. Chef King Lin is a persnickety shopper (he procures some of the best chu-toro, or fatty tuna, around) and possessed of a vivid imagination. Witness the fishing boat he fashions from a small horse mackerel (the fish is sparklingly fresh) or his magnificent Dragon Roll, a tour de force of color and drama. Rolls are a point of pride—they’re not filled with the scraps from preparations of nigiri and sashimi but treated (and often priced) as featured players.

Mood: Eye-catching plates of sushi sail through the dining room as heads turn and point, and the line of diners congregating by the door for a table grows longer. (This is arguably the toughest reservation in Columbia.) The bustle is balanced by the serenity of Lake Kittamaqundi visible through the long plate-glass windows.

Best for: A night of splurging on the high-priced delicacies and rarities that dot the menu.

Best dishes: Snow Balls, panko-rolled, deep-fried shrimp croquettes dusted with Old Bay; shrimp hand rolls; sashimi or horse mackerel (ask the kitchen to fry the skin and bones for a pleasurable treat); sashimi of wild baby red snapper, fatty yellowtail, and o-toro, shipped from Japan; salt-grilled geoduck clam.

Insider tips: Stick to sushi and sashimi—the tempura and the rendition of shabu shabu are ordinary.

Service: ••

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Moderate to expensive.

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
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 Logan Circle.