Best Restaurants 2010: Sushi-Ko

No. 42: Sushi-Ko Chevy Chase

Cuisine: For raw-fish fanciers, there are few better places to appreciate the subtleties of the genre than these restaurants, which trade on smart sourcing and eschew style points and overambitious menus in favor of careful execution. The nigiri in particular are models of purity and balance: small, well-seasoned pads of rice, atop which sit thin, delicately carved slices of fresh fish.

Mood: The original in Glover Park is the city’s oldest sushi bar and remains a template for the sort of unstuffy dining rooms cropping up around the area (though some might find it austere); the sumptuous spinoff in Friendship Heights manages to ride the line between glamorous and accessible.

Best for: Sushi purists.

Best dishes: Spot-prawn nigiri; a presentation of scallop sashimi, alternately rich and clean; sashimi or nigiri of salmon, yellowtail, yellowtail belly, and mackerel; a light and crisp deep-fried soft-shell crab with ponzu sauce; salmon teriyaki.

Insider tips: Sushi, particularly sashimi, makes a surprisingly rewarding take-out dinner (unlike pizza, there’s no chance of steaming), and both locations are attentive to the needs of diners looking to duck in and out.

Service: ••

DC location open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday through Monday for dinner. Chevy Chase location open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate to expensive.

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants

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.