100 Best Restaurants 2011: Sushi Taro

No. 24

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

With a makeover two years ago, this place went from Prius to Porsche. The long, narrow quarters that once housed a neighborhood standby now hold a minimalist raw-fish temple with textured wall coverings and linen curtains. Most striking are the three to five chef-designed kaiseki tasting menus and the often-stellar fish, sourced in part from the Tsukiji market in Tokyo.

While some cooked dishes, such as creamy shrimp croquettes, are rewarding, focus on the sashimi and nigiri. This is a place to educate your palate; it’s worth getting over the sticker shock—especially on the list of just-flown-in items—to learn the tastes and textures of, for example, uni (custardy and bracingly briny) and fatty tuna (smooth and meaty). For an à la carte dinner, order in batches to prevent a traffic jam of plates.

Also good: Udon-noodle soup with a poached egg and bonito flakes; house-made tofu in a warm broth with soy, ginger, and scallions (pure comfort food); spicy-scallop and fatty-tuna-and-scallion rolls; nigiri of shrimp, yellowtail, and salmon; scallop sashimi; bands of Kobe beef.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

 

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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.