100 Best Restaurants 2012: Makoto

Tried and True: 10 Restaurants that Have Consistently Offered Very Good Dining

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Stepping into the Zen-like calm of this Japanese dining room is transportive. Street shoes are shed for soft slippers, cell phones are turned off, and bags are slipped into the wooden stool/bin that’s your seat for the evening. The $60 eight-to-ten-course tasting menu means ordering is stress-free, too. The element of surprise–there’s no printed menu–can up the adventure factor. Diners also have the option of ordering from an à la carte menu of sushi and Japanese delicacies.

The tasting menu is orchestrated much like a ballet: Courses rhythmically come and go, and thought goes into every detail, from the sake glasses–each sake commands a different one–to the personal pans for cooking shabu-shabu.

What to get: Smoky mussel soup; rice-cracker-coated soft-shell crabs, fried and served with chili and green tea; shabu-shabu of well-marbled beef; tuna, scallop, and floundernigiri; mackerel and yellowtail sashimi.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Very expensive.

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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.