100 Best Restaurants 2012: Sushi Sono

From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia


Sushi has become so popular that you can find a decent sushi bar in lots of neighborhoods. It’s rare, though, to find a place that flies in fish from Japan and reminds you with every slice of sashimi, every roll, that sushi-making is an art.

The lakefront restaurant is so perpetually packed that if you don’t see a line out the door on a weekend night, you can assume it’s closed. The blond-wood room abounds in good cheer, thanks to waitresses both gracious and efficient. When diners aren’t gazing out at Lake Kittamaqundi, they’re studying the sushi bar, where chef/owner King Lin and his team of cooks assemble the area’s most inventive rolls.

What to get: Salted edamame; Snowball, an Old Bay-dusted mound of minced shrimp; sunomono, a lightly pickled dish of fish and cucumbers; aji three ways, a showstopping presentation of sashimi and nigiri of horse mackerel (the kitchen then fries the carcass until it crunches like potato chips); dragon roll topped with lobster; Neptune Garden roll of shrimp, crab, and avocado bound in lettuce; sashimi of scallop, yellowtail, salmon, and mackerel.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Moderate to expensive.

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.