Must-Try Japanese Dishes Around Washington

Diners at downtown restaurant Kaz Sushi Bistro can indulge in a Bird’s Nest: sliced squid with quail egg and uni. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

A second excellent Kaz offering: this decadent foie gras nigiri with plum wine gelée. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Nigiri with seared scallop, lemon, and salt is another favorite at Kaz Sushi Bistro. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Pabu Restaurant’s Happy Spoon appetizer—with oyster, uni, ikura, and ponzu crème fraîche—is well worth a trip to Baltimore. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Customers at Palisades restaurant Makoto cook their own beef shabu shabu—thinly sliced beef, mushrooms, and udon noodles—in a hot pot. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Alexandria restaurant Yamazato is a destination for crunchy shrimp tempura. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Another great spot for tempura: Ris in downtown DC, where spicy fried shrimp are served atop Napa slaw with yuzu sauce—a knockout dish that goes great with cocktails. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Okay, we really love fried shrimp. And these crispy fritters at V Street newcomer Izakaya Seki are not to be missed. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Seki also serves up this over-the-top uni dish with quail egg and nori. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

MacArthur Boulevard eatery Kotobuki is the spot for oshizushi—sushi shaped using a special rectangular box. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Try bara chirashi—raw fish arranged in a pattern and dotted with cured egg and raw ginger—at Kushi Izakaya. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The dish that turned Washington into raving ramen fans: the Toki Hakata Classic at Toki Underground on H Street. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Opt for Sapporo-style miso ramen at Ren’s Ramen in Wheaton. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Tempura green beans are a favorite among the excellent snack offerings at the Source. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Head to Sei on Seventh Street, Northwest, to try this inventive fish-and-chips roll. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

When dining at Dupont mainstay Sushi Taro, do not miss yellowtail belly in either sushi or sashimi form. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

SushiKo’s flounder carpaccio with black truffle vinaigrette has a fierce following among the local restaurant chain’s loyal fans. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Botan ebi (spot prawn) nigiri at SushiKo is another can’t-miss dish. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

At Columbia’s Sushi Sono, a whole aji (horse mackerel) is deep-fried with salt and served as sushi or sashimi. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Another gorgeous dish at Sono: this dragon roll, made with tempura shrimp, avocado, and roe, wrapped with white seaweed and topped with lobster tail. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

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