100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 26 Sushi Capitol

A cone of seaweed is filled with chopped fatty tuna, green onion, and rice. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

For nearly two decades, Minoru Ogawa oversaw sushi operations at every Mandarin Oriental property on the East Coast. When he decided to open a place of his own in 2013, he already knew the important buyers and suppliers in the country. The high quality of the fish is what makes this small Capitol Hill spot such an unexpected find.

That and the fact that Ogawa keeps things simple.

The menu is small, which means prices are lower than at most places in its tier—the omakase, or tasting menu, is a relative steal (about 15 small courses for $50)—and the chef eschews flashy rolls, noodle bowls, and the charcoal-grilled items that have become de rigueur in recent years as izakayas have gone mainstream. All he’s interested in is showcasing terrific fish, which at its best (unfortunately, the place is prone to the occasional off night) can be described with a very un-sushi-like word: juicy.

Don’t miss:

  • Grilled yellowtail jaw
  • Yellowtail with scallion hand roll
  • Tuna hand roll
  • Florida roll, with blowtorched salmon, avocado, and green onion
  • Sawagani (crunchy whole crabs from Japan)
  • Sushi and sashimi, including sea urchin, chu toro and o-toro (varieties of fatty tuna)
  • Scallop, yellowtail, salmon, madai, and flounder

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.