Chef Kaz Okochi’s Foggy Bottom sushi spot has been around since 1999, and he’s still drawing plenty of customers with precise slices of high-quality fish. Okochi paired salmon nigiri with mango purée long before the onslaught of Japanese fusion, and his signature combinations such as sake-poached scallops or torch-charred salmon belly are still exceptional. Small plates—such as umami-packed slices of calamari, uni, quail egg, and truffle-soy sauce—go beyond the typical lineup of gyoza and tempura.
One caveat: A patchwork meal of these slight bites can add up quickly. More wallet-friendly options can be found at lunch, where a business crowd packs tables for generous bento boxes. Dessert tends to be skippable at many Japanese spots, but it’s worth browsing the playful roster of sweets.
- Creamy seaweed salad
- Brussels sprouts with mint and ginger
- Seared tuna with chili and daikon
- Bonito with garlic chips
- Bay-scallop ceviche
- Seared baby octopus
- Ginger-ice-cream sandwich
- green-tea tiramisu