Cheap Eats 2015: Izakaya Blue Ocean

Where we go for a great gyoza and sushi selection.
Cheap Eats 2015: Izakaya Blue Ocean
Photo by Scott Suchman

Forget the sleek, hipster-filled izakayas that have become trendy. This low-lit strip-mall eatery with tables divided by bamboo curtains is a truer embodiment of the neighborhood pubs one visits for drinks and snacks in Japan. Sample from a list of grilled skewers and gyoza, and order liberally from the sushi menu, where expertly cut slices of tuna, sweet raw shrimp (with crispy heads in tow), and brûléed eel can be ordered by the piece. Prices creep up at dinner, but lunch specials remain affordable. Try a platter with miso-grilled black cod, seasoned rice, and a vegetable side such as chilled sesame-spinach or bean-sprout salad.

Cuisine: Japanese

Where you can get it: 9440 Main St., Fairfax; 703-425-7555

Also good: Shio (salt) ramen; shrimp-tempura roll; yakitori skewers.

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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.

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.