100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Izakaya Seki

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Photo by Scott Suchman.

The Japanese izakaya trend has taken off in Washington, but there’s nothing scene-seeking about this spare gem. Father/daughter team Hiroshi and Cizuka Seki quietly conduct one of the most impressive dining experiences in town. He stays behind the kitchen counter—among the best seats in the bilevel house—while she roams the dining rooms, often guiding guests to the best sake and soju pairings. Part of the thrill arrives with the illustrated specials menu, which lists assortments of sashimi flown in from Japan and might include fried or grilled delicacies such as custardy barbecue eel. That’s not to say you should disregard the regular menu, which highlights dishes Hiroshi has honed to perfection—the scallop carpaccio remains one of our favorite bites anywhere.

Don’t miss: Tuna tataki; barbecue short ribs; shrimp fritters; grilled oysters; chicken kara-age; braised pork belly; hot pot with seafood and tofu; garlic-fried rice; soba noodles with dipping sauce.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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.