100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Izakaya Seki

Scallop sashimi at Izakaya Seki. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

If you’ve ever wondered where food critics eat on their own dime, it’s at places like Izakaya Seki. The father/daughter team of chef Hiroshi Seki and co-owner Cizuka Seki deliver an unfussy yet memorable dining experience at their Japanese gastropub, where simple pleasures abound: a jewel-box-like sashimi platter, whole barbecue squid, or udon noodles in a heady dashi broth. Thrill seekers aren’t without options, especially on the daily hand-drawn menu that may offer prized Hokkaido uni with quail eggs or ara yaki, grilled scraps from sashimi-grade fish that you tear into as you would sublime chicken wings. Misfires are next to none—just don’t forget a chilled sake recommendation from the lengthy list. Moderate.

Also great: Barbecue eel and cucumber; seafood-onion fritters; Japanese omelet; crunchy baby octopus; garlic fried rice; trio of seasonal vegetable dishes.

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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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.