100 Very Best Restaurants: #16 – Izakaya Seki

Scallop sashimi at Izakaya Seki. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The best place to sit in this rowhouse-turned-izakaya is at the downstairs counter, where you can watch 71-year-old Hiroshi Seki slice chunks of fatty tuna and slivers of Hokkaido scallops. But the Japanese pub, run with daughter Cizuka Seki, does much more than a gorgeous sashimi platter. A sake-friendly menu of grilled, fried, steamed, and raw small plates includes crave-inducing seafood fritters, cold soba, and a flaky yellowtail jaw that needs nothing more than a lemon squeeze. Consult the hand-scrawled list of specials for what’s seasonal, whether monkfish liver (the foie gras of the sea) or snappy cucumbers with miso-cured barley. Moderate.
Also great: Whole surume squid; tuna tataki; fried tofu in dashi; tempura special; rice balls.

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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.