100 Very Best Restaurants: #18 – Izakaya Seki

Photo of Izakaya Seki by Scott Suchman

About Izakaya Seki

1117 V St NW
Washington, DC 20009

One of our happy places is the L-shaped kitchen counter at this discreet Japanese izakaya—glass of Burgundy procured, ready for an evening at the hands of 73-year-old master chef Hiroshi Seki. (And is that Wizards star Rui Hachimura? Guess our secret’s out.) It’s tempting to play the now seven-year-old standards—scallop carpaccio, shrimp-and-onion fritters, bracing soba noodles—but we always start with co-owner Cizuka Seki’s hand-illustrated daily menu. It holds seasonal sashimi, fleeting specials including ara yaki (crispy fish collars and wings), and a “Japanese steakhouse” New York strip best devoured with toasted garlic rice. Expensive.