100 Very Best Restaurants: #3 – Sushi Nakazawa

Sockeye-salmon nigiri at Sushi Nakazawa. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Sushi Nakazawa

Japanese, Sushi
1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

This New York–born dining room, as spare as a museum, couldn’t feel farther from the gilt of the Trump International Hotel, to which it’s attached. The minimalism is relaxing, but what’s truly transfixing is watching Masaaki Uchino rhythmically slice his way through the loins and bellies of top-quality fish, much of it from Japan. That’s why you’ll want to savor your omakase—the 21-course parade of nigiri is the only offering—at the bar, not in the dining room. The quality of the sushi, the perfectly vinegared rice, and the precise painting of soy sauces and other enhancements set Nakazawa apart from its competition. But other little things go a long way: When our chef noticed we were slowing down, he subtly started forming ever-smaller cushions of rice. Very expensive.