Where to Eat Sushi in the DC Metro Area

DC is not especially known for its sushi, but the selection of restaurants available today is much improved from even a couple of years ago. Some notable places are Makoto Restaurant off MacArthur Blvd, Kotobuki (known for its decent prices), Kaz Sushi Bistro in Foggy Bottom – a truly authentic Japanese restaurant, and Satsuma in Bethesda.  Kushi, one of the top-rated restaurants in Washingtonian’s annual list, has also become quite popular among DC foodies. The menu is frequently updated on the restaurant’s tumblr and features evocative dishes beyond the typical sushi fare.

For my little “suburb” of Arlington, unfortunately the pickings are even slimmer for sushi than in the city proper. Cafe Asia, while very reliable and cheap for delivery, does not exactly boast the highest quality.  Endo Sushi is pretty decent, but tends to run on the “expensive” side for the quality. I have had a couple of experiences where the fish wasn’t as fresh as other times. Sushi Rock has a really fun atmosphere and great happy hour specials, but I would say the sushi is lacking and mediocre.

Recently, I discovered a “sushi haven” in Arlington, tucked back away in the Courthouse plaza (near the theater and all the construction going on there now). Asahi Japanese Restaurant is the best sushi I’ve had in the Arlington area and pretty comparable to a lot of the better places in DC.  The service was nice, attentive and the place is authentic and actually Japanese-owned. We didn’t care for the dumpling appetizer that much, but the edamame, soup and house salad were all delicious starters. The salad came with tomato, cucumber, kiwi, red and green peppers, onion and a ginger dressing. A lot more jam-packed than your typical “house salad” at a sushi place. We ordered the crunchy spicy tuna roll, Alaskan roll, rainbow roll and a volcano roll which came with a “special sauce” that was to die for. All of the rolls were fresh and delicious with great textures, vibrant colors and a great presentation. Our favorite was the decorative Christmas tree they placed on our plate!

Asahi Sushi Arlington

I am happy the DC area on a whole is slowly but surely improving its sushi selection. It’s about time!