Unexpected Places to Find Great Sushi in D.C. – Eater DC

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These restaurants keep their rolls under wraps
D.C. is home to a stellar cast of Japanese and sushi spots. But several restaurants that aren’t typically associated with raw fish happen to have surprise side menus and hidden counters centered around sushi.
Here are seven unlikely destinations for terrific rolls, sashimi, temaki, and omakase menus around D.C.
1515 Rhode Island Avenue NW
The glamorous Darcy hotel restaurant that’s normally known for paratha tacos and Korean chicken wings just built out a new eight-seat sushi counter next to its cocktail bar. Here chef Kelly Suarez artfully prepares nine-course omakase dinners on Friday and Saturday nights ($90 per person). Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. The glassy raw bar also sends out a la carte sashimi and rolls like “What a Match” (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, and unagi sauce). The surprise seafood upgrade harkens back to the Logan Circle space’s days as Michelin-rated Siren.
2100 2nd Street SW
The huge grill in Buzzard Point opened last spring with lots of seafood, smoked ribs, and crab dip doughnuts. A few months later, the Southwest waterfront attraction introduced a sushi bar where fresh catches go under the knife a few nights a week. Its partnership with wholesale seafood distributor ProFish means prices stay relatively low (around $12 for rolls and $7 for salmon sashimi). The spicy tuna and spicy shrimp rolls have proven to be the most popular so far and bring the heat with fresh serrano peppers on top. Sushi is available on Wednesday to Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
1050 31st Street NW
Wolfgang Puck protege Andrew Skala plates fancy steaks and local vegetables at Rosewood hotel’s lobby-level Cut. But it’s not widely known that he also shows off his unsuspecting sushi skills at its chic rooftop lounge. Cut Above’s menu centers around temaki (hand rolls) starring luxe ingredients like wagyu beef tartare, scallops, Maine lobster, and caviar add-ons.
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600 14th Street NW
Clyde’s Restaurant Group’s perennially-packed downtown staple is all about American fare, but wander to the middle to find a standalone sushi bar that seats around 10. In Clyde’s fashion, the menu is huge with dozens of raw and cooked rolls to choose from. That leaves room for experimental orders like the District (tempura chicken, spicy kimchi, zucchini, and mumbo sauce). There’s also bento boxes and sushi platters to go along with a strong showing of Japanese whiskeys and sake. Rolls are pretty pricey here — some as high as $20 — so come during daily happy hour for $5 discounts (2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.).
1725 Desales Street NW
During its 12-year run in the heart of Chinatown, Sei was widely considered one of the top sushi and sashimi spots in town. The beloved brand now lives on inside French-themed Le DeSales, where Japanese sushi master “Noriaki” Yasutake sends out his greatest raw fish hits to go along with a solid list of sakes and Japanese whiskeys.
The Toronto-born brand touched down in Bethesda last year and figured out a way to squeeze sushi into its plant-based menu. Ahi watermelon is a fine stand-in for tuna for nigiri, while hearts of palm is disguised as crab. Tempura broccoli over shrimp works well in another roll, too. Order a sushi set to try a bunch at once.
5000 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Va.
Previously located in the Old Town hotel’s Finn & Porter restaurant, this retooled sushi counter now sits in the lobby next to the bar. The more visible setup continues to send out sashimi and sushi from its longtime chef Kim, along with a newly added ramen counter where guests can customize their own bowls.
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