Friday, June 24, 2011

Sushi Taro (Washington, DC)

Sushi Taro! I've been dreaming of going there again after first eating there some three weeks ago.

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I had their sushi bento box ($13.25) last time:

And it was almost too much food! And for so cheap, too~ a person can get crap sushi in DC for so much more money than this.

My Experience:

I woke up late today so I decided to just walk to Sushi Taro without eating breakfast, which took about 15 minutes. Sushi Taro is located on top of the CVS at the intersection of 17th Street NW and P St NW. Normally people would just pass by it because it is such a small sign, especially since it is on top of another store.

I was seated promptly, as there weren't that many people at the restaurant. I was asked to eat at the bar, however, because I was a single diner. I had fun staring at the Japanese sakes while waiting for the food. The waitress was friendly, and refilled my tea when I needed it (unlike some other DC restaurants that even charge for the tea! Sushi Taro tea was free ^^)

Since I had the bento box last time, I decided to get the Bara Chirashi Set ($18) since I didn't know what Chirashi was (I just wikipedia'd it), and because it was expensive I thought it had to be good.

The set came with chawanmushi (which I have eaten before, but of which I didn't know the name):

And also with miso soup:

The miso tasted kind of funny, though. Anyway, the chirashi came and I was shocked. It was huge!

Like the "jewel box" the website described it as, it really was filled with all sorts of goodies - from tuna to unagi to sponge cake to salmon roe, it had everything! Well, except for the vegetables the description mentioned.

And I took a picture of the napkin, because I am weird like that. They have really nice napkins with a really cool logo. Legitly Japanese ;)

Price Range: $$
For a sushi restaurant, the price is actually not too high. The daily special contains loads of stuff and only costs $12 including two side dishes (today's was fried shrimp curry, but I didn't feel like eating fried things). It really depends on how much one wants to spend on lunch, since all the items on the menu are enough to satisfy one's lunch cravings.
As for dinner, it gets more complicated. Sushi Taro is known for its kaiseki dinners which cost $75+ per person. I want to try it, but it's just awkward eating such a fancy dinner by myself even though I'm the type of person who would go any length for good food.
Environment: 4.5/5 - awesome
Clean, classy, nice decor. I'm giving it a "great" rating because though dress code is casual, the restaurant has that classy Japanese joint feel and is not populated by ignorant non-sushi eaters (well, the guy sitting next to me asked for a spoon for the miso... you just don't drink miso with a spoon...) and actually has Japanese people eating there, which means the stuff is legit. Waiters/tresses are courteous. Though the restaurant isn't that big, its small size makes the space feel cozy and personal, and the tempo is slowed down because of that. Overall, I like the feel of the restaurant.
Food: 5/5 - nomworthy
First time seeing me use "nomworthy," eh? Well, it's nomworthy because it's really good! The fish was really fresh (well, if I don't say anything bad about it tomorrow it means I didn't die, so wait till tomorrow), the presentation is beautiful, it came with side dishes (I love those), and the portion was really reasonable for the amount paid.
The bento box I had last time was really good, too! Lots of variety for such a small sum! I had a taiyaki for dessert last time, and it tasted good, albeit a bit dry. Finally, the tea was complimentary which is a plus because DC Asian joints are cray cray for charging money for tea!
Overall: 5/5 - nomworthy
Certainly the best Japanese restaurant I have visited since coming to DC (believe me - I've gone to at least 5 "Japanese" restaurants and this is the only authentic one with authentic Japanese people who make the food - even the front desk lady speaks Japanese!). I look forward to eating at Sushi Taro again, hopefully for a kaiseki meal.

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