325 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
Mondays – Fridays, 12 PM – 2:30 PM, 5 PM – 9:30 PM
Saturdays, 5 PM – 9:30 PM
This is a sushi restaurant that is chef-owned and ran by Chef Minoru Ogawa. He is a trained sushi specialist and he was in charge of all the sushi preparation/quality control/menu of the Mandarin hotels.
John, the awesome and most friendliest manager ever, gave us a brief history about the restaurant as well as how humble and wonderful Chef Ogawa is.
My husband and I first came in for lunch, literally the first ones through the door. We were seated promptly, and we had a chance to look at the menu. The server, Keegan, was super awesome as well – everyone had just a great sense of humor and just so unbelievably nice! I wanted to try out the Chef Omakase, but the chef himself had to be there; I was so disappointed, and thought that we would probably just had to come back another time. However, my husband, with his supersonic ears, overheard a conversation, mentioning the word ‘wagyu.’ He asked John and Keegan about it, and they said that they just received a shipment from Tokyo – yes, LEGIT Kobe beef! Yahoo! They were planning on serving it for dinner; so, we had a very light lunch (since we were there anyway).
My husband had the Chicken Karrage (deep fried chicken, Japanese style, on a bed of lettuce), and I had the Oo’toro nigiri (extra fatty tuna). The chicken was fried perfectly and great with the soy sauce; I enjoyed my nigiri as I just loooove fatty tuna.
We made reservations for that same evening. We were seated at the sushi bar, with Chef Ogawa himself, as well as two other sushi chefs. We had the Chef Omakase (which is a minimum of 2 orders as you get a sampling of one each) – you basically trust the chef for him to serve a combination of sushi, sashimi, and rolls, based on the most freshest items he has.
The experience was unbelievably AMAZING. Each item we received was so fresh, so delicious, and you don’t even have to use soy sauce (I have a habit of dipping everything into soy sauce – I am so glad I didn’t and was able to enjoy the freshness and loveliness of each piece); we had a chance to try out Sawagari, fried soft shell crab, flying fish, striped jack, amber jack, etc. I couldn’t believe how delicious the Japanese tamago egg was – slightly sweet but sooooo good!!!
We ordered 3 differently-prepared wagyu – an appetizer where it’s generously-sliced, flamed in front of you, with lovely sauce; nigiri style (yum yum yum); as well as a a tataki style (just with salt and pepper) – the Kobe literally melted in my mouth, and it was just so unbelievably flavorful and delicious!!! My husband literally died and continues to be in a state of bliss.
My favorite was the Oo’toro, as it was buttery and delicious, and I have always been a fan of the fatty tuna – nom nom nom. I even ordered an extra oo’toro temaki, as it was just so delicious and the generous amount of the fatty tuna lined up throughout the temaki (and not just bunched on top).
The chef himself was so unbelievably awesome and soooo skilled – I could literally just sit there and stare at him make the sushi all day long – so peaceful! I had mini crushes on him and the rest of the staff; I just am such a huge fan of this place!
I cannot wait to go back, and I can literally say that DC finally has a genuine and a legitimate sushi restaurant!!! YAY!!! The restaurant itself is small, so reservations are highly recommended.
+Omakase with Chef Ogawa