Why does DC have TERRIBLE sushi?

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Topic: Why does DC have TERRIBLE sushi?

Food and Dining February 27, 2013 at 10:04 am

Why does DC have TERRIBLE sushi?

Admittedly I have come from Los Angeles California to DC. DC has quite the culinary scene, however all of the sushi places have the same menu and hence the same problems. Why is there almost no creativity in the design of sushi in this city. Every place has the same crappy ‘spicy crunchy tuna rolls’ and other small assorted weak rolls like that.
Where I come from sushi rolls look like the attached photo…They are fresh, and generous with the portions of fish. They make great combinations, like Spicy Tuna and Albacore, or California Rolls covered in a large portion of baked scallops. Spicy Tuna is supposed to be whipped up in a bowl with delicious flavor… not just Tuna with pepper and sirachi on it I mean cmon! I feel like the places here are so stingy with the fish, and all the rolls are rolled into TINY pieces. WHY does DC feel the need to do this? Not only are they stingy with fish but with veggies as well… cucumber and avocado should come standard with most rolls! One good sushi place that made California style sushi would absolutely clean up around here.
True that if one has mad $$ they can afford to go to places like TARO or KO (which i dont think is very good) and have high quality product, but even there no one is whipping up delicious large rolls. One place that rolled up delicious rolls that are affordable would absolutely clean up, why are there no places like that here in DC? Maybe people don’t know what they are missing, but for every fancy French or Italian restaurant that opens up on 14th St. I lament the lack of a delicious, generous sushi establishment like I am so used to in California. Can someone please help?? AM I missing something? Thanks PoPville
(Photo from this yelp page… http://www.yelp.com/biz/revolving-sushi-cho-cho-san-tarzana)

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What you are missing is simply that LA has amazing sushi. I haven’t been to Japan, but I’ve never had sushi as amazing as in LA. Sushi in DC and most places is uninspired, small, boring. I think DC (probably similar to most cities) is general bandwagon when it comes to restaurants. i.e. someone opens a great [insert food type] place, and all of a sudden 4 more [insert food type] places open up. All we need is one great sushi place and more will come and/or others will step up their game. Until then…you just have to go back to LA for amazing sushi.

I think Asia Nine has some creative and really good sushi rolls.  Probably not as good as in CA, but they do a good job for a reasonable price and a decent atmosphere.

Have you tried Sticky Rice? It’s nothing mind blowing, but they do get more creative with their combinations and rolls – I really enjoy it.

Try Asian Spice near Gallery Place – they have some yummy sushi and one of the best calamari salads anywhere. 

Try Kaz as well.  Kaz is the real deal (you want to try blowfish, you go to him) and some of his combinations are a little different.  The quality is also very high.  Makoto is the REAL real deal, via Japan rather than California, but that sounds less like what you’re looking for.
If you’re locked into giant rolls, you might be out of luck.

Ugh…Asia 9 has terrible sushi.  Sticky Rice also terrible.  If you want really, really, reallly, really good sushi, go to Sushi Taro.  It’s not cheap, but if you go during happy hour and sit at the (small) bar, it’s half off.  Happy hour starts at 5:30 and there are usually a handful of people waiting to get in.
Trust me.  It’s the best in town.

I think the problem here is that photo. Where’s the fish? All I see is a pile of slop smothering fish. It’s sushi for people who hate the taste of sushi. I guess this is a Cali thing, but you’re not going to find fist-sized hunks of fish smothered in a bunch of glop in DC.

Put me in the Kaz crowd too. That photo shows a lot of crap thrown on top of what is probably mediocre fish and way too much rice. Kaz is where you get the real quality fish, made the way sushi should be, more fish than rice. It’s also the only place around here I’ve found Hawaiian walu, which is like eating butter. But better. And the spicy green mussels are to die for.

I am slightly nervous about doing this… because it’s already a crowded place… but they’re so amazing and it sounds like what you’re looking for…. try Yuraku in Germantown.  I know… it’s not DC… but I promise it’s worth the drive.  http://www.yuraku.com/

The best sushi I’ve had recently was at Kushi.  I agree that some restaurants serve absolutely horrible spicy tuna – you have to pay the price for good sushi in DC (I agree with recs for Kaz and Sushi Taro), probably because we don’t have the same market here for high quality fish and produce as they do in CA (as someone else mentioned). Fwiw, my favorite sushi roll in the city is the double salmon roll at Tono sushi in Woodley Park.

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