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Oh Fish! Maki Sushi Joint by Kaz Closes Downtown

by Prince Of Petworth July 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm 17 Comments

1103 19th Street, NW

Oh Fish! first opened up back in July 2011. Oh Fish! was from Kaz Okochi owner of Kaz Sushi Bistro at 1915 I Street, NW. Not sure exactly what day they closed but @melissaeweiss tweeted us the heads up of the closure on Friday. Oh Fish’s website is no longer active. Updates when we learn who takes over the space.


  • jumpingjack

    Very sad. This was one of my favorite lunch spots. But I’ll admit, it never seemed to catch on – it wasn’t that busy.

  • iaom

    1103 19th Street, where small business goes to die.

  • tim

    This street is tough. Just walking around the area yesterday thinking how dead it is outside of office hours. Must be tough on retail. You’re paying a lease for 100% of the time, but can only really make money during the office lunch rush.

    Seems you either need to be a low expense, high volume lunch counter or a “destination” type restaurant to make it over there.

    • Anonymous

      yeah, and is just me, or do some of these generic downtown storefronts blend together, in the name of cohesion or whatever. also yeah, eye st seems like a dead zone within that area..

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, this part of the city wasn’t really designed when the “liveable, walkable” mantra was in full force. The streetscape is designed to funnel people from metro, to work, to quick lunch spot, to happy hour spot, to CVS, and back to metro. It doesn’t draw in people that aren’t there already for work.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe a less hokey name would have helped. And yeah, this isn’t a location most people go to unless they happen to work right there.

  • tim

    Off topic, but I’m curious if there is ever a way to “fix” this part of town? Maybe better retail architecture would help. But, it doesn’t seem to address the fundemental 9-5 office ghetto problem. Other cities have been making progress by adding more mixed use (i.e. housing) to their central districts.

    But, a “living” downtown IMO is basically a non starter in DC given the high price office space. Plus, our downtown is so physically huge there is way too much streetscape to ever annimate it all short of NYC style redevelopment.

  • BB

    I think some infill residential development in the downtown area could work and would solve such problems.

  • jcindc

    Eh, there’s a reason why it didn’t make it, and it’s not the location. Chop’t, which is next door, is always mobbed at lunch with lines through the door. There aren’t any real sushi options nearby, and the take-out idea was a good one. However, the rolls were small (with very little fish) and expensive and I didn’t always receive the best customer service.

    They had the capability to order online, which I used once. Unfortunately, I got delayed at work and had to wait an hour before going to pick it up. My rolls were ready when I picked it up, but they didn’t keep them cool. They were just sitting on the counter, apparently, for the entire time. When they handed me the box, I could tell that they had gone warm. After I asked, they made me a new one, but not without giving me a hard time (and they put it in the same container as my warm rolls). How was I supposed to know that they didn’t refrigerate their online orders once prepared – it wasn’t disclosed on the online order system? Seems like an important issue when dealing with raw fish. I didn’t go back after this.

    • AMDCer

      Nooshi is just across the street and has sushi, as well as a tako-out area and call-in options. The sushi might not be the same quality, but it’s reasonably good. When I worked over on 20th St I went to Oh Fish just once – not that great for the price. Nooshi was my go-to spot for a sushi lunch, and service was always good.

      • AMDCer

        “take-out” – I wouldn’t usually bother to correct that, but since “tako” is also a Japanese word I didn’t want to confuse!

      • Nooshi is so noisy, esp after work when it fills with drunk hipsters.

      • jcindc

        True – I always forget about Nooshi. I never bought into their name/concept change (always still think of them as merely Oodles Noodles) so I’ve never tried their sushi. I have trouble taking seriously sushi from an “asian fusion” place. I guess I should check them out.

    • DCDC

      FYI, Sushi is not supposed to be refrigerated because once rice gets cold, it gets tough and doesn’t taste good. That is why supermarket sushi doesn’t taste as good. Sushi rice has vinegar which prevents sushi from getting bad quickly. Did you call them and let them know you would be late to pick up? Sounds like it was your fault.

  • OhAOh

    I wasn’t a big fan. The times I have been, I left hungry, despite spending over $15. I’m sad to see it leave because maybe it means the fast sushi concept isn’t very viable. I would love to have quality sushi, a few times a week, at a reasonable price from a fast/casual place rather than always having to go/pickup from restaurants. Hopefully others will try this again in the area and find a way to make it work. I know there are a couple other fast sushi places around DC, but the quality is terribly low. Bring it closer the circle where there is more residential, I’ll go often!

  • Bummer. The concept, the execution, the vibe, the reasonable price, all awesome.

  • Anonymous

    As some people have said, it’s not the location. There are a lot of places that do well there. There’s Nooshi, which does well. There’s the Greek Deli that has a line that stretches out into the street every day. I never went there, but I know a lot of people who did, and they just weren’t impressed with what you get for your money.


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