2012 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012
Flying solo, I like to sit at a stool here and let the cooks behind the counter keep me company. With pals, I head upstairs to a room with an unfinished ceiling but a clean aesthetic. Wherever I land, I know I can count on seductive Japanese food from chef Hiroshi Seki, a relative newcomer to Washington but not to fresh fish and sharp knives. His menu is divided into categories based on raw, fried and grilled preparations, a favorite of which are glazed chicken meatballs, their centers fluffy as mousse. With luck, among the specials will be poached squid dappled with bright basil sauce, spinach made creamy with tofu, and miso soup floating pork belly and konnyaku (Japanese yam cake). Patrons sip as happily as they graze; trust a server to point you to something cool and clean on the long list of sakes. Seki co-owns the slender space with his daughter, Cizuka, who serves as general manager and as trusted guide to the offerings. Hear that? The best possible music to my ears is the sound of so many guests speaking Japanese.
The good news is their tempura and chicken meatballs are wonderful, and the atmosphere encourages spontaneity and a fun light dining experience.
The bad news is they won't allow you to carry out these great dishes. I have friends in occasionally, and need to serve a quick dinner here, not at a restaurant... Hope they amend this and allow carry out soon!
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