2007 Fall Dining Guide By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007
"Omakase" has become my mantra at most Japanese restaurants, and here's why: When you ask the cooks behind the sushi counter for what translates as "chef's choice," you get to see what they think is best at that particular moment. And so it was that I found myself on a stool at the city's premiere (and longest-lived) sushi bar recently, enjoying course after fresh little course: raw salmon garnished with bright orange roe and sweet red onions; see-through slices of flounder decorated with crunchy bits of fried sweet potato; a warm mushroom salad; two bites of marinated, fried eel atop a tiny salad of diced cucumber and matchsticks of radish; piping hot rock shrimp in a light tempura, with dips of green tea salt and yuzu remoulade; plus a plate of sushi -- buttery toro, jackfish, pearly sweet shrimp and sea-fresh uni simply brushed with a sauce of mirin, sake and soy sauce. Each bite transported me. Cool aside: Head chef Koji Terano had the day off on my visit, but you'd never know by the look and taste of his underlings' fine handiwork. Better yet, there's more where that came from: Sushi-Ko is poised to open a bigger, sexier branch in Chevy Chase.
I've been going to Sushi Ko for over 20 years and it's always been a favorite treat for birthdays, Mothers Day, friends or family in town - any excuse to eat good sushi. I've seen it transform from a tiny little hole in the wall to an expanded and more glamourous spot and during all of this time the sushi has been top notch. For 15 of the last 20 years, we've driven into the city from Northern VA for our sushi. We've tried many sushi restaurants and always thought Sushi Ko had the freshest, most creative offerings and by far the best spicy tuna. Unfortunately this is no longer true. We had a very disappointing meal for my daughters' birthday this past week. The menu has changed and many of the creative specials and starters are gone.
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