It used to be that real wasabi addicts, a phrase we almost whispered, were almost an underground cult; if you found a sushi bar that stocked it, you only told your closest friends, the ones as hard-hooked as you. But now happily, there are more and more Japanese restaurants where you can spring for the fresh root -- not actually horseradish, as it's often described, but a sort of Asian hollyhock, and a real sinus-opener. Eat it and weep:

KAZ -- 1915 I St. NW; 202-530-5500. $3 per order.

KONAMI -- 8221 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner; 703-821-3400. $3.50 per order.

OBI SUSHI -- 1771 Library St. in Reston Town Center, Reston; 703-766-7874. $3 per order.

SAKE CLUB -- 2635 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-332-2711. Included in special orders.

SUSHI TARO -- 1503 17th St. NW; 202-462-8999. $2 per order.

SUSHI-KO -- 2309 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-333-4187. $3.50 per order, pictured right.

TACHIBANA -- 6715 Lowell Ave., McLean; 703-847-1771. $3 per order.

TAKO GRILL -- 7756 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-652-7030. 75 cents per order.

UNI -- 2122 P St. NW; 202-833-8038. $2 per order.

YAMAZATO -- 6303 Little River Tnpk., Alexandria; 703-914-8877. $2 per order.

-- Eve Zibart