Perry's is a funky restaurant, filled with loud music, where Japanese food is served by an international mix of enthusiastic young people. The menu combines Japanese tradition with eclectic inventions. Among the appetizers, yakitori and Oysters Perry Style stand out; tempura entrees are also rewarding. The focus of the kitchen, though, is raw fish -- sushi and sashimi. Available by the piece for $1.50 to $2 or in assortments, the sushi are expertly constructed of fish that is more or less dewy fresh, depending on the day. Combinations not frequently offered included flounder with shisho leaves, yellowtail with scallions, eel with cucumber. Standing above the crowd are Perry's stunning presentations : maki, rolled in black sesame seeds, topped with flying fish roe and shaped into petals forming a flower, then decorated with asparagus and real flowers.

A few dishes are just middling -- miso soup, Salmon Perry Style and Double S Balls (skewered seafoods and shiitakes) -- and on recent visits, the sushi rice was warm, the fried beef dish was greasy and the stuffed chicken was dull and soggy. Sometimes the food can be served faster than a speeding bullet train but at Perry's they don't mind you lingering with a bottle of Sapporo draft beer. Perry's is a gathering place for an evening of funky fun and uncommonly creative food. 1811 Columbia Rd., NW. 234- 6218. D $5-$12.50. D daily. AE, MC, V. No res. Full bar.