The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2016 Fall Dining Guide.
Nobu Yamazaki might not have the name recognition of some of the city’s leading chefs, but for fish fanatics in particular, he’s as much a master of his craft as anyone. To catch his act, you have to book ahead for one of six seats at an oak counter on the second floor of the venerable Sushi Taro. Dinner is omakase (“chef’s choice,” starting at $140) of whatever is prime and in season: skewered Japanese ginkgo nuts stuffed with fish cake; an abalone shell nestling sea urchin and shrimp with shimmering fish jelly; panko-crusted Wagyu beef; superlative sushi, culled from pristine fish displayed in half a dozen lacquered boxes. The intimate environment means the chef is never more than an arm’s reach away and your interaction is sprinkled with pearls of wisdom. Japanese chefs, for instance, judge one another by the care they take with their knives. Yamazaki is as impressive a host as he is a chef.
Sushi Taro: 1503 17th St. NW. 202-462-8999. sushitaro.com.
Prices: Prix fixe $90-$180.
Sound check: 60 decibels / Conversation is easy.