Ramen, sushi, proper izakaya chicken wings, prawn and black cod gyozas, soft-shell crab tempura...the variety of Japanese dishes available at DC's best Japanese restaurants is delightfully dizzying. Here's where to go.
This second outpost of Chef Daisuke Nakazawa’s critically acclaimed sushi house is elegant and intimate with dark wood and gold accents. Ingredients are sourced both locally and from abroad and each course is presented like a revelation—from bright orange spring salmon with glossy soy to firm cuttlefish with shiso leaf and plum sauce.
Well-made drinks, an impressive listing of Japanese whiskey and a range of succulent Japanese fare highlighting robata-grilled preparations and sushi are the order of the day. Start off with the Toki old fashioned to accompany dishes that includes prawn and black cod gyoza, skewered chicken wings, soft-shell crab maki and yuzu cheesecake.
Fried chicken steamed buns; lightly battered and delicately fried enoki mushrooms; or pork dumplings are a good way to start things off. The Toki classic with chashu pork and a soft egg is a signature dish, and the broth is slurp-worthy. Its stick-to-your-bones porky intensity is especially memorable.
Carefully composed bowls feature thin, chewy, house-made noodles accompanied by delicate broths with nuance and depth. The signature bowl is a smoky, triple-threat combination of tonkotsu, chicken chintan and dashi. The soy-sauce-based truffle shoyu, which also features meaty cuts of pork belly, spinach and bamboo shoots, warrants slurping. Vegan ramen is also available.
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