Sushi aficionados know to give this beloved Dupont Circle gem a pass for its odd location—adjacent to a large-chain pharmacy and accessed by a short flight of steps. However, the interior then opens up into a comfortable and warmly attended dining room. Sushi Taro may offer a solid à la carte and numerous tasting menus, but the overall experience at the omakase counter is truly stellar.
Scoring a meal at said counter proves challenging since seats can only be booked online, via e-mail, 30 days in advance. Once secured, a reservation here grants entrée to a cloistered room where Chefs Nobu Yamazaki and Masaya Kitayama cater to a mere handful of diners.
Following the construct of kaiseki, the meal is a series of artistically composed courses, such as grilled marinated tuna cheek or squid ink-tinted soft-shell crab tempura. The experience hits its apex come sushi time when the chefs present a stack of boxes stocked with an immense selection of fish arranged by type, and then invite diners to make selections from this bounty, which are then knifed into sashimi. An equally superb nigiri course follows, allowing further opportunity to delve deeper into the jaw-dropping assemblage.