Sushi Taro – Washington, D.C.
1503 17th St NW
I came across Sushi Taro when staying in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C. on a recent business trip. It happened to be closest sushi restaurant in the area, so it only helped that it had pretty good reviews on Urbanspoon.
As I walked up the flight of stairs off 17th street to the second floor dining room, the hostess seemed surprised that I didn’t have reservations and they only had seating at the bar.
Settling in, I found that they have an extensive list of beers that aren’t typically available at your neighborhood sushi restaurant including Coedo Brewery, Echigo Brewing Company, Yo-Ho Brewing Company and Ginga Kogen Beer Company. I ordered the INDO no AOONI ($10) an IPA from Nagano, Japan.
Looking for a seaweed salad, I found “MOZUKU-SU” ($6) listed at the top, saw that it had the word “seaweed” in it and ordered it. The server was very quick to try and talk me out of it: “it’s not what you think it is, do you want normal seaweed salad?” On closer review “mozuku-su” is described as “slimly angel hair seaweed in dashi vinegar.” How bad could it be? “Ehh, whatever, I’ll try it.” It came served in a soup bowl with a lot of real seaweed soaked in a lot of vinegar with an egg possibly cooked sunny side up, or possibly cooked once cracked into the vinegar. Not sure where the egg was from but it looked too small to be a chicken egg. The dish had a strong vinegar flavor and was chilled and crisp. The consistency, however, was less than settling — the only thing I can liken it to is “snot-like.” It was all very slimy and, once I had the comparison to snot in my head, I had trouble finishing it. But, other than that, it was a unique dish that was quite interesting to try.
Next, very interested in some quality sushi, I ordered the SUSHI JO ($29.75). The waitress explained that there are two menus, one featuring local fish and another that changes more often (daily?) featuring fish flown in from Japan (!). Served with 8 pieces of nigiri (chef’s choice) and 1 roll, the SUSHI JO is essentially a sampler of the imported fish. It was really great-tasting fish, and while I’m no expert, I’m pretty sure salmon, tuna, yellowtail, caviar and shrimp were on the plate. It was a stark but excellent contrast to most of the very tough sushi I’ve had before–this fish almost melted in you mouth; an almost butter-like consistency. Many were naturally salty and fishy-tasting.
BOTTOM LINE: The sushi at Sushi Taro is flown in from Japan, resulting in some of the best fish I’ve ever sampled. Definitely worth the visit.