An evening at Tokyo Japanese Steak House generally includes dinner and a show, but it’s not live music or dancing, and each group of diners gets their own performance. Guests sit down at U-shaped tables built around grills, where chefs theatrically slice, toss, and sizzle teppanyaki dishes. Guests can choose a single protein or a combination—including filet mignon and shrimp—which are seared amid plumes of steam and fire before their very eyes. More mellow meals take place at the sushi and noodle bar, where patrons look on as chefs meticulously build smoked salmon nigiri and Japanese lasagna, a baked California roll with secret sauce.
The dishes pair perfectly with their slew of Asian-inspired drinks. In addition to pouring sake and Sapporo, the bartenders mix specialty cocktails, such as the Tokyo sunrise with tequila, plum wine, and pineapple juice.
The menu at Kushi is swimming with savory sushi treats and grilled delicacies. Fresh maki is skillfully rolled with yellowtail and scallion or salmon and avocado ($7 each) before being sliced into six easily consumable pieces. Kushi provides a bevy of combination platters for indecisive eaters, such as the bara chirashi with assorted sashimi diced and mixed into sushi rice ($27), or the chef’s choice, which features twelve miscellaneous sushi creations ($40). The authentic robata charcoal grill produces refined tailgate-worthy treats, including salmon fillet ($9) and mahogany quail stuffed with duck-sausage ($12). Working on the basic principal that meals taste better on a stick, a variety of kushiyaki (skewered) eats are offered, such as pork-stuffed shishito pepper ($5). Round out the feast with a special house-blend seaweed salad ($6).
Every Wednesday and Thursday night at Zen Bistro & Wine Bar, melodies of live musicians fill the air and swirl with the aromas of Pan-Asian specialties. Behind the scenes, the kitchen staff prepares sushi rolls, entrees, and Asian-style tapas to serve alongside their carefully selected wines or cocktails. Meanwhile, patrons soak in the serene décor, gazing at stone fountains and lush plants while resting after a long day of re-painting neighborhood taxi cabs into police cars.
Made to be shared with tablemates, the tapas dishes include specialties like fried-chicken curry puffs, crunchy calamari with mixed greens, or crispy wonton spring rolls. Dinner specialties include five-spice roasted duck, braised lemongrass lamb chops, and hawaiian chicken with pineapple and cashew nuts.
Wasabi cycles through a seasonally fresh assortment of bold ingredients, which come in plenty of forms beyond the roll variety. Most plates are moderately priced and portioned with the intention of pairing. Start out raw with fresh sashimi, such as salmon ($4) or yellow tail ($5), or snag a more complicated arrangement of wasabi and pork shumai dumplings in a vinegar chili soy sauce ($4). Give any plate wings by pairing it with a four-glass sake flight ($7–$20).
When it first opened in March of 2001, Tsunami Sushi & Lounge was on the vanguard of local businesses and shops to settle and thrive in the 14th street corridor near Thomas Circle. Today, the ultramodern lounge relishes in its place as a nerve center for nightlife, treating guests to fresh maki and nigiri, as well as lip-smacking udon, steak, and tempura dishes. Strings of sparkling crystal globes form huge overhanging chandeliers that cast twinkling light upon brick walls, eggshell-white armchairs, and black leather benches. Guests follow a glass-lined staircase up to the restaurant's second story, gazing out upon the bustling streetscapes and poorly hidden bald spots on the sidewalk below.
Café Asia's menu reads like a jetsetter's dream itinerary. Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, and Vietnam. These seven East Asian countries may be the starting point for the eclectic lineup of spring rolls, ramen, fried rice, panggang, and noodle bowls, but it's Café Asia's chefs who take it to new places. The Vietnamese grilled pork demands special attention; chefs marinate the meat overnight with lime, garlic, fish sauce, and pepper. Café Asia could easily stand on its own as a sushi bar, however. Contemporary twists on traditional rolls have led to creations such as the eight-piece cajun roll with crawfish tail, sriracha, spicy mayo, and diced jalapeño, which is the world's spiciest fish.
The food's diversity has won many fans. In an article published on January 3, 2011, Examiner.com rightly noted that the restaurant has "enough choices to please almost any palate." The Washington Post also noted that the restaurant has hosted such distinguished guests as Dr. Jill Biden. Two full-service bars and a lounge allow Café Asia to host a slate of special events each year, including its New Year's Eve party.