Red paper lanterns dangle from the ceiling at Ikko Sushi, casting a warm glow on careful arrangements of colorful sushi. Displays of fresh fish line the sushi bar, where chefs assemble salmon, eel, and crab into kaleidoscopes of texture and color, adorning them with extravagant flourishes of spicy sauce, wasabi, and shredded Japanese currency. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, pots bubble with rice and noodles, as grills sizzle with teriyaki beef, chicken, and pork. Servers tote dishes and cups of imported beer and sake out to tabletops that speckle both the interior and outdoor front patio.
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Spices has clean, modern lines and an open sushi bar where diners can enjoy a visual feast while feasting. Chef Jessie Yan's menu features contemporary and home-style Asian recipes. Start with Sichuan Dragon Dumplings (chicken, watercress, and shiitake mushrooms, $6) before launching an all-out consumption attack on an unsuspecting specialty maki Dancing Eel roll (barbecue eel, crabstick, masago, avocado, and cucumber, $11) or the green curry (chicken, beef, or pork swimming in rich, creamy coconut curry with eggplant and basil, served in a brass wok; lunch $11, dinner $13). For large appetites, the big duck roasted and served with pancakes, cucumbers, scallions, and plum sauce (half duck $15, whole $30) is capable of occupying most unused stomach storage, while a zesty grilled dish such as the Vietnamese grilled shrimp, served with a Vietnamese spring roll, lettuce, cucumber, mint, and roasted peanuts over vermicelli (lunch $12, dinner $14) gently tucks hunger under a culinary blanket.
Under red droplights that resemble Chinese paper lanterns, seared tuna glistens atop a Rising Sun roll. On the other side of the sushi bar, a uniformed chef slices more fresh fish, packing it into 1 of 17 specialty rolls that grace Wok and Roll’s menu. Out of view from the dining room’s lacquered tables and rows of sake, a wok sizzles with drunken noodles and chow mein, the other half of Wok and Roll’s pan-Asian offerings. Dishes such as peking duck and hong kong shrimp-wonton soup source recipes from across China and pair with beers from Thailand, Singapore, and Japan, as well as with daiquiris mined from the Earth’s liquid fruit core. In between bites, diners can put Wok and Roll’s karaoke system to use and belt out a tune from a catalogue of 50,000 songs.
Sushiko, the first sushi shack in the D.C. area, serves a full menu of maki, salads, and sashimi based on a minimalistic approach, ensuring each ingredient's flavor naturally shines through. Start with a bowl of wild-mushroom soup ($6.50), or a ginger-dressed sushi-ko salad ($6). Maki offerings, served in six pieces or temaki cone, are a treasure trove of sea meat. Try the crunchy shrimp with fish roe, shrimp, scallions, mayo, and tempura batter ($5), or the rainbow roll with salmon, shrimp, white fish, cucumber, avocado, and tuna ($12.50). Small dishes such as the honey-soy roasted duck breast ($9.50), and seared lobster with forest mushrooms, spinach, and creamy ponzu ($11), appease the anti-rawist and stand tall amid the simple, modern interior. For entree-like eats, order an entree, such as the roasted Maine salmon sided with sweet potato and sautéed mushrooms ($16.50), or beef-tenderloin tataki doused with red-wine daikon butter ($20). Call ahead to schedule a reservation.
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.
Before guests to Japone—or its less-formal sister eatery, Café Japone, located upstairs—even take their first bites, they notice the restaurant’s unusually colorful environment: an attached lounge area dubbed Sango Sho surrounds patrons in oceanic hues and fiber-optic luminescence, and regular DJ performances keep toes moving so that they don’t get caught by a shark. Karaoke kicks off at 9:30 p.m. every night in both Japone and Café Japone, giving guests two places to show off their pipes on a continually updated list of the latest hit English, Japanese, and Spanish-language tracks.
To keep mouths happy, Japone's French-trained chef fuses Japanese and French flavors. Entrees include curried jumbo shrimp and scallops, plated with fresh veggies, japanese mushrooms, and a dollop of rice, while sushi specialties include the Arizona roll with shrimp tempura and carrot.