Japanese Restaurants in Foggy Bottom

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Chefs at i-Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar lean on the sweetness of ripe mango, the distinctive aromas of kefir lime leaves, and the bright greens, yellows, and reds of spicy thai chili pastes. Inside the dining areas, natural light streams in through the windows, flitting through the steam that rises from crispy soft shell crabs with saut?ed shiitake mushrooms and a garlic?black bean sauce and orders of fried rice with crispy basil. The chefs don?t limit themselves to Thai staples, though. They also fill the menu with a variety of Japanese classics, such as tempura-fried shrimp, beef teriyaki, and platters of nigiri and sashimi.

Mocha-hued chairs, dark wooden tables, and a fireplace with an ornate mantel all lend a stately vibe to the dining room?s ambiance. Additionally, a large painting of a southeastern Asian village and a bold, crimson accent wall add splash of color amid the space?s rich earth tones and exposed brickwork.

3003 M Street Northwest
Washington,
DC
US

Maté specializes in creating original sushi rolls with a Latin twist ($8–$15). The restaurant's novel nibbles include the Buenos Aires roll, a combination of jumbo lump crab, torched salmon, and tempura crunch; the Tamalito roll, a sweet and spicy mélange of yellowtail jalapeno, avocado, plantain, and corn masa wrapped in daikon skin; and the Mar del Plata roll, a cornucopia of lobster, cucumber, soy nori, chives, and avocado. Maté boasts a selection of seven ceviches, cooked with citric acid to heat-free perfection ($10–$17). For Asian-influenced Asian fare, select one of the restaurant's traditional sashimi, maki, or nigiri options. While relishing rolls or sipping sake from the sleek aluminum bar, diners can luxuriate in Maté's elegant atmosphere or try to blend in with the crimson décor by sharing embarrassing stories about email typos.

3101 K Street Northwest
Washington,
DC
US

Born and raised in Nagoya, Japan, Chef Kazuhiro Okochi spent years mastering the deceptive simplicity of traditional Japanese cuisine. After graduating from the Tsuji Culinary Institute, he remained in Osaka for an additional five years, formally studying the intricacies of sushi preparation. This highly practiced attention to detail is apparent at Kaz Sushi , where Chef Okochi's staff seeks out a specific strain of domestic, short-grain rice, tailoring the amount of water as well as the length of the cooking time to account for the season and even the day's weather. They also import soy sauce from a microbrewery in Japan (and make their own, individual blend in-house), and they even use aged red rice vinegar instead of more conventional varieties that haven't had a chance to really live yet. However, Chef Okochi isn't interested in merely recreating centuries-old Japanese recipes--he fully commits to modernizing these perfected dishes by introducing Western flavors. Chef Okochi refers to this culinary style as "freestyle Japanese cuisine," and it is easy to see why: sushi rolls can contain inventive additions such as mint, pickled pineapple and basil, or even spicy tomato sauce. Diners can order from the menu or choose to place their full faith in Chef Okochi and his team by ordering one of several "omakase" tasting menus that allow the chefs complete freedom to use the day's freshest seafood and produce to make flavorful--and occasionally original--creations. As The Washington Post described the experience, "to eat omakase at Kaz Sushi Bistro is to watch a little magic show-and to stretch your idea of Japanese cuisine."

1915 I St NW
Washington,
DC
US

True to its name, Hashi Sushi Georgetown's culinary craftsmen bundle and roll a variety of sushi rolls, but that's not the only recipe in the restaurant's cookbook. The chefs also acquaint diners with traditional Japanese and Korean dishes they may not have tried, such as fresh udon or ramen noodle soups tossed with breaded tonkatsu, or bento boxes of spicy bulgogi strewn with kimchi. On the weekends, the restaurant combines its dignified sushi-bar airs with a burst of nightlife fun replete with sake bombs and energetic crowds, before turning back into a pumpkin at 11 p.m.

1073 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington,
DC
US

Chopsticks China Bistro & Sushi Bar's chefs fill plates with spicy, traditional Chinese cuisine and spin sushi rolls. Feast on a selection from the extensive lunch menu, which includes mongolian beef ($6.79), moo goo gai pan ($6.29), and szechuan-braised chicken and shrimp ($7.29) and earn sides such as fried rice and crab rangoon. The dinner menu lists larger dishes, such as the ginger lobster tail, a lobster tail with asparagus and snow peas stir-fried in ginger scallion sauce ($18.99), and the steak and scallops, served with black-peppercorn sauce, mushrooms, and onions ($16.99). Emerging from the sushi menu are physical tuna, salmon, or squid rolls ($4.59 each) and the sashimi combination plate, featuring an assortment of 15 flavors ($17.99).

1073 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington,
DC
US

The first thing you should do upon stepping inside sunny Rice Bar is examine the chalkboard menu, which will lead you step by step through the creation of your own bibimbap. Start with white, black, or brown rice, then choose from toppings such as roasted seaweed, bamboo shoots, and teriyaki chicken.

1020 19th Street Northwest
Washington,
DC
US