International Food

Which Japanese restaurant is a representative of local Japanese taste in D.C?


Japanese Ramen_ Photograph by Jeonghyun Kim

Written by Jeonghyun Kim

As an international hub of politics, Washington D.C gathers a lot of internationals due to political officers, organization and cultural exchange program. With the large international population comes a high degree of food consumption.

Even though some international style restaurants feature traditional food on their menu, it is often Americanized.

“Most of Korean restaurants in D.C don’t fulfill my appetite because it is American style Korean food,” said Se Hoon Park, a student at Georgetown University.

Despite the fact that it is hard to find authentic tasting food in D.C., there is some good news for those who are looking for local Japanese food in the area.

Washington D.C shows the continued close friendship between the United States and Japan. The only place other than Japan to watch the cherry blossom is along the Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

D.C has a lot of Cherry tress.                        Photograph by Jeonghyun Kim

D.C has a lot of Cherry tress. Photograph by Jeonghyun Kim

In 1912, Japan gave 3,000 cherry trees to the Washington D.C. and nowadays, the cherry blossom festival in Washington D.C represents a powerful symbol of the friendship between the United States and Japan. Over the years, cherry blossom tress gifts have been exchanged between the two countries.

Yukio Tada, a chairman of the Center for Professional Exchange based in Washington D.C., says that the relationship between Japan and the U.S is good, and he and his organization promote the next generation of American experts on Japan.

One example of the strong relationship between the two countries can be seen in the large number of Japanese restaurants in D.C.

“Most dishes in D.C Japanese restaurants taste very similar to the food in Japan,” said Masaharu Koshikawa, a worker in Washington D.C. from Japan. “In my experience, most Japanese food in the U.S are very different real Japanese food, but D.C has good restaurants.”

The common perception of Japanese cuisine in America is that sushi rolls are commonly eaten in Japan. Sushi rolls, however, are rarely eaten in Japan.

“Japanese food is different from American food,” said Jocelyn Lofstrom, one of advisory council members at KIBO. “Japanese wildly consume rice, grilled fish, and Japanese curry. My favorite Japanese foods are bento (Japanese style lunch box), miso soup and grilled fish.”

If you come to D.C. to visit the Cherry Blossoms and want to eat at a good Japanese restaurant, here’s a list of Japanese cuisine spots which are recommend by Japanese immigrants or people who have lived in Japan for an extended period of time.

Koshikawa recommends the Japanese restaurant, Sushi Taro which is located in 17th and P St in Washington D.C. This restaurant is ranks at 36th on the 100 best U.S restaurants which published by Forbes.

“I especially like Sushi Taro’s grilled fish menu,” said Koshikawa. He added that “restaurant’s Japanese dishes’ taste is very similar to real Japanese local foods.” He usually takes important business partners from Japan to Sushi Taro. “But,” he said, “Sushi Taro is more expensive than other restaurant because of the quality food.”

Another Japanese cuisine which gets the most recommendations among Japanese is Nagomi Izakaya, which is located at 1990 M street NW. Its’ Donburi’s toping, a classic Japanese comfort-food dish with preferred ingredients, has many topping choice, making it extremely tasty. The big benefit of this restaurant is that it’s cheap and delicious. It is generally $12 or less at lunch.


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