When we walked into Murasaki in Tenleytown on Thursday night, it was practically empty. And when we left a few hours later? Not an empty seat in the house. Always nice to have a little affirmation of one's restaurant choice. We've never eaten at Murasak; I was craving Japanese and we both wanted to try a new place.
We were there for Valentine's dinner and arrived about 10 minutes early for our reservation and decided to sit at the sushi bar. My preference is to sit at the bar -- sushi or otherwise -- to eat. There were four sushi chefs working away through the evening, and as the place filled up, the wait staff and the chefs moved faster, moving and carrying plates of beautifully orchestrated sushi.
The space is simple -- nothing fancy, but that's not at all true of the food. The Japanese flavors are there in full force, and every morsel was satisfying. The restaurant is located near American University and we had several small groups of students sitting next to us throughout our meal -- quick sushi dinners and they were out the door; and then the next group of students took their place. And it being Valentine's Day, couples everywhere.
I started off with warm sake (Eric had cold), followed by seaweed salad and miso soup. Seaweed salad in my experience can be dicey (well, okay, everything can be dicey). My favorite seaweed salad have been had at Matuba (Bethesda) and now Murasaki. Sushi Ko's (Chevy Chase) seaweed salad is surprisingly bland.
I then ate the Screaming Spicy Roll which is tuna, yellowtail, cilantro, cucumber, and spicy sauce. Oh the cilantro was so intense mixed in with all those flavors. Lovely. I also ate the Spicy Lover Roll (how appropriate for Valentine's Day), which is yellowtail, asparagus, cucumber, and special red pepper sauce. Oh boy...both of these rolls sound so alike, and yet they were not. All very, very delicious. (I don't like to use the word "very" unless it's absolutely necessary and right now it is.)
Both of these items are listed under the "Designer Rolls", and the word designer could be used to describe so much on the Murasaki menu. We were able to see much of what the chef in front of us put together and truly it was enticing: gorgeous, fresh ingredients, assembled puzzle-style on large and small plates.
Finally, I was curious about the spicy edamame and ordered it as my dessert. I had one piece and had to stop because my mouth was en fuego. Perhaps because my entire meal had been a vat of red hot pepper but I could not go on. Water. Where was the water?!?!
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and will be going back. The service is not overly-friendly, which can be both good and bad when the food is this good. My one complaint is that when the restaurant started filling up, the service at the bar -- well, at least for us -- started getting slower. I asked for a second warm sake and had to ask several servers and the sushi chef if they could fetch our waitress or just fortheloveofeverythingthatisholy get me my warm saki! A lady does not like to be kept waiting for warm saki. Everyone knows this.
|The sushi chef in front of us made this (and below) concoction -- beautiful!|
|A view from outside the restaurant.|
So, I know you're wondering what Eric got me for Valentine's Day. Well, I'll tell you: a year's subscription to US Weekly. Which I ordered. On his behalf. I didn't need any more Awesome Wife points, but here we are.
Happy eating all!
Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar
6620 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016