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The Early Word on Yo! Sushi's First-Ever US Location

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Photo: Ben Droz/

Yo! Sushi opened up its first-ever US location in Washington's Union Station two weeks ago, bringing with it conveyor-belt sushi from a chain that has widely proliferated throughout the UK. Sure, DC has had some conveyor-belt sushi places in the past — the now-shuttered Wasabi and Sushi-Go-Round in Gallery Place — but it never quite caught on as it has elsewhere. So how has Yo! Sushi's style fared so far in the District? Here now, a look at what the early diners are saying.

The Foursquare News: So far the people of Foursquare really like — or perhaps are even in love with — Yo! Sushi, with one user advising you to order the miso eggplant. [Foursquare]

The Good Vegetarian News: Neighborhood blogger The 42 analyzes the vegetarian options: "Also, there is a ton of vegetarian food. Lots of vegetable maki, veggie yakisoba, tempura, miso, and others I haven't had a chance to try. YO! has a breakout guide with more nutritional info. So, vegans can easily see what's safe to order (plenty!). FYI -- oddly the avocado roll, veggie hand roll, and inari are not vegan." [The 42]

The Good (Albeit Brief) News: This Eater commenter kept it short and sweet: "Just ate there for lunch! The food was good and it was fun! I would go back." [Eater Comments]

The Rave: This Yelper is just crazy in love with this place: "Everything was delicious and fresh! My favorite was a grey plate that had thick slices of salmon. It was so fresh and had that wonderful fatty/buttery taste that raw salmon should have. I could've eaten that all night and been in heaven! The best dessert by far was the miso chocolate mouse! [sic]" [Yelp]

The Bad Logistics News: Another Yelper is full of criticism for Yo! Sushi, especially the seating arrangements: "The seating is very tight which can be frustrating when everyone has to reach around you for the soy sauce or the water spout (would definitely be uncomfortable for healthier-sized guests, to be polite). There is no where to put your bag or jacket so it is going to be interesting in the winter with everyone's coats on their laps. If you have a group of more than two people, you're best off expecting to sit at a table." [Yelp]

The Bad News: DCist attended an opening party and came away with some so-so impressions: "The sushi, well, it's merely OK. The trick is to look out for what's fresh and grab it just after it's set down for the first time. Better yet, make friends with one of the chefs preparing plates between the belts and ask them to send their plates directly to your hands. Some of the non-sushi items—chicken katsu (slices of fried chicken cutlets) and piping hot marinated chunks of eggplant—were among my favorite dishes at a media and friends preview event. Nigiri and maki were liable to be terrible after sitting too long, as the rice hardened after a few spins on the belt. (Computer chips in each plate supposedly trigger automatic dumping off of the belt from the belt rotation after one hour.) Get it fresh and it's passable." [DCist]

The Good News For Performers: The Examiner's performing arts reporter seizes an opportunity to write about restaurants, seeing as how the "Bright, bold color, trendy artwork and the contemporary feel in the place make for the perfect diversion to the busy schedule of the performer. ... The eatery is a must, especially if you like fresh sushi at reasonable price." [Examiner]

More Good Design News: An opening report from Huffington Post declares, "The space is ideal for the traveler that wants a quick bite and enjoys music that could score car commercials aimed at the 25-45 year old set. Bright, inviting lighting structures give the place a futuristic for the early 2000s vibe. The Asahi beer and Hakushika Ginjou Nama cold sake aren't too shabby." [HuffPo]

Yo! Sushi

50 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC