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Tom Sietsema Recommends Grabbing a Front Row Seat at Sushi Ogawa

Plus, reviews of Yona, Arômes, and Chettinadu Indian Cuisine

Sushi Ogawa
Sushi Ogawa
Sushi Ogawa/Yelp

For his First Bite column in the Washington Post, Tom Sietsema tries Sushi Ogawa in Kalorama. The new sister restaurant to Sushi Capitol showcases the skills of chef and owner Minoru Ogawa. He writes of the a la carte menu:

"The list is small but pleasing. A first course collects three small tastes within the dimples of a white china 'flower': hamachi pricked with lemon, a pinch of sweet crab with sesame dressing, fish marinated with onion. The bites are followed by tempura-battered julienned carrot and onion...and a miso soup intensified by shrimp heads in the broth. The sushi... shows up on delicate pads of seasoned rice, while a little roll enclosing salty plum, minty shiso and cool cucumber does somersaults on the tongue."

The critic's 88-year-old mother, who accompanied him to dinner, particularly enjoyed watching Ogawa slice the fish for omakase. The critic admits the price tag of $90 for 15 courses is steep, but he still recommends it for a splurge. [WaPo]

For his full review in the Washington Post, Sietsema travels to Baltimore and dines at Arômes. He awards chef Steve Monnier’s restaurant two stars. He’s initially suspicious of combinations like potato doughnut with seafood, licorice, and coffee, but he comes around after tasting it. Some of the dishes are less successful, especially those of the root vegetable variety like a roasted turnip garnished with salmon roe and a duo of dehydrated beets. He ultimately decides the restaurant isn't for everyone, especially the unadventurous. [WaPo]

Anna Limpert files a review of Yona in Ballston for Washingtonian. She raves about nearly all of chef Jonah Kim's small plates. She writes:

"First came a tangy bean-sprout salad ($7) threaded with mint. Then some of the crunchiest fried Brussels sprouts I’ve ever eaten ($9)... Wings ($9) get their extreme crispiness from a dredging in potato starch, then are treated to a dark barbecue-sauce-inspired glaze jolted with garlic, ginger, and chili paste. Steamed bao ($10) come stuffed with a tiny patty of pressed oxtail that’s been braised in ramen broth, then swiped with sweet garlic purée and bracing fennel kimchee. And then there’s the uni waffle ($16), a dubious-sounding finger food...that actually lives up to its social-media hype."

But the pork-based noodle soups at this ramen shop are actually disappointing. Instead, Limpert recommends orderding the ja jang— a "downright seductive" brothless ramen topped with a sauce of fermented black bean paste and black vinegar, fried pork belly, and squid. [Washingtonian]

Tyler Cowen goes to Chettinadu Indian Cuisine in Rockville. He writes:

"This place is a knockout, the flavors are so vivid, and a lot of these dishes you cannot get elsewhere in the region. Right now this is one of the best and most interesting Indian places going."

Some of the dishes he recommends are the goat soup, the chettinadu naattukozhi varuval (chicken in a tamil dark sauce), the fish fry, and the eggplant. [TC]

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