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Look Inside Trump Hotel’s Long-Awaited New Sushi Bar

New York import Sushi Nakazawa will serve seafood lovers 10 at a time beginning June 1

Sushi Nakazawa co-founder Daisuke Nakazawa slicing fish at his new D.C. restaurant.

Long awaited Trump Hotel restaurant Sushi Nakazawa is opening Friday, June 1, but will only serve customers at its 10-seat sushi bar to start.

The New York import — the product of a partnership between restaurateur Alessandro Borgognone and Daisuke Nakazawa, one of the chefs featured in critically acclaimed food documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi — announced it was coming to D.C. in late 2016. Although the omakase restaurant is completely finished, Borgognone tells Eater the plan is to offer dinner at the reservations-only sushi bar for now and phase in service for the 30-seat dining room “once we’re comfortable with it.”

General manager Cody Nason says the restaurant will run three seatings per night, at 5 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 9:30 p.m., for the omakase meal. Sushi Nakazawa does not provide a set menu, serving customers a 21-course meal ($150 per person at the bar) prepared by the dedicated sushi chefs. Though reservations are capped at two-per-party in the original in New York, Nason says he is offering a single reservation for four people at the bar within the 5 p.m. block, and another for the 9:30 p.m. crowd during the initial roll out.

Borgognone says he is pleased with how the slightly modified design for the new restaurant turned out. In keeping with the decor of the surrounding Trump International Hotel, wood and bronze accents were woven into Nakazawa’s standard black-and-white color scheme. Cabinets made from bamboo occupy the wall behind the central sushi bar, which is covered in bright white Italian marble. Borgognone says he considered making the partition between the sushi bar and a waiting area a solid wall, but ultimately went with a slatted setup that provides some privacy but also “allows everyone to see the show.” Meanwhile, he calculates that the bank of coolers that line the hallway leading to the restrooms can hold up to 2,500 bottles of imported sake, wine, and beer — when offerings are double-stacked, anyway.

The restaurant, which originally came under fire once Borgognone agreed to move in after restaurateurs José Andrés’ and Geoffrey Zakarian had a falling out with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, has been denounced by everyone from Anthony Bourdain to outraged local diners. Last summer Borgognone pleaded for the chance to prove himself on his own merits rather than his landlord’s name, but fully expects to encounter some pushback.

Sushi Nakazawa is scheduled to open at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 1.

Status: Scheduled to open on June 1. 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; website.

Scroll down to see pictures of D.C.’s newest sushi restaurant:

Sushi Nakazawa co-founder Daisuke Nakazawa seated at his new D.C. restaurant.

Masaaki Uchino, one of the chefs who helped open the original Sushi Nakazawa, is in charge of the kitchen at the D.C. outpost.

The entrance to Sushi Nakazawa offers direct access to the sushi bar or a side path into the main dining room.

Colorful additions of polished woods and gleaming bronze are new to the Sushi Nakazawa design scheme.

The dedicated sushi bar at the new Sushi Nakazawa can accommodate 10 diners at a time.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The slatted partition between the sushi bar and the waiting area at the new Sushi Nakazawa still provides a glimpse of what the sushi chefs are up to.

The main dining room at the new Sushi Nakazawa is ready to serve customers, but won’t be accessible during the initial rollout.

A booth at the rear of the the dining room at the new Sushi Nakazawa is the best opportunity for larger groups (up to eight) to eat together.

A menu at Sushi Nakazawa
A place setting at the new Sushi Nakazawa.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Sushi Nakazawa

1100 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, , DC 20004 (202) 289-3515 Visit Website