To start: I have the best parents in the world. Of course, I have no always thought this (especially not during my emo teenager days), but now I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have such amazing supportive, loving parents. After they returned from Paris at the end of June, I wanted to take them out for a nice, and belated, Father’s Day celebration. I suggested Sushi Capitol for dinner, but my dad, who is obsessed with ballroom dancing (can’t make this stuff up, folks), said a lunch with be better for his dance schedule, so we made a reservation for three people on a Monday afternoon.
I have been wanting to eat at Sushi Capitol ever since Todd Kliman fawned over this Capitol Hill spot last year in his weekly food chat. However, I do not make my way to SE DC that often, and this intimate restaurant has only 20 seats, so reservations are both recommended and hard to come by. Actually, TBM and I had tried to eat here a couple of times, but each time we tried to call, it had been completely booked and the restaurant did not take walk-ins once all of the reservations have been taken. After a crazy busy work trip, I took the following two days off, and took advantage of my rare day in the city by scheduling a lunch date with my favorite people.
So on that beautiful Monday, after a long run up 13th street, my parents picked me up and we headed to Capitol Hill. Sushi Capitol opened in 2013 from chef Minoru Ogawa, who previously worked at the Mandarin Oriental. It has a small, focused menu, with a $50 omakase option. We decided to do two orders of the omakase menu to split among the three of us (my tiny mother has a tiny appetite), and an additional order of the tuna jaw and a eel & avocado roll.
First up was the hamachi kama yaki (yellow tail tuna jaw):
The grilled jaw was simple and delicious, although both of my parents preferred the omakase menu tempura-fried striped jack fish jaw that arrived shortly afterwards:
This was served alongside an oyster with ponzu soy sauce. This jaw was fried to absolute perfection, and the meat was juicy, tender and slightly sweet. The oyster was light, and the ponzu sauce made this a tangy and refreshing bite.
Then next up for the omakase menu was the nigri sushi platter. I mean, just look at beautiful sight:
My favorites were the salmon belly (upper left), and the uni (lower left). The uni was just an incredibly rich and silky slice of heaven. The fresh sea urchin melted into my mouth like the creamiest butter. I probably could have inhaled at least 5 pieces easily of this alone. In general, I like the sushi at Sushi Capitol. The rice to fish ratio of good, and I appreciated that the soft rice was served room temperature, because I find it a little jarring when I bite into a piece of nigri with cold rice. In addition, each piece is brushed with soy sauce and wasabi. I love fresh wasabi however, so I dipped each piece in an additional coating of their wasabi.
The final course for the omakase menu was the fatty tuna handroll (not pictured because I quickly put it into my mouth). The crispy nori was wrapped around rich, fatty chunks of tuna and topped with a few slivers of green scallions. We all approved, and felt sufficiently full after this. Overall, I thought this was an excellent menu in a quaint, intimate setting and worth returning to. My father mentioned that he liked the omakase menu at Makoto better, but keep in mind the price point of that is over twice the cost of Sushi Capitol’s. For $130 for three people (including a beer for my mother – what a lush) here, we got a very solid lunch with high quality sushi that had obviously been prepared with thought and care.