Saturday, July 2, 2011

Akasaka Restaurant - The Best Sushi In Northern Virginia!

To change things up a bit, I decided to share some of my favorite places to eat with you.  Living in Hawaii for 7 1/2 years, and dating my now wife, afforded me the opportunity to try several variations of cuisine.  None have I enjoyed more than Sushi.  Unfortunately, living in Hawaii, also made me a sushi snob.  You can imagine the amazing fresh fish that you get, it literally goes from ocean to plate in a matter of hours!  Having said that, Akasaka Restaurant in Alexandria, VA reminds me of that sushi.  This is, hands down, the freshest sushi you will get in this area. 

When you enter the restaurant you are welcomed with the traditional Japanese greeting of "Irrashaimase" an immediate indication that you are in the right place!  The staff bows when they finish speaking to you and it is considered polite to do so in return.  When you are seated, they bring you a complimentary starter dish to prepare you for the meal ahead.  It consists of a few pieces of edamame and some cream cheese and scallion gyoza.  The gyoza is so good that you should order it as an appetizer, which they offer.

Anything you order will be amazing but I believe that good sushi is defined by a select few items.  The most important of these is Maguro (Tuna) Sushi also known as Ahi Tuna.  The reason this is the cornerstone to great sushi is because of the simplicity of the dish.  It is nothing more than a delicate cut of fish with some rice.  The Maguro here is buttery soft and full of flavor.  We have to get it every time we eat here. 

The next is a Spider Roll for which the main component is soft-shell crab.  This is a difficult roll to make because the soft-shell crab is very easy to overcook.  They cook it to perfection at Akasaka and it is simply breathtaking.  (Hands down the best spider roll I have ever had!) 

A personal make or break is the Spicy Tuna Roll.  (Again a simple dish that consists of rice, nori [Seaweed], tuna, and spicy sauce.)  I am a complete snob when it comes to spicy tuna rolls and Akasaka delivers one of the finest.  Other sushi restaurants mask the flavor of the tuna with the spicy sauce and it completely takes away from the roll.  Akasaka offers the perfect medley of spice and tuna making it a personal favorite. 

The Hamachi Roll is another simple, delicious masterpiece.  It consists of yellow tail, nori, and rice.  One word, amazing.

We believe that although you have your "go to" favorites, you should try new things and last night was no exception.  We decided to try the Mexican Roll and in doing so, found another "go to" favorite.  It consists of spicy tuna, tobiko, avocado, and cucumber.  The avocado really sets this roll apart in both presentation and flavor.  This roll literally melts in your mouth and is one that I highly recommend.

As far as presentation goes, here is what it looked like.

The little dish on the side was a complimentary one from the chef.  It was a seared tuna and daikon radish salad.  Whatever sauce the chef used to tie it all together was brilliant!  The tuna was beautifully seared with a peppery finish and the daikon radish complimented the dish perfectly.  Unexpected and delicious!

Here is a link to their menu, although not complete.

You can find them at 514 South Van Dorn Street, Alexandria, VA 22304 and their hours are Mon. - Fri. 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm; Sat 12pm-10pm; and Sun 4pm-9:30pm.

Insider tip:  They have half price a la carte items on Monday and man is it worth it!  You get the same meal but for half the cost!



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