While ramen, with its bouncy noodles and marinated eggs and fatty pork belly and unfathomable iterations of broth, is busy soaking up the attention of Japanophiles, Tachibana still caters to sushi fans.
In this second-floor restaurant, the humble-though-sprawling space with two sushi bars (the small back one is a favorite of regulars) feels far removed from the stark, stylized spaces of the new generation of Japanese restaurants. But does that matter?
There’s fish: tuna the color of blushed happiness, flounder the color of winter sky. The sashimi platter is not just a pop of saturated hues, though it is beautiful. It’s an exploration of texture and taste, how some fish are firm, some slinky, some so clean and pure it’s almost air, others distinct and reminiscent of a day near the dock.
A yellowtail jowl is blackened in parts but delicious in every bite, with plump meat worth the effort of digging it out. Even the basic seaweed salad conveys a freshness. It feels replenishing. There are noodles and soups and noodle soups too, but leave that to the ramen houses. Here, focus on the fish. • 6715 Lowell Ave., McLean