There’s a reason that I don’t write all that much about Japanese food. I don’t think it’s one of our strengths in NoVA. From Yemen to Xinjiang, we have wonderful food from many underrepresented regions of the globe. But unfortunately, we just don’t have the vibrant Japanese community necessary to support really stellar, interesting fare from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Therefore, I must add a grain of salt to my commentary on Sushi Umi: Don’t expect Los Angeles or San Francisco-style fishy fireworks. For Herndon, though, I was delighted to try the Taste of Umi. Billed as “omakase in a box,” the meal is $45 at dinner, or just $27 at lunch. I’m a sucker for variety, and the box contains eight petite bowls filled with fish, plus one stuffed with ginger and wasabi.
But first, there’s miso soup and salad in a peanutty ginger dressing. There’s no getting around it, you can’t help but feel just a little bit special being presented with a box of treats like the one pictured above. The highlights were not what I expected. Typically, I would be crowing about the uni with its witty pairing of eggs–both tobiko and a raw quail yolk–as well as the eel, one of my favorite fish when glazed and crisped. But both of these fell short, while the slices of salmon and yellowtail belly shone. The smooth, creamy slabs of fish were fresh enough that they retained a hint of briny sweetness. They served as something of a dessert to a collection that also included soft-centered takoyaki and meltingly silky scallops.
It’s not a lunch that falls into the category of “cheap eats,” but we all deserve an omakase during the workday sometimes.
13051 Worldgate Dr., Herndon
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