Momoyama defines off the beaten path. It couldn’t be any more off the beaten path unless it were literally down an actual dirt road. It is not. But it is tucked back in this really weird city block on the Senate side of the Capitol on second street near 395. But boy, is it worth seeking out. It is some great sushi.
A converted rowhome, with a tiny dining space, it seats maybe thirty maximum. The sushi is rolled up front by two sushi masters grabbing rice from a bowl between them, cutting fish and drizzling sauces. The prices are super cheap, and the service is great. I love everything about Momoyama, it feels like my own little sushi corner of the world.
You’ll notice that my past two months of Eat Like Me have mentioned Momoyama, that’s cause I go there pretty frequently to get my sushi fix. I love the “boats” – which are like sushi boxes – they give you tons of food for around $9. Get that if you don’t already know a favorite or a must-try roll. It’s a ton of food, but it’s also a great way to get to know Moyomama.
WLDC author Acacia loves the tempura. She says, “They are delicious and variable, you get potato and squash and shrimps and asparagus!” Speaking of tempura, I like the shrimp tempura sushi rolls, they stuff them full of shrimp, I get two shrimp to my roll usually, versus Cafe Asia’s one.
The sashimi always comes out fresh and creative, and the wall has a square with today and tomorrow’s specials on it so you know what you’ll get if you come back. The walls are adorned with posters of sushi rolls and fish cuts, I love waiting in line and looking at them, it’s like an Italian place that has wine posters in the bathroom – they don’t make you ashamed of your ignorance. A few tables crowd the main floor, and there is a bar that faces outward for solo diners, always full of hill staffers on their blackberries taking a necessary break from the halls.
The soups are nice, the bite of my coworker’s miso soup that I had was great. The veggie rolls are tightly rolled, with good bits of veggies in them, basic, but nice. But I particularly love the bulgogi roll. Uncannily tasty, it’s bulgogi beef rolled with mayonnaise and black sesame seeds. It’s got a great texture, and a good flavor and is fun to say to order. I just think it’s a unique, non-fish roll to try.
They do the classics well, you won’t go wrong with whatever you order! Also, as an added bonus, they serve beer and sake! YAY! Sushi and drinks! Lots of Kirin, but more variety of Japanese beers too. I’d say it’s a great DC hidden gem.
Momoyama is located at 231 2nd St. NW. Closest Metro stop: Judiciary Square (Red line). For more information, call (202) 737-0397.