Christmas for Jews= a movie and Chinese food. Everybody knows this. So when I join a group of Jewish neighbors to see “Unbroken,” we are surprised to see our Chinese friends in the theater. “Wait,” my husband says. “I have to ask. What are you having for dinner…Jewish food?”
We have actually decided to deviate from the norm, and pair our movie with Japanese food at Sushiko in Chevy Chase. It’s rebellious, but that’s the way we roll. I’ve never been to Sushiko, and by the end of the meal I am hard-pressed to come up with a reason for my negligence. Sushiko is #85 on Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Very Best Restaurants 2015. It is one of the few Maryland restaurants to make the list.
We make selections from the various sections of the menu which includes greens, cold tastings, warm tastings, sushi and sashimi, sushi maki, and more. A few highlights:
Hamachi crudo -yellowtail, grapefruit, serrano pepper, yuzu-pon. Fresh, cool, citrusy, and a hint of spice. It’s a perfect palate-opener.
Chevy Chase roll– a combo of tuna, jalapeno, avocado, and tempura crisp. The roasted red pepper serves as an outer wrap, making this roll unique and fun.
Sweet and spicy roll– eel, pickled ginger, spicy tuna, avocado, jalapeno, kabayaki. The peppers are center stage, which makes this roll all the more scintillating.
We take a break from our deluge of spicy peppers and accents of avocado to munch on pan-fried chicken gyoza with shiso, napa cabbage, and citrus soy. The charred edges of the dumplings provide a welcome crunch.
Many of our dishes reflect a repeating formula- fresh fish fused with something sweet, spicy, and crunchy. We have defaulted to this combo, but there are plenty of other appealing options at Sushiko including entrees of roasted salmon, chicken teriyaki, and beef tenderloin tataki.
Sushi is not always a go-to cuisine for me. But I’m glad to have bucked the trend this year, with a refreshing and creative meal at Sushiko. Christmas for Jews= a movie and Japanese food. Maybe we can make that a thing.
Sushiko, 5455 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD
Washingtonian 2015 100 Very Best Restaurants, #85