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Murasaki - 6 Reviews - 4620 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016, Washington, DC - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (202) 966-0023


4620 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 966-0023
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Main categories:

Restaurants , Japanese Restaurants

Related categories:

Food & Dining , Asian Restaurants


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Murasaki might not be the best Japanese restaurant in D.C., but after going there, I stopped looking. Their sushi is consistently fresh and tasty the dozen times I visited when I ...


All reviews seem positive

Editorial review from GrubHub 9/2/2013

Sashimi very nice. Yakitori kind of odd. more

Editorial review from GrubHub 8/24/2012

Great food! One of the few places in DC where I can get katsu-don. Will definitely order from here again! more

Spectacular Sushi and Sashimi 6/17/2010

Murasaki might not be the best Japanese restaurant in D.C., but after going there, I stopped looking. Their sushi is consistently fresh and tasty the dozen times I visited when I lived in the area a few years ago. My friend and I were such frequent guests, the waitresses knew what we wanted right as we sat down, which are two sushi dinners and a large hot sake. The nameless (not really house brand b/c they don't make it so I feel weird calling it that) hot sake is the best I've had in any Japanese restaurant. It's not the bad-tasting low end sho-chik-bai or gekkeikan stuff either (though they price it the same). I asked about it once and when the waitress went to go find out and told me, it turned out that she only told me the name of the brand and not the actual product. Since I was still at a loss, I threw away the paper she gave me. I made the effort to go back there a several months ago and took a chance and ordered their chef's special sashimi dinner, which costs about $10-$15 more than the sushi dinner. I was blown away. Everything was just amazing and the salmon was the best I've ever had. There was also some different types of seaweeds as garnishes. It's probably good I didn't find out about this dish a few years ago, otherwise I'll be that much poorer. I'm looking forward to going back. Pros: Fresh fish and really good, cheap sake Cons: Not near where I live more

Great lunch spot 6/30/2009

In an attempt to both satisfy my current sushi obsession and explore some of the lesser known DC... more

Great lunch spot 6/30/2009

Meg Provided by Partner
In an attempt to both satisfy my current sushi obsession and explore some of the lesser known DC restaurants, my best friend and I decided to give ... more

Editorial review from The Washington Post 6/27/2007

There is certainly no shortage of places to find sushi in Washington. But some of the best places are downtown (Kaz Sushi Bistro and Sushi Taro), tiny (Makoto) or a little too precious and expensive. Murasaki is a neighborhood place in Tenleytown that has both a dining room and patio seating in the midst of a Japanese-influenced space. There's usually on-street parking available nearby, and it's a short walk from the Tenleytown Metro station. And it makes regular deliveries to the nearby Japanese Embassy. Those deliveries have been ongoing since the restaurant opened six years ago. Last year, Murasaki changed hands. It was bought by a Korean sushi chef who had previously worked at Bonsai in Shirlington. When it opened, Murasaki was owned by an Iranian who ran a limousine service that often did business with the embassy. He brought in chefs from the upscale Hisago, which burned brightly in the 1990s at Washington Harbour. The original owner now owns a kebab place a few doors down. New owner Seo Seoung Huck has two Japanese sushi chefs at his side, Shimmoto Mitsutoshi and Tetsuya Nakata, who together have more than 45 years of experience. And the orders from the embassy keep rolling in. The restaurant takes it name from the Japanese word for purple, and the decor reflects that, though not in a garish way. Purple is reflected in the carpeting, the upholstered chair seats, the chopstick wrapper and the carryout menus. Pale-colored wood predominates: in the tables, the chairs, the sushi bar and the lattice screening that adorns glass windows overlooking the patio. Regulars at Murasaki simply order the omakase, which means the chef prepares a selection of dishes of his choice using the freshest fish. Diners may choose from sushi omakase, sashimi omakase, or with a little planning, the Murasaki omakase, which rings up at $50 to $70 a person and may include baked dishes and other traditional treats not listed on the menu. But you don't have to make such a commitment to enjoy the pleasures of Murasaki. Just glance at what's presented to the happy diners who fill the restaurant at lunch -- mostly workers from nearby office buildings -- or at dinner and you'll know that rolls are also a hallmark of Murasaki. Specialty rolls -- known as maki sushi -- grace most tables, and part of the reason may be the innovative presentation of the restaurant's menu. These are no simple paper affairs but wood-covered notebooks filled with photographs of the dishes. So if you have ever had difficulty negotiating a Japanese menu, pull up a chair at Murasaki, peruse the bound book and ask one of the helpful servers if you need more explanation. The base for sushi is the rice ("sushi" actually refers to the rice itself), and Murasaki's provides a grand foundation. The grains are separate but moldable into shapes, and the rice has a pleasant, ever-so-slightly sweet vinegary taste.The fish and seafood that top this exquisite rice are almost always perfectly fresh, not watery or dull tasting. The texture of each is different. The salmon is silken and buttery, the calamari tender, the salmon roe sparkling and popping with liquid and the octopus never rubbery. Shellfish sunomono displays these textures well: slivers of calamari, fresh crabmeat, slices of octopus and hakki clam. Only the cooked shrimp -- which is the downfall of many a sushi bar -- tastes somewhat limp and not too fresh. A similar medley of tastes and textures comes in the dish known as chirashi, an assortment of fish with pickled radishes and mushrooms atop a bed of sushi rice sprinkled with bits of nori (seaweed). Although bento boxes are a favorite at lunch -- there is a wide selection and most are less than $10 -- skip them in favor of a couple of the rolls. The green salad, cucumber and seaweed salad, and shumai (shrimp dumplings) in each box add little to the presentation. The shumai arrive cold, and the dressing for the green salad tastes as though it comes straight from a bottle. But the rolls beckon, and diners heed their call; most tables are laden with giant white platters on which a variety of colorful rolls is arrayed. Eel and cucumber -- known here as catapila rolls -- slink across the plate, with fans of avocado adorning each piece. Vivid red tuna rolls snuggle close to multi-hued rainbow rolls (featuring tuna and salmon), tiny legs of soft-shell crabs peek out of spider rolls, and tuna and yellowtail combine in the Screaming Spicy Roll, the restaurant's most popular maki sushi. For those who are squeamish about raw fish, Murasaki offers cooked dishes such as grilled salmon and grilled rib-eye, chicken teriyaki and tempura, with a light golden crust. And though large desserts are not a Japanese tradition, regulars can't leave without a dish of the restaurant's signature black sesame seed ice cream. --Nancy Lewis (June 28, 2007) more

Much to Like 10/10/2005

Under new management, Murasaki's service is perhaps even better than before, attracting diplomats and neighborhood clietele alike. With great appetizers from the kitchen, including a plate of broiled eggplant with 3 sauces, and (in season) chawan mushi (hot seafood custard) and monkfish liver, through fine sushi and exemplary tempura (in season, the soft-shell crab has been meatier than anywhere else) and other hot entrees from the kitchen, this is still one restaurant where you'll want to stay for dessert. The fried banana is light, and the ice creams won me over, even though I'm not a big ice-cream fan. The black-sesame ice cream is a perfect way to end your meal, perhaps with an after-dinner drink from their full-bar in the back. Covered out-door seating in season. Pros: Out-door Seating, Unusual Dishes, Subdued Cons: No Parking more
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Menu for Murasaki

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Additional information

  • Hours:

    Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2:30 pm, Sat noon-2:30 pm; Dinner: Mon-Thu 5:30-10 pm, Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30 pm, Sun 5:30-9:30 pm
  • Payments:

    American Express, Visa, Master Card, Discover
  • Neighborhoods:

    Tenleytown, Northwest, Northwest Washington