After a day spent brunching, catching up, then drinking (mocktails for me), the four of us wandered around looking for dinner. We briefly tried to get into one place that was packed to the gills, so we scooted across the street to find Sakerum, a dark Japanese restaurant/bar that said they could take us immediately. Sold!
We were seated in a private room in the back, as it turned out, which worked nicely for our raucous conversation. Our server was quick with recommendations and suggestions — though I took no pic of it (it’s just a teapot), the almond ‘tea’ (which was really more of a tisane) was incredible. It tasted creamy, almost like a warmed almond milk, but was clear and free of anything but water. When I opened the pot to peek inside, the basket contained almost entirely roughly-chopped almonds and a few other things. I have to look up the tea company he mentioned whose name is escaping me right now; it was so good, and naturally caffeine-free.
Our server told us the menu consisted of ‘small plates to share’ so we started with a roasted corn guacamole served with giant fried plantains. I enjoyed this as a starter, as did everyone else. I think they enjoyed their cocktails a little bit more though…
Then came our sushi!! This is the double trouble roll – I know, it’s so dark you can barely see – “Double fried shrimp tempura / poached shrimp / cream cheese / tempura crunch / sweet & spicy aioli” (from the menu). I liked this – it was only the slightest hint of spicy, not really spicy at all – and found it very tasty.
But this roll, the kazan roll, definitely took all of my interest and my breath away: “baked spicy masago crab salad / shrimp tempura / avocado / toasted black sesame seed aioli” – the topping was rich and heady, and underneath was your normal roll pieces that add a lot of textural interest and contrast. This was slightly spicier than the previous, and I enjoyed going back and forth between the two dishes and comparing which I liked more.
Hard to see Chilean sea bass on a menu and not order it: “Sweet miso glaze / black bean paste / wakame & micro green salad / pickled daikon” – cooked super tender, another dish I enjoyed quite a bit, though not my favorite of the night.
The churrasco – our final savory dish of the night – “Sliced grilled short rib / sushi rice / chimichurri salsa” – I’ll be really upfront with you. While writing about this, I asked Hubba Hubby if we could recreate this dish in a few days. The tangy sushi rice topped with sliced steak cooked medium rare and slathered in a creamy chimichurri sauce – this combination just really worked to make my mouth happy. I thought the flavors all went really, really well together and I’m definitely excited to recreate – or more accurately, create my own version – of this dish soon.
We’ll see how it turns out!
For dessert – this was a really pretty mochi dish that came with ‘coconut snow’ so I didn’t try any, but everyone seemed pretty happy with it. I don’t know if they make their own mochi ice cream but from the grunts of happiness I heard, it’s still very good!
I ordered the churros with salted caramel and a chocolate dip. These were fine but nowhere near as good as Boqueria’s – our server said they’d just added them to the menu that week, so I imagine they’re still working out the kinks. Just lacked the proper chew on these… but I presume with time, they’ll get them to where they need to be.
We thoroughly enjoyed our entire meal, especially with our attentive server who came by to chat about our food with us several times. My one little complaint would be that it seemed a little pricey, but I’m not familiar with DC prices and was told that these were fairly normal. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back for some snacks and try some new things… but I’m definitely going to try to recreate that churrasco dish soon!!! (You’ll probably see it on my Instagram way before you’ll see it here.)
2204 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009