O-Ku (Washington, D.C.)

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Hey! Let’s get Japanese tonight for dinner.  We don’t eat enough of it, and it’s time for us to start venturing out.  Well, yep, that’s it.  That’s all I have for you.


O-Ku, which is a fairly new restaurant in the D.C. area but has other locations around the United States, is a Japanese restaurant defined by the freshest ingredients from around the world and a reference for traditional technique.  It’s located off of 5th St, in NE, D.C. and has a very unique interior.  New furnishing, modern tables, and brown table-tops.


During my visit I was able to dine on about four dishes including Nigiri.  Wagyu Croquette, Curry, Crunchy Prawn, and a Nigiri Assortment. I’ll start off with the Wagyu Croquette.  The most flavorful, meaty, and juicy croquette I’ve ever had.  Croquette isn’t something that I normally order, because nothing about a stuffed ball interest me, but this appetizer made me change my perception.  The Wagyu was cooked beautifully and the inside was well seasoned.  I’m sure what was stuffed in the inside wasn’t authentic Wagyu because it’s only sold in certain parts of the world, but it was still good nonetheless.


The second dish was a Curry Ramen.  It consisted of Coconut Curry Sauce, Chili, and Fresh Herbs.  The dish was spicy, but not as spicy as I thought it would be.  The flavors were there, but the pasta was a bit over-cooked.  I would’ve loved to see more Coconut Curry Sauce in the dish so that the heat wasn’t so dry.  The Chili brought out more spices for the dish, but it wasn’t over-powering.  This dish wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good.  I expected more from it.  I expected the sauce to be more flavorful and the overall dish be balanced.  The Fresh Herbs was a nice accompaniment, and I loved the scallions that were mixed into the dish.  The scallions however were a bit much.  It didn’t blend well with the pasta because there was so many.  If you taste the pasta you have sort of an onion taste to it instead of it being Curry.


The last dish that was ordered was the Crunchy Prawn Roll, Aburi Toro, Trout, King Prawn, and Madai Nigiri.  The Crunchy Prawn Roll is what I like to call “The Safe Sushi Roll”.  It consisted of Panko Coated Prawn, Avocado, Cognac, Eel Sauce, and Spicy Mentaiko Aioli.  The Sushi Roll had a nice over-all crunch to it.  The Eel Sauce along with the Aioli had a great spiciness to it, and the Avocado helped with the earthiness of the roll.  I would’ve loved to see a full Prawn in each of the rolls, but unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.  The Nigiri was good and fresh, but nothing too exciting.  The Aburi Toro is a super fatty tuna belly and usually has a much lighter in color due to the high fat content.  This piece of fish has a buttery flavor to it and literally melts on your tongue.  The King Prawn was interesting as I haven’t had too many raw pieces of Shrimp.  Although this piece of Nigiri was meaty and had a bland taste, I’d still order it again.  Weird, right?  It taste just like shrimp, but.. Raw.  The Trout and the Madai were the last two Nigiri’s.  The Madai has a strong fishy smell, but has a taste similar to trout.  The trout however was a less fatty and had a much firmer texture. It has a semi tangy flavor but still good nonetheless.


Overall, this restaurant is a go to if you’re in the area and have nothing better else to do.  I wouldn’t rush to go here as there wasn’t anything too special about it.


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