Opening Night at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

4 Jan

After much anticipation, Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar finally opened Thursday night on H Street (644 H Street, NE).  Here is a copy of their opening night menu.  Overall we were very impressed with both the food and the restaurant itself.

Upstairs Sushi Bar at Hikari Sushi and Sake

Upstairs Sushi Bar at Hikari Sushi and Sake

Hikari is a two level row house that has been completely redesigned.  The first floor is a full service bar with several tall tables available for dinner service or drinks.  Upstairs features a sushi bar where you can watch your sushi being made right in front of you while chatting with the chefs.  It also has several booths (including two with window views) for a more intimate setting.  

Stairs to First Floor at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

Stairs to First Floor at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

The second floor also has a nice sized patio that will be open in the summer for drinking and socializing.  While a little bit dark, overall the restaurant has a very cozy and modern feel, much in line with owner Heesook Chun’s goal of creating a “warm and trendy atmosphere.”

Second Floor Window Booth at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

Second Floor Window Booth at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

The sushi was fresh and well prepared.  Hikari’s menu is quite extensive and includes appetizers, main dishes (non-sushi), chef special sushi dishes, and more traditional sushi.  Our dinner started off with a complementary cripsy wanton filled with a very light cream cheese that was lightly fried and quite good.  Next we received a complementary tuna sushi appetizer composed of large slices of chilled tuna (because they did not have the necessary ingredients for one of the rolls we ordered) that showcased the freshness of their fish.  We enjoyed our gyoza appetizer that was fried at just the right temperature to avoid overcooking and was served with a nice soy based dipping sauce.

Gyoza at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

Gyoza at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

The spicy tuna roll was solid and the chef’s special “caviar rainbow roll” contained a nice combination of tuna and cilantro with a spicy jalepeno kick.  The sushi menu is quite long, and we look forward to checking out the many other dishes in future visits.

Sushi at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

Sushi at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

While not significantly more expensive than nearby Sticky Rice for the average dish, Hikari does not have that many dishes that are on the cheaper end.  All of the special sushi rolls are over ten dollars (some closer to twenty) and many of the main (non-sushi) entree dishes are in the twenty dollar range but have generous portions.  However, if you go with the traditional sushi rolls or some of the noodle dishes, most of them are closer to the five to ten dollar range.  The few dishes that we tried justified their price, but Hikari is not on the cheaper end.

Hikari has an extensive drink menu.  There are a variety of cocktails as well as sake and beer.  The restaurant has a nice selection of imported Japanese beer with a wide range in terms of prices.  On opening night the downstairs bar was doing a fairly solid business.

Downstairs Bar at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

Downstairs Bar at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

The opening night service at Hikari was great despite a few minor opening night mistakes.  After placing our order, it became apparent that one of the dishes that we ordered was not available.  Our server immediately apologized and gave us a complementary tuna dish and asked what we would like instead.  When the server who brought our sushi forgot which roll was which, the chef who made them kindly explained and then brought us a complementary (and delicious) seaweed salad that he had prepared.  Our server was very friendly and chatted with us at the end of our meal about the restaurant and how excited they were to join the neighborhood.

Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar has great potential for the neighborhood.  While it may not become a go to place for cheap sushi takeout given its current price point, the great atmosphere and good, fresh sushi makes it a wonderful spot for a date or a place to go out to with a group of friends for drinks and a good dinner.

Upstairs at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

Upstairs at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

Second Floor Patio at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

Second Floor Patio at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar

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4 Responses to “Opening Night at Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Openings on H This Week. - January 4, 2013

    [...] Sushi (644 H Street NE) opened last night and District Cuisine was [...]

  2. Hill Buzz - January 8, 2013

    [...] District Cuisine Thrillist, Urban Daddy and Eater DC covered the newly opened Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar on H Street. [...]

  3. Owners of Hikari Sushi Plan Second H Street Restaurant « District Cuisine - January 27, 2013

    [...] confirmed that the owners of Hikari Sushi (644 H Street, NE) are planning to open a second restaurant on H Street that will be a hibachi [...]

  4. H Street’s Horizon: What’s Coming Soon (Spring, 2013) | District Cuisine - April 3, 2013

    [...] Hikari Sushi and Sake (644 H Street)–new sushi restaurant with two floors and extensive bar.  See our initial review here. [...]

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