Try regional Japanese styles of fish and rice at the new downtown restaurant

To most Americans, sushi means rolls and nigiri. But chef Yoshi Ota is looking to introduce DC to a range of traditional and regional Japanese styles of rice and fish at Gakyu Sushi, opening downtown today.

Ota will offer sushi wrapped in bamboo or persimmon leaves, pressed sushi served in a wooden box, and chirashi (a bowl of rice topped with different types of fish or vegetables). He’ll even make narezushi, an older style of fermented sushi that smells “like a cheese.”

Ota started working in sushi restaurants in his native Japan at age 18, and used to run his own place in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood. He came to DC to partner in Kushi, the short-lived but influential sushi and izakaya restaurant, before moving on to Sushiko and then opening Yuzu in Bethesda in 2013.

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