Tachibana: McClean, VA, USA
My friend TK took me here when we met up for lunch the day before my big half-marathon in DC. Ironically, the friends I had met up with the night before had also mentioned Tachibana for their udon. However, TK and I decided to share a $100 omakase. Yessir, $100 worth of fresh sushi to be split and slurped by yours truly. Tachibana is not located in downtown Washington D.C. so if you are planning on coming here, you better be prepared to have a rental car or know of someone who lives near the West Falls Church area. It is actually located only five or so minutes away from the West Falls Church metro station. I would say it’s within walking distance if you don’t mind putting about a thirty-minute walk on your legs, maybe at most forty-five minutes.
The sushi though, is worth it.
For one, the fish portion on each piece of nigiri is ginormous. Some of the pieces are so big that the fold over the sides of the rice ball that it is placed upon. In addition, the wasabi paste is not the generic kind that you squeeze out of some tube. They actually incorporate fresh wasabi into the paste. Fresh wasabi is not only expensive to buy, it is difficult to find. Most of the time, it has to be flown in from somewhere else, and by somewhere I mean, Japan. There wasn’t too much wasabi placed in between the rice and the fish, something that I always found with much distaste. I don’t mind some wasabi in between the two layers, but there are times when the sushi chef just slabs it on, and instead of a nice and well-balanced combination of rice, fish, and wasabi, all I taste is….wasabi.
In addition, the sushi was insanely fresh. I’ve had some really good sushi before in Atlanta, namely at Sushi House Hayakawa off Buford Hwy. However, when I put the piece of toro nigiri into my mouth from Tachibana, I was immediately blown away. When they say that toro should melt on your tongue, it really should. Tachibana delivered here 100%. While I haven’t been to the five-star sushi restaurants in New York, I have been to some pretty good places out west where the seafood is supposed to be spectacular. I have to say that the toro at Tachibana beat out the sushi I had in Seattle and even in Sanraku off Sutter Street in San Francisco. Sanraku though was a little bit more posh; Tachibana was more down-to-earth and while more spacious, it didn’t have the well-decorated interior of Sanraku. However, if you’re going for sushi, I think that Tachibana definitely beat Sanraku hands down. I can’t compare the other Japanese dishes at Tachibana since all I really ate was the omakase, but you can bet that on my next visit to DC, I will make an attempt to try the udon!
All in all, a summary:
- Chef’s Omakase for Two: ****.5 (4.5 stars)
If you would like to check out Tachibana on your own travels:6715 Lowell Ave, McLean, VA 22101
☎ 703-847-1771 tachibana.us/sushi/