O-Ku - DC
Mon–Wed 5:00 pm–10:30 pm
Thu–Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
Disappointing experience. Food was very mixed — had to return a fish dish which had very strange taste. The manager apologized and said “usually our fish comes from Japan but this one came from Spain” — as if that explained why the fish was bad? Service was very slow and confused — one waitress kept taking our food to the wrong table next to us. The layout is awkward, with the main dining room towards the back, but some tables in the middle right in front of the restrooms — which meant that multiple time during your meal you end up seeing the toilets. Lastly, the music was loud hard rock; quite an odd selection for a Japanese restaurant.
This restaurant has gotten so many good reviews that we thought we would try it on a Saturday night. The food was very so-so - it was not tasty or creative... the pictures on the website are deceptive and have nothing to do with the reality of the food they bring you. The raw fish brought to our table was gone bad and we had to send it back. It took very long to get drinks and food - service was very slow. Our waitress was nice but kitchen was very slow. Altogether not a place I would go back to or recommend to anyone.
O-Ku was my partner’s choice to try a new restaurant on his birthday weekend. Joined by a good friend from Miami who enjoys fine dining, we were all very impressed! The food and service were spectacular. Beautifully prepared, and of hearty proportions. My partner chose the Chef’s Tasting Menu, which was a tremendous value for $100, with course after course of wonderful selections by the chef.
As a trio of light-to- non-drinkers, we appreciated the plentiful choices of interesting and tasty non-spirited drinks. The minimalist decor was contemporary and pleasing (...the amber/ombré tinted LED lights from our Miami pal).
But everyone talks about your food. I have a message to the developers behind the Union Market ‘retail corridor’: leave some of the area’s industrial ‘flavor’!!!
it’s great to see the other Union Market buildings begin to add new, more ‘contemporary’ retail & restaurant choices. I know it’s wishful thinking the way contemporary development works, but... it’d be GREAT if it’s not completely ‘sanitized’, with new arrivals like iconic local bookstore Politics & Prose (brilliant) & O-Ku existing next to a Caribbean Food Wholesaler and a knockoff sunglasses vendor.
Our guest (an executive in a national real estate company, FYI...) noted that the mix gave the area a more ‘organic’ feel that one sees in ‘real cities’ like Chicago, Philly and NYC, as opposed to the ‘sanitized’ (& let’s be candid, the totally ‘gentrified’) feel that has become the ‘standard’ for DC development. For chrissakes, leave some ‘flavor’ on the streets(!!!). It makes the place feel like... a place!!!
Fantastic sushi and particularly outstanding sauces. The dumpling (not pictured) was a particular favorite as was the sea bass. I also felt the cocktails were well-rounded, fresh, and well-priced for the quality.
Wonderful ambience and great happy hour. Our server, Marge, was top notch and super sweet. We’ll definitely be back!
Great service! Thanks for a fun evening
This restaurant has been said to have great sushi. The sushi is good but in no way outstanding. Good sushi at an okay price. Curry noodles okay
Service was excellent. Food was good but not at a level it should have been with the pricing. Sushi was fresh I'll give them that but the overall oomph was not there. Maybe after things settle, the prices will be on par with the food. Ambiance was great for a romantic dinner and night out.
Great sushi place in DC! Highly recommend the soft shell crab and wasabi rolls!
Very thinly cut fish on makimono, lacking in flavor, and overpriced for poor quality. Non-maki items were well executed and fairly priced for quality
Our server seemed to be underwater most of the night as they seemed to be short staffed which meant it took 15 minutes to get drinks after they were ordered, food came too fast, then too slow, and felt sort of ignored which wouldn't have been as big a deal except it was my wife's birthday and they made a big deal at the beginning of the night about taking care of us.
They did give us a celebratory glass of champagne which was nice but came after 90 minutes of neglect.
Also, when our bill came, the included TAX was 15% even though DC's tax rate for food and alcohol is 10% so they are committing tax fraud and overbilling you. When I pointed this out they informed me it was automatic and they couldn't change it even after being shown the DC tax rate on the DC OTR website.
since i've moved to dc a little over a year ago, i've had a difficult time finding great sushi, with great service, in a well designed space. the search is over -- from the hostess to the sous chef and the wonderful server, the entire experience was exceptional.
my only complaint is about the 3 bartenders behind an empty bar that left me for over 10 minutes without a, "can i get you a drink?" or "let me get right back to you." i bartended for 20 years on and off, so this is a big no no.
sit at a table or the sushi bar...everything else, was perfect. super happy i'm only a short 6 min bike ride away.
O-Ku made my visit very special. The chef and staff were very warm. I sat at the sushi bar and saw how they prepared their sushi with so much passiona and art.
I loved the intimate feel of the restaurant. The outside patio was quaint and inviting. The service was impeccable. There were multiple waiters attending to every table. The food presentation and quality was amazing!
It was OK. You'd go there more for the atmosphere than for the sushi. I felt like many of the sashimi and nigiri pieces tasted similar.
I will definitely be back to O-Ku - it's still a hidden gem and I highly suggest it. Portions were pretty small for the price, but still delicious and worth coming back to. Cocktails were incredible.
This was a fantastic meal! Highly recommend trying the tasmania king salmon roll - superb! (And this is coming from a huge salmon snob who has had some of the world's best).
Our server was AMAZING and seriously made the best recommendations and even shared with us very interesting facts about sushi and sake that we did not know. Overall, a great experience!
The food was delicious. The sea bass in particular is a must and the sushi is very creative.
However, our overall experience left a lot to be desired. We did the chef's tasting menu but the food items came in different portions. Further, the time in between meals was on the lengthier side (15-20mins.) and we ended up being in that restaurant for an unnecessary 3 hours. We talked to the manager about it and he told us that O-Ku does not normally do the chef tasting menu on the weekends. If that was the case, take it off the menu and don't put the blame on the customers.
Definitely a must check location! Very surprising atmosphere and the food absolutely made my tastebuds dance.
The entire experience at Ok-U was amazing. Our awesome server was knowledgeable about the menu and had great recommendations as to what we should try (everything was delicious). We sat at the sushi bar and later the sushi chef gave out complementary rolls! The cocktails were great and the dessert sounded awesome but we were too full at that point to try!
Very excited to try this location after frequenting the Charleston one. We all ordered the same spicy tuna roll. After having one bite, we noticed there was an excess of wasabi in the roll (which was not listed on the menu at all). After telling the food runner, he apologized and brought us a new roll. The waiter apologized as well and told us that he took care of the sushi. After looking at the check, he has still charged us for the rolls, just not the new ones he had brought us. Overall, cool restaurant and vibe, but I definitely would not recommend the sushi here for that price.
Sushi was spot on. Meats were interesting. Service was attentive. Will definitely be back.
Amazing food, great cocktails and good atmosphere!
Everything sounds great on the menu but waitress didn’t have much knowledge of the dishes such as how it is prepared, in what marinate, etc. They are also not flexible in terms of not including certain ingredients so it’s more kid friendly.
The food was terrific and the staff was friendly and knowledgeable!
Overrated and overpriced relative to the mediocrity of the food
Best “creative take” Japanese food I’ve ever had in DC area
It is incredible to witness this neighborhood transform! Located right next to Union Market, Oku is a gem. I eat sushi on a weekly basis and this was a great way to spice it up. Some of the dishes were phenomenal. I will come back.
Sushi was spot on and the meat plates were interesting and flavorful. Sit on the chefs bar to watch the action. Will definitely be back.
Wanted to try this new location. Definitely delicious, great service, and I will absolutely return. I will caution that I feel this is more of a fusion restaurant, so if you are seeking a traditional sushi place, save this for another time. And get the pork belly. Just do it.
All of the hot food was outstanding! The wagyu croquettes and short ribs were amazing. The sushi... was a bit disappointing. The sashimi tasted moderately fresh, and the spicy tuna roll was a bit confusing and stingy on the tuna. Service was great and ambiance was good for a date night.
Absolutley the best. Everything at this place is amazing.
Great service with even better food and drink. Highly recommend.
This was an exceptional find. The rooftop sounds amazing; however it was raining while we were there, so it wasn't an option. The food was all incredible. The service was very professional and thorough. I had no complaints for the whole experience.
I had heard good things so I wanted to check it out and took my parents here when they were in town. When we arrived we were told by the waitress that HH was about to end and that 3 cocktails and edamame were part of HH. So 4 of us ordered a cocktail only to find the HH special was less than a $2 discount off each drink. For $16+ per roll only 4-5 pieces were included. When we ordered the goyza dumplings we were told there were 5, and it ended up being only 3 for 4 of us. Each dumpling cost $4?! The food was good, but not worth the cost and they definitely need to do a better job educating the staff on the menu.
Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!
Great spot for a birthday meal! Had a great time on the beautiful roof top!
Great drinks - cocktails are delicious - especially the habanero vodka. Try the hamachi, yellowtail and rock fish dishes. Fan favorites after two visits!
Excellent food and great ambiance. Will come again.
very cool decor... the food was very good but the value just wasn't there. I don't mind paying for exceptional quality or experience but it just fell a bit short. Would go back but only for certain dishes, the tartar- great!, the hanger steak yakitori- excellent! cocktails- excellent ! nigiri sushi was very good but overpriced... rolls were my least favorite.