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Fearless Critic restaurant review
DC
Food
Feel
Price
7.8
5.5
$45
Japanese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Thu 11:30am–2:00pm
Mon–Thu 5:30pm–10:00pm
Fri 11:30am–2:00pm
Fri 5:30pm–10:30pm
Sat 5:30pm–10:30pm
Sun 5:00pm–9:30pm

Features Kid-friendly, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.takogrill.com

Bethesda, MD
7756 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD
(301) 652-7030
Tako Grill
A simple sushi joint that’s fresh and fairly priced, with some of the fish flown in from Japan

The clattery, brightly lit interior of Tako Grill is an unlikely setting for some of the freshest sushi available in the Maryland suburbs. Look inside the laminated menu for a piece of printer paper listing the day’s specials, which are generally flown in from Japan. This piece of paper is also where you’ll find out if there are whole fish available grilled and served with a light ginger-and-scallion soy sauce. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything we’ve ordered from this informal typed list, including excellent toro and creamy king salmon.

The familiar à-la-carte sushi menu renders favorites such as spicy tuna and scallion-yellowtail rolls. While there aren’t many Japanese sushi chefs behind the counter these days, the guys rolling the sushi are competent and friendly. Most importantly, Tako’s offerings are fresher than those of most competitors in the area, and they’re reasonably priced, too. Well-seasoned seaweed salad bunches up four or five different kinds of sea greens in an appropriately light sesame-flavored dressing. Equally pleasant appetizers on the hot side include negimaki—bundles of scallions wrapped in thinly-sliced beef and served with a slightly sweetened soy sauce. Tempura dishes are ably executed, too, arriving crisp and hot, if more thickly battered than we’d like.

Service is polite and generally expeditious, though occasionally servers’ inexperience shows in overly long delays between courses and too-long-empty water glasses. The atmosphere here is more of a family restaurant than a fine-dining establishment; young couples with or without children dine in casual attire, elevating the noise level to chatty rather than subdued. Furnishings are utilitarian, and a large flat-screen TV in one corner generally shows soccer or sumo wrestling.

Nonetheless, the long, shiny, black-topped bar at Tako Grill is sleek and pleasant, extending the length of the room and concealing a wide selection of sakes that merit a menu of their own. While not quite at the level of DC’s finest sushi spots, Tako Grill is an affordable and reliable stop in Montgomery County for fresh fish and reasonable value. When possible, stick to the specials, supplement with sushi à la carte, and enjoy a fuss-free meal among local families and repeat customers.

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