Restaurant Review: Asahi, Courthouse, Arlington

Asahi Courthouse Arlington VA

We used to live in the Courthouse neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia. In recent years, the so-called “Orange Line Corridor” of Arlington has become a hotbed of rentals and real estate, and eateries are now plentiful in the area.

For sushi, I recommend Asahi in Courthouse Plaza. I prefer it to Sushi Rock, which gets larger crowds and, thus, lacks the intimacy of a smaller place like Asahi. Asahi can feel like an oasis from the noise of city life. It provides a gentle, comfortable atmosphere.

I used to get takeout there, but if you have time, I recommend sitting at the sushi bar counter. It’s decorated with a few cutesy statues, and the Japanese chefs work quietly to prepare your food. There’s also a TV if you feel like looking up to be entertained by tube. Or, you could stare out into the plaza from the storefront windows and watch the people go by.

The menu includes traditional Japanese dishes such as ramen. I really like Asahi’s version of tonkotsu, a milky-looking pork-based broth. Judging by my taste buds, the chef doesn’t “cheat” with shoyu. The broth is subtle and delicious. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a fatty slice of pork with your ramen that will melt in your mouth.

For sushi, my favorites involve raw scallops and soft-shell crab tempura. The rolls are good enough to eat without adding a hit of salt from soy sauce.

A small jug of warm sake pairs well with anything on the menu.