Chirashi Sushi. The fish was very fresh and artistically displayed. The rice was well seasoned. I love the little roll of fish bound together by a thin piece of cucumber.
In Review

Konami Japanese Restaurant

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars - 'Sweet Stuff'
8221 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182
Review by Loni Stark
Chirashi Sushi. The fish was very fresh and artistically displayed. The rice was well seasoned. I love the little roll of fish bound together by a thin piece of cucumber.

Finding myself with a free evening on a recent trip to Washington, DC, I decide to check out the sushi scene around my hotel. I opt to visit Sakura Japanese Restaurant based on the many positive online reviews. However, after jumping into the hotel shuttle and notifying the driver of my desired destination, he didn’t know where Sakura was.

A call to his colleague and a dive into my purse looking for the address, I fathom it would be simpler to visit a sushi restaurant the driver was familiar with.

This is how I find myself seated at the sushi bar at Konami Japanese Restaurant. It is a weekday so there were only a few tables with patrons seated. Something about the ambiance makes me think that on a Friday evening or during lunch, this place would be bustling with possibly some music in the background and  a lively beat. On this particular evening, I welcomed the peacefulness after a rather eventful day.

A few minutes into my dinner, as I was still perusing the extensive menu, a couple of women wrapped up their meal and just before leaving, stopped by the sushi bar to bid the sushi chef goodbye, thanking him profusely for the wonderful meal. This, I thought, was surely a good sign.

I decide to select their Chirashi which is a dish I often choose. The fact that at Konami, the Chirashi is named after the restaurant further convinced me this was a selection I must try. I also decide to select a la carte an order of toro nigiri and an order of hamachi nigiri.

The sushi chef started my order with a little amuse bouche, compliments of the restaurant.

An amuse bouche complements of the sushi chef. It had smoked salmon and avocado on top. It was for me more a visual delight and a gastromic indulgence.

The amuse bouche was beautiful to look at. When I took a photo of it and shared it on Facebook, one of my friends noted it looked like a piece of artwork. From a taste perspective it is just ok. There is smoked salmon in side and avocado on top. The texture is a little crispy and meaty. If you like your sushi cooked, you would probably love this dish. My appetite, however, was seeking the pure raw stuff.

Finally, the Konami Chirashi comes and there are sections of it that is delicately beautiful, including a bundle of raw fish that is bound by a thin slice of cucumber. It was very good, but did not live up to my expectations for a dish named after the restaurant.

Toro tuna and hamachi nigiri

I am pleasantly surprised with was the varieties of raw fish that is available. I choose an order of Toro (fatty tuna belly) which melts in my mouth like butter.

Live giant scallops.

The last dish I order is the live giant scallops, which are so large the sushi chef resorted to making an entire dish with it. Needless to say this was a luxurious treat and a wonderful way to end the meal.

With my belly full of sushi and probably more than a few glances by the restaurant staff on how such a person of my size could consume so much sushi, I happily rolled out of the restaurant. As I was leaving, a black limo pulls up to the restaurant and an old Japanese couple climb out. It seemed they are making a special trip to visit Konami.

I look back at the restaurant. It’s location next to a gas station on a busy road is not where I would expect to find a sushi oasis. I am glad events of the evening led me to it.

Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.