Phil, my wife, and I had the chance to go to Tono Sushi last Wednesday night, November 18, 2009. We walked downstairs and were immediately greeted by a cool atmosphere of brick, low ceiling, and a sushi bar. We waited for about 5 minutes, but given the 7:00 pm arrival, not too bad at all for DC. They have happy hour from 5-7:30 and as such their Nigiri is $1 a piece for most fish. We had some great appetizers including chicken teriaki with the lightest , nicest sauce that I have had. We also had Tom Yom soup and Hot and Sour soup (they have some othe Asian dishes there too) - both of which were fantastic and paired excellent with the big Kirin Ichiban, followed by the big Sapporo, followed by the big Asahi!
Now to the sushi. We had some great nigiri and some great local rolls. All of the fish was very tasty and well prepared. One interesting note was that there was no wasabi put on the nigiri, it needed to be added manually. We had a good California Roll and a local roll - Tono Roll which was shrimp with salmon roe and avocado.
Next we had 2 of the best rolls that either of us have had - Kobe Beef roll and Kim Chi Roll. The Kobe beef had a thin piece of raw Kobe on the outside of a rice, cruchy, and seaweed packed roll. It was also displayed beautifully. The Kim Chi Roll was just absolutely fantastic. It had a nice piece of tuna on the top of some crunchy, but not spicy, kim chi. This was then packed inside with the usual stuff. Both of these rolls were very large and are not for the weak! Nonetheless, they are well worth the price of admission.
For the nigiri, all were very good and warranted this place as being a very good to excellent restaurant. The uni had great texture, but the flavor fell a bit short. All the rest had very good flavor and texture. The fish was very good size was certainly covered the rice very well. It was displayed on a very normal sushi tray - unfortunately no boats! The interesting thing was that a man walked up about half way through dinner claiming to be the dishwasher (even though he was in a vest and tie) and told us that we had happy hour sushi, the slightly cheaper stuff. So, we asked for some maguro and hamachi to taste again, and wow was it phenomenol!
Here are the scores (out of 5 for taste, texture and appearance):
After happy hour:
Overall Taste 4.0 (happy hour sushi only)
Overall Texture 4.1 (happy hour sushi only)
Overall Appearance 3.9 (happy hour sushi only)
Total 25.5/30 (Excellent)
Regular Sushi (not Happy Hour)
Overall Taste 4.1
Overall Texture 4.3
Overall Appearance 4.1
Making this total out of Happy Hour to be 26/30.
Overall, this is a place to come back again and even to try to whole sushi outside of happy hour. That being said, the sushi is excellent and the price was even better!