After a couple of days eating as a gwai lo, it's nice to have a spot of Asian, just to break the richness and the monotony. So we drove out to McLean, in Virginia to have Japanese at Tachibana. It's authentic and good value for what you pay. Don't expect the moon, this is DC, but the number of Asians, and the Japanese wait staff with heavily accented English lends plenty of credibility to the place.
If they have Ankimo (monk fish liver) on the menu in the US, I am assuming a fair bit of authenticity already. It's by no means the best or freshest I've had but it was decent and firm but creamy. And there was suitably enough ponzu dressing to lift it, plus crunch from the sweet julienned Daikon.
Our other starter of the Kurobuta (Berkshire loin or Black pig) Katsu, was also fairly good. You won't get the best cut for the prices they charge at lunch, but it was a tasty piece of meat, and well deep fried to leave no trace of oil on the bed of cabbage.
My main of the Saba Oshizushi was good with the generous piece of mackeral on the top of each piece of pressed sushi. And while not as plump as the good ones are, this was a good effort. Only complaint: they used rice which was too mushy and sticky and not the good grade where every grain is distinct.
E and C each had the Chirashi which again was fresh, and great value. Bonus: the marinated pieces of salmon in the foreground, added to the novelty of Tachibana's interpretation of the dish.
Great value for lunch and the variety keeps it interesting. But by the same token, don't expect specialist quality here.