FoodCourt Issues Much-Anticipated In re Sushi Opinion

Download a PDF copy of the FoodCourt’s opinion:  In re Sushi


Supreme FoodCourt of AFJ

In re Sushi

February 17, 2012

Justice Steinberg delivered the opinion of the Court, which was joined by Justices Franco-Malone, Horn, Edmonds, Zeise, Posner, and Shea. Justice Edmonds wrote a concurrence which was joined by Justice Franco-Malone. Justice Brown took no part in the opinion.

This term the Supreme FoodCourt heard the case of In re Sushi, in which the Court was asked to decide the age-old question of whose Dupont Circle sushi cuisine reigns supreme.  The Court initially granted cert to consider the merits of four restaurants located near the Circle—Oh Fish!, Umi, Thai Chef, and Nooshi.[1]  After much consideration, a unanimous Court rules that Umi is the champion of the chopsticks, with Thai Chef placing a distant second, Oh Fish! placing third, and Nooshi being disqualified.

  1. I.                    Umi


What an easy choice.  Simply put, Umi had the best food, in the largest quantities, for the lowest price, of any of our contenders.

Let’s start with the food.  It was very tasty.  The miso soup was far and away the best of the bunch, with a nice, slightly salty texture, an aromatic broth.  The spicy white tuna crunch roll was incredibly fresh and delicious.  The other rolls were also uniformly fresh, with large portions of fish.  The sliced ginger was noticeably nicer than at other establishments.  The sashimi was of a similarly high quality (and quantity).  Yum.

The price for all of this food was absurdly low.  The lunch specials—$8.50 for two rolls + soup and $8 bento box with a huge amount of food—are so surprisingly inexpensive that many of us opted to go all-in and order an extra (delightfully superfluous) à la carte roll  for $4-6 as well.[2]

For busy Court-watchers who may want to patronize this establishment, we recommend the free delivery.[3]  The food comes in an unexpectedly nice presentation, with tin trays for sushi and plastic bento boxes for bento meals.

All said, this restaurant may make you exclaim “Umi O My!”


  1. II.                 Thai Chef


Thai Chef is a pan-Asian restaurant that has average sushi.  The food is fresh and there are a fair number of items on the menu, but it’s all a bit pricey for the quality and taste.

Many Justices were displeased to be paying $11-14 for food that was noticeably less tasty (and in smaller quantities) than the food at Umi.  The spicy, crunchy yellowtail was decent, and the miso soup was better than average, but nothing on the menu was particularly delicious.  Many of the rolls were crumbly, and also fell apart.  One pro is that it was easy to get a table there at lunch.

All things said, we were happy to say Sayonara at the end of our meal.

  1. III.               Oh Fish!

Oh Fish! may be the ideal spot for southerly Dupont Circlians on the run (it’s a good 10 minute walk from the circle), but for the rest of us it is probably not worth going out of your way to visit.

The store is essentially fast-food Sushi with average fare.  While there are only a few choices of fish for your rolls, you can design your own, allowing for a wide variety of options and interesting flavor combinations. One plus was that they had a great variety of soy sauce options (wasabi soy, sweet soy, citrus soy, wasabi mayo, etc.), though you only get one option per order.  One good or bad thing, depending on your perspective, is that the rolls are really big, so much so that most Court members could not eat them in one bite.

  1. IV.               Nooshi

While the Court initially granted cert to consider Nooshi, the Court later rescinded that order after several justices, at a separate non-Court sitting at Nooshi, ate their sushi and found it to be hugely over-priced and below-average.

Supreme FoodCourt of AFJ

In re Sushi

February 17, 2012

Justice Edmonds concurring in the judgment, joined by Justice Franco-Malone.

I concur to say only that Thai Chef was still pretty good and much closer than Umi, so it does not trail by much.  I am actually more likely to return to Thai Chef for an in-person meal, though I would order delivery for Umi or go there for dinner.

[1] Cert petitions for other Sakana, Cafe Japone, Raku, and Sushi Taro were denied for the time being, though they may be revisited in a later term.

[2] For all rolls, soy bean wrappers are available for those who do not like nori.

[3] If you have more time, we recommend going in-person.  The ambiance and service are both excellent.


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