Spectacular Sushi and Sashimi.
Murasaki might not be the best Japanese restaurant in D.C., but after going there, I stopped looking. Their sushi is consistently fresh and tasty the dozen times I visited when I lived in the area a few years ago. My friend and I were such frequent guests, the waitresses knew what we wanted right as we sat down, which are two sushi dinners and a large hot sake.
The nameless (not really house brand b/c they don't make it so I feel weird calling it that) hot sake is the best I've had in any Japanese restaurant. It's not the bad-tasting low end sho-chik-bai or gekkeikan stuff either (though they price it the same). I asked about it once and when the waitress went to go find out and told me, it turned out that she only told me the name of the brand and not the actual product. Since I was still at a loss, I threw away the paper she gave me.
I made the effort to go back there a several months ago and took a chance and ordered their chef's special sashimi dinner, which costs about $10-$15 more than the sushi dinner. I was blown away. Everything was just amazing and the salmon was the best I've ever had. There was also some different types of seaweeds as garnishes.
It's probably good I didn't find out about this dish a few years ago, otherwise I'll be that much poorer. I'm looking forward to going back.
Much to Like.
Under new management, Murasaki's service is perhaps even better than before, attracting diplomats and neighborhood clietele alike. With great appetizers from the kitchen, including a plate of broiled eggplant with 3 sauces, and (in season) chawan mushi (hot seafood custard) and monkfish liver, through fine sushi and exemplary tempura (in season, the soft-shell crab has been meatier than anywhere else) and other hot entrees from the kitchen, this is still one restaurant where you'll want to stay for dessert. The fried banana is light, and the ice creams won me over, even though I'm not a big ice-cream fan. The black-sesame ice cream is a perfect way to end your meal, perhaps with an after-dinner drink from their full-bar in the back.