New Restaurant: Fashionable Fujimar
A new restaurant has opened its doors to DC. Fujimar occupies the top floor of K Street's glitzy club, Lima, and the decoration and clientele are trendy and fashionable. The food, a fusion of Latin American and Asian cuisines, also follows the latest culinary buzz with an emphasis on ceviche and sushi. Before Fujimar, the top floor served only Latin-inspired dishes, but owner and manager Masoud Aboughaddareh closed Lima's restaurant from December to just now to give it a makeover. (For a while, the new restaurant was to be called Fujimori, but turns out that's the name of a former Peruvian president who's now jailed on bribery and embezzlement charges. Cue a Rick Perry oops.) Fujimar's main dining room is luxuriously decorated with red velvet chaises and colorful chandeliers. It's back bar area featuring a sushi bar exudes modern luxury with its white and angular aesthetic. This is the place for 4-inch heels and skinny ties, for champagne and speciality sushi, and for girls' night out and dancing until dawn. (In fact, Fujimar will be serving sushi and ceviche until 1am Monday through Thursday and until 2am on Friday and Saturday.)
At the opening, the drinks kept flowing, which I'm not opposed to, but the food came in starts and stops (this I am opposed to). The cocktails, devised by veteran mixologists Ari and Micah Wilder whose credits include Potenza and Zola, tasted fresh and complex. They also looked stunning, and I couldn't help but take a million pictures. I spent at least twenty minutes just staring at the bartender's hands, watching him whip things up with ease and expertise. The ingredients are creative, and the drinks are so flavorful that you can barely taste any bitter alcoholic aftertaste. I ordered the Eastern Promise, a vodka drink with tamarind nectar topped off with Sauterne (a white wine) foam and violet salt. All the juices and purees used in Fujimar's speciality cocktails are made in-house, including a delicious nonalcoholic ginger beer. I really enjoyed the fact that the Yamakazi Cobbler arrived in a mason jar (I guess this place isn't too uppity) with a mint leaf dusted with confectioner's sugar. If you like mojitos, then this drink is for you. The Forbidden is for people who like smoky, savory drinks; it definitely has a bite to it with the addition of bitters and jalapeño liquor. Whatever cocktail you choose, it is going to be delicious.
Chef Raynold Mendizabal heads up the kitchen, and he has an array of sushi chefs underneath him who roll out the gourmet rolls. Check out the Spicy Ahi Oshibako, which is a tuna "roll" except that is boxed instead of rolled up together. As a result, the roll, when cut, looks like perfect cubes. Like the sushi bar's angular decoration, the oshibako rolls mirror the hard edges. The sushi memo fuses Latin American ingredients such as a garnish of fried jalapeño on the Spicy Ahi Oshibako. I can also recommend the Scallop roll for its subtly sweet taste. Sliced scallop decorates the top of the roll, and it is dusted with brown sugar and then seared to caramelize the sugar. Although the mango flavor is almost undetectable, it adds a needed crunch to the scallop and avocado in the roll. I also sampled fried cod fingers with wasabi. This dish fell flat because I could barely taste the wasabi, and the cod was extremely mushy to the extend that the fried outside was the only thing to keep the food glued together. Thankfully, I did not see this on the menu, so it seems like Fujimar was perhaps testing this hot dish.
With its convenient location (a block away from McPherson Metro station), Fujimar is easy to reach. If you are seeking a change of pace from the city's established dining institutions and feel up for a modern lounge-y place, then Fujimar is your destination. Dishes range from $10-18. Fujimar is located at 1401 K Street, NW, DC.
Short URL: http://bit.ly/wkbkPd