DC at Night

DC at Night

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yo! It's Yo Sushi

Yo! It's circling sushi.
When I was little, I loved going to Philadelphia with my Mother. There was the lure of the big city. Big crowds of people. Big buildings. Big department stores filled with big and small toys. Big bookstores. Big restaurants.

A Horn and Hardart of days past.
And when it came to big restaurants, one of my favorites was the Horn and Hardart Automat on Chestnut Street. For those of you not old enough to remember Horn and Hardart  Automats, they were cavernous, waiterless establishments which represented a combination of fast-food, vending, and cafeteria-style eateries. By the 1950s, these restaurants, with their chrome-and-glass coin-operated machines, brought high-tech, inexpensive dining to more than 800,000 customers a day. In fact, you could consider these Automats America’s first major fast-food chain.

Well, what goes around comes around, although often in a modernly modified format.

Yesterday, we visited the new Yo! Sushi in Union Station for the 1st time. As its name implies, the eatery features Japanese food with an emphasis on sushi. But the unique thing is, the sushi and other food bowls are placed on a conveyor belt which loops around the dining area. Sitting on stools or in booths, diners simply grab what they want for their meal. The bowls are colored-coded by price so you know what you are spending.
Not sure what to do? Consult your placemat.
 But the choices are daunting. For example, there are more than 70 dishes to try including 26 hot Japanese classic meals, 4 salads, 5 desserts, and 42 different types of sushi. Unlike Horn and Hardart, there are waitresses present to explain the operation to you. You can also consult your placemat for how to proceed.  The waitresses will bring you drinks and soups. I would recommend the iced green tea and the Miso soup, since both entitle you to limitless refills. And I would strongly suggest  finishing your meal with the green tea custard. It is small, but really tasty.
Condiments such as chopsticks, soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi are located in recessed areas of the booths and countertops where you eat.
Everything you need for your sushi.
For anyone worried about freshness or desiring entertainment,  you can watch the sushi chefs preparing their creations in an open kitchen right in front of you.

The Washington DC eatery is the 1st Yo! Sushi in America. The British chain now has establishments in 8 countries including Dubai. The firm is planning to open a 2nd Yo! Sushi in the Chinatown section of DC before expanding to other U.S cities.
I wonder how you say, "this is like a future version of the old Horn and Hardart Automat" in Japanese? Oh, that would be これは古いホーンとのオートマットの将来のバージョンのようなものです.

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
If you are visiting DC or you find yourself near Union Station, you might want to check out Yo! Sushi. It's a unique, fun way to eat a meal whether by yourself, a partner, or a group of friends. You can click here for the complete menu.

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