Nara-Ya

4.6
51 Reviews
$50 and over
Japanese
Nestled at the heart of the District Wharf, Nara-Ya brings traditional Japanese Cuisine with a modern inflection, helmed by Executive Chef Lucas Irwin and D.C. renowned Creative Culinary Director Kaz Okochi. Featuring an elegant alla carte menu, Nara-Ya takes pride in the culinary artistry of the traditional Japanese kitchen while advocating a personal responsibility to environmental demands. It is our practice to source out local produce while offering sustainable farm raised and wild caught global marine products, while maintaining an unparalleled dining experience at Nara-Ya. In addition, Nara-Ya boasts an extensive sake & Japanese whisky list, including exceptional offerings rarely seen outside of the islands of Japan. Accompanying the sake & whisky list is an intensive champagne and wine list accentuating our culinary offerings.

Reservations may be cancelled 24 hours in advance. Within 24 hours or no-shows will be 25.00 per guest fee

Experiences

  • Mothers Day Brunch

    $55.00 per person

    May 9, 2021 only

    Mother's Day Brunch at Nara-Ya features a small plates selectable prefix 5 course menu. Small Plates Choose 3 - Crispy Cauliflower Shishito Peppers Agadashi Tempura Tofu Miso Clam Chowder Seaweed Salad Salmon or Tuna Hawaiian Stack Large Plates - Choose One Omurice Crepe Okonomiyaki Short Rib Purple Sweet Potato Hash Taiyaki Pancake with Matcha Whipped Cream and choice of sides Japanese Milkbread French Toast with Matcha Whipped Cream and choice of sides Dessert - Choose 1 Nara-Ya Green Tea Matcha-misu Sakura Garden
  • Mother's Day Dinner Prefix Menu

    $95.00 per person

    May 9, 2021 only

    1st Course - Maui Tuna Stack - Cucumber, Avocado, Crispy Wonton Chips, Red Onion, shio-kombu, scallions, island poke sauce 2nd Course - Japanese A5 Wagyu with youzu sesame dressing, shiokombu, puffed forbidden rice, crispy rice cracker 3rd Course - Choice of: Miso Brown butter lobster tail, Squid Ink couscous, shitake-yuzu foram, baby bok choy O R Braised 6oz short rib, koji glazed kabocha pumpkin, caramelized black sesame seeds, wasabi creme fraiche Fourth Course: Choice of- Omakase Platter 4 pieces or The Nara Ya Roll or Toro Sashimi 2 pc or Nigiri 3 pc Dessert: Matcha Misu or Sakura Garden - Paired with a Champagne Toast

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Diner temperature check required
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 51 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Angel was amazing! He recommended amazing food and cocktails. He also checked in to make sure we had everything we needed to enjoy ourselves! We’ll definitely ask for him next time we dine here.

E
Esqchica
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience5

With my brother-in-law in town to babysit, my husband and I snagged a date night. We attended a digital art exhibit at Artechouse and were excited to dine at nearby Nara-Ya. The model tall hostess led us to our table and was amenable when we asked to be seated by the window instead. The waitstaff, food servers and table buspeople obviously work as a team because the service was virtually seamless. The crispy cauliflower with shishito pepper and miso puree with forbidden rice was so delicious we placed an order for a second serving. When the white, sweet smoked wafted from the zuke tuna, we were salivating. We were not disappointed with the smooth, and flavorful tuna. The poached lobster roll with miso brown butter soy was simply fun on our palates! While the miso cured pompano fish was as delicate as they come, the roasted bone fish dashi sauce accompanying the fish was so perfect I wanted a hunk of bread to sop up the sauce! Deep dish matcha tiramisu appropriately served with a mini shovel shaped spoon was almost the perfect ending to our night out. I write “almost” because when the bill arrived we were surprised and a bit miffed to see a 20% “service charge”. Had we been clearly notified in advance, the charge would’ve caused no concern and our evening would’ve ended wonderfully. But to see the unexplained charge at the end of the meal caused us concern. Was every diner being charged, or just us? Was the charge a gratuity, a COVID cleaning charge, a way to more evenly distribute funds to the staff? There’s plenty of fine print on the menu. Surely there was space to explain the 20% service charge. Despite the delectable meal, the lack of transparency about the service charge left a bad taste in our mouths. Not the way we wanted to end our date night. We did not seek out management because we decided to give Nara-Ya management the benefit of the doubt and assume the 20% would be distributed to the staff.

TJ
TaylorJ
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sherette was amazing!!! Every dish was perfect. We really appreciate everyone at Nara-Ya for providing us with a beyond memorable experience. We will be back!

NC
NicoleC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Ambience and service was great but the food wasn’t as good as other
Restaurants with the same price
Point.

MP
MyaP
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very beautiful dinner. Perfect for girls night out!

EP
EllePea21
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing! The drinks were beautiful and mostly/majority great too! The atmosphere was beautiful and trendy! Everything was so fresh and the service was quick and attentive. Expensive but worth it. Will definitely go again!

Nara-Ya
Responded 3 days ago

Thank you so much for this awesome feedback. Looking forward to seeing you again.

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c
vipchickeats
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Had a great meal here -- enjoyed the view, the ambience and the sushi. Great service as well. Would return!

Nara-Ya
Responded 3 days ago

Thank you for the excellent review!

Report
NG
vipNikkiG
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Not even sure how it’s rated but that’s even overrated and overpriced! Made to pay. $10 “cleaning fee” on a $450 for 2 person check! If I wanted to clean I would have stayed home! Food was salty and mediocre!

DL
DLon
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I went here for my birthday dinner and had an amazing time. Christian provided us with the best service. I would have liked to have a sample of all of the vegan food because everything looked so great but I’ll definitely be back soon!

MW
MichelleW
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was such a great experience and the food was amazing

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience5

Service was below average. Our server wasn’t very attentive or friendly which was extremely disheartening because this was my boyfriend and I’s first time at the restaurant. The food was delicious and beautifully plated. The weather was very overcast but the view of the water was still great. There was a 20% tip added to the bill automatically which usually wouldn’t bother me but for the type of service we received I found it to be ridiculous.

JF
JackF
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful restaurant. Well priced for the area and tasty food. I would return.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

I thoroughly enjoyed my time. The food and service was amazing.

WT
WorldTraveler
Anchorage
14 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely and relaxing dinner. Very tasty and beautiful experience. The serving style for each was well thought out. Very knowledgeable waitstaff. I missed having their tasting menu so I will need to come back to see what other beautiful surprises await. The only thing which could have been better was there is only 1 elevator so hard to obtain social distancing getting in/out, but here is a stairway next to the elevator which I will take next time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Eel roll is one of the best sushi rolls I’ve ever had!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nara-Ya was amazing! The wait times were wonderful and the food was amazing. The check in due to COVID was easy and the staff is 10/10. Can’t wait to go back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my first time visiting Nara-ya and it exceeded all of my expectations!
No effort has been spared creating a lush ambience and the attention to detail is impeccable; even right down to how your check is delivered. BONUS: wait until you see the restroom!
10/10!
If you’re thinking about going this is your sign to just go. Run!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had fun and enjoyed myself. The food was really good and environment was calm and aesthetically pleasing!

CS
401CoryS
Toronto
9 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Loved the vibe. Entire table enjoyed the food but agreed the sushi was disappointing.

Would recommend.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience2

Beautiful water views and tasty cocktails, food probably the worse food that I ever had in DC.

Everything was extremely salty, when I said salty I meant it. The miso clam chowder was watery and salty as sea, also the first time that I had a sushi roll that I had to return because of how salty it was, the prawn was the only edible item that we enjoy, the flavors of the tiradito were good but the texture of the fish was extremely odd.

I feel like the chefs there need Edit on they food. They are trying too hard and are missing the elegance on the food and don’t let the ingredients shine on they own. They are forcing too much

We decided to leave before ordering main courses and desserts because we were afraid of the salt. I had to run to the cvs because of the pain in my stomach because all the salt.

Nara-Ya
Responded on April 19, 2021

Thank you for the positive note on the views. Our food is typically excellent across the board. I am sorry to hear that you thought some of the items were too salty. Our miso soup does have salt in it, though we taste it when we make it each day to ensure it is not too salty. As for the sushi roll I am unsure how it would have become salty. I have discussed the situation with our culinary team and our Culinary Director Kaz Okochi. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you for visiting DC.

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ZM
ZainebM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Really good, however plates were too small and too pricey for the size.

JL
JacquesL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, would recommend anyone to check it out won’t be disappointed

Nara-Ya
Responded on April 18, 2021

Thank you so much for your great review!

Report
RM
vipRohanM
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience5

Fantastic quality of fish, service left much, much to be desired.

Waiter was inattentive — most of the time there was spent trying to flag him down to take our order.

Cocktails took ~30 minutes to arrive, after first course despite being ordered first.

Unlikely to return.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, excellent service, excellent ambiance

R
Rachel
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I appreciate the thoughtful vegan options on the menu. Cocktails and decor were great too!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and the service was great in the beginning while we were there. However, when it was time to leave we were trying to take pictures and were told we couldn’t stop on the way out to take pictures and we were rushed out because of other guests by the hosts who leads you to the high top floor.

A
Average
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is so professionally executed. It’s almost too pretty to eat. The flavors are incredible. The plating is gorgeous. Ingredients were all so fresh. Cocktails are excellent. A lot of time and care have been put into the entire restaurant/menu. I’ve done both the tasting menu experience and a la carte and it has not let me down. The executive chef stopped by my table to ensure we were having a great meal. I will definitely be back and will recommend to others. Thank you Nara-ya for such a great dinner.

P
Pulitzer
Montreal
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience2

Very noisy, mediocre food for the price, superb service

TD
TeddyD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Awesome new place at the Wharf! Great for date night.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Mexico City
9 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Todo muy bien, si está un poco caro pero vale la pena, fueron $500 dlls y éramos 2 adultos y 2 niños pero un niño no comió más q un plato de arroz.. si te gusta la comida japonesa, bien sushi, está muy bien..

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SL
SimeonL
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cannot wait to eat here again. From the outstanding service beginning to end, the food, ambiance, and selection.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing. Very fresh and delicious! Enjoyed delicious cocktails and delicious food. Will definitely be going back!

Nara-Ya
Responded on April 3, 2021

Thank you so much for your excellent refview. Happy to hear you will be back soon.

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. Great service and good.

Nara-Ya
Responded on April 3, 2021

Thank you so much for your great review!

Report
NS
NikkiS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Angel was our waiter he was outstanding . Atmosphere was great . Beautiful views and decor !

Nara-Ya
Responded on March 30, 2021

Thank you for your great review!

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D
Disappointed
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I was disappointed in my experience. I had requested an outdoor table when I reserved in order to be covid safe which I did not get. The menu was a fixed menu which I was not in the mood for. The quality of the food was ok but definitely not worth the $89 per person. The ambience was terrible. Do not recommend at all.

Nara-Ya
Responded on March 30, 2021

Good Afternoon, I understand you requested outdoor seating, unfortunately our restaurant does not have outdoor seating as clearly stated on our website and opentable. We do employ stringent anti-covid measures, including social distancing, sanitizing and table spacing. Our five course tasting menu does have different items which you can choose from, which is also on opentable and our website. In regards to ambience and food I'm sorry that your experience did not meet your expectation.

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AG
vipAustinG
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great tasting menu, exceptional upgrades, and refreshing cocktails. The sushi was phenomenal, and each course was better than the last.

Nara-Ya
Responded on March 28, 2021

Thank you so much! We appreciate your patronage and your feedback!

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MB
MicciB
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the most amazing experiences. Loved everything!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a new spot that we stumbled upon. It was amazing!! The drinks were delish, the staff was wonderful, and although I didn’t have a full meal, the dessert was so rich and decadent. I’ll be back as SOON as I can.

Nara-Ya
Responded on March 28, 2021

Thank you so much for your awesome review! Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, food, drink, and the atmosphere

Nara-Ya
Responded on April 3, 2021

Thank you so much!! It is appreciated.

Report
OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Miami
8 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience2

I went with my boyfriend to celebrate our one year anniversary while we were staying a few days in Washington DC. Although the food was tasting good, we didn’t like the style of the menu where we were obligated to eat only the few options that were there (you pay one fee to choose between only a few options for entree, appetizer and dessert).
At the end we were charged 20% service fee included on the bill and still have the option to include tips after all!
Also the food is so so so little that my boyfriend and I ended up having to eat fast food after spending almost $400 for dinner at the restaurant.

Nara-Ya
Responded on March 27, 2021

Thank you for coming to visit DC from out of town. We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your experience. Our menu, which is on our website and opentable, is a 5 course prefix menu plus an amuse'. We have this style menu to control food cost with capacity limited at 25% with tables spaced six feet apart I am surprised and shocked to see this review. We check in with every table and wished you would have told us while you were here so we could have changed things to your liking.

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FAQs

Nara-Ya is rated 4.6 stars by 51 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.