Sushi Taro Restaurant

A happy deal at Sushi Taro

Good, top-quality sushi is usually worth the splurge. But the same sushi at half-price is worth recalibrating your entire datebook.

Sushi Taro, which is known for its limited seats and pricey multicourse kaiseki tasting menu, has debuted a new happy hour. Now patrons who used to queue down the stairwell for chef-owner Nobu Yamazaki's immaculate fish can eat half-price nigiri on weeknights from 5:30 until 7 p.m.

Yamazaki meticulously sources his fish from both Tokyo's Tsukiji market and as close as Maryland crab farms. His seasonal menu currently includes local blue crab ($6.50), thick slices of wild sockeye salmon ($6.75) and fresh, briny nama gaki, or oysters ($6).

The sprawling nigiri menu offers sushi standards, including three grades of tuna–regular ($3.50), zuke, or soy-marinated ($3.50), and fatty toro ($7.50)–as well as salmon ($3) and scallops ($3.50), all served with wasabi. Other standouts include Yamazaki's wild, slightly sweet head-on prawns ($4.50) and cured, sustainable saba mackerel ($4).

The restaurant also offers an impressive beer list at half-price, including sweet-potato-based Benika ($6.50) and Japanese hefeweizen ($5.50).

Sushi Taro; 1503 17th St. NW (at P St.); 202-462-8999 or