I've been eyeing Hando Medo for a long time because I'm a sucker for visually pleasing dining spaces. At Hando Medo, you can see right into the restaurant as you walk by. There's a single communal bar taking up the whole space. I love the way its organized.
"Hando Medo" means handmade. The restaurant specializes in "temaki," or hand rolls. Omakase dinners often end with these rolls. You should eat a temaki roll as soon as it's made. That way, the nori, or seaweed, stays crisp. If you let a temaki roll sit out for too long, the moisture from the rice seeps into the seaweed, making it chewy and hard to eat.
You can order the hand rolls at Hando Medo a la carte or in a set. The rolls are priced differently depending on the fish used, but you can buy a combination of three for $15 or up to six for $25. They also serve classic sides like miso soup and seaweed salad as well as sake and Japanese beers.
I ordered three rolls: eel, blue crab and the chef's special, which was a wasabi salmon.
The blue crab roll came out first, and it was decadent! The chefs really packed the roll chock full of crab. It was creamy, but the mayo wasn't overpowering. The roll had just enough mayo to hold the filling together, but not enough for me to taste it at all.
My favorite part of the roll was hands down the nori. It was so crunchy and flavorful. The contrast of the crunchy nori with the warm, almost creamy sushi rice was perfection.
The eel roll came out next. I LOVE eel, but it can be hard to get right. Eel sauce is delicious but I've had sushi that was drenched in so much of it that I couldn't taste the eel at all. This roll perfectly balanced the delicate taste of the eel with the sweet eel sauce.
The chef's special roll came out last. The bae and I both ordered this one, and we were not disappointed. The roll came with a honey wasabi sauce that provided a nice kick without completely destroying your sinuses the way pure wasabi does. The sauce was the star of the show.
Every single detail at Hando Medo is executed with care. Not only were the rolls delicious, but the soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger were also phenomenal. The ginger's heat and acidity were well balanced, and the house made soy sauce was not overly salty.
At $15 for three rolls, Hando Medo is a great option for quality sushi that won't put a dent in your wallet. I recently reviewed Zeppelin, a new sushi restaurant in Shaw. It was DELICIOUS, but much fancier than Hando Medo. You'll get quality sushi here with a fun, casual ambience.
I think the open seating is beautiful and I love the way the sushi is served one roll at a time. I'm often guilty of eating my food way too fast. Receiving the rolls one at a time forces me to savor them.
Price point: $$ ($11-$30)
Dress code: Casual. Perfect for a fun date or a quick lunch.
Noise level: ????????/5 The bae and I ate an early dinner when we were here, so there weren't many diners sitting with us. Since it's open seating, the restaurant might get a little louder during peak hours.
Food: ????????????????????/5 I loved everything about my meal, from the quality of the fish down to the pickled ginger.
Service: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️/5 The servers and chefs were all very eager to explain the menu options. Rolls came out at the perfect speed for eating them one at a time.
Hando Medo is located at 1315 14th St. Nw.
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