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“Flawless service, top quality ingredients” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Makoto Restaurant

Makoto Restaurant
4822 Macarthur Blvd NW, Washington DC, DC 20007-1557
202-298-6866
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Ranked #154 of 2,564 Restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: $40 - $40
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Herndon, Virginia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Flawless service, top quality ingredients”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

Makoto specializes in kaiseki, which is a seasonal tasting menu with a formal composition of preparation types. Many of the "courses" are composed of 3 different elements, often just one or two bites each. You can expect fast, attentive service; there are 3 waitresses for about 30 seats. The waitresses will explain how to eat anything that is unfamiliar, and will happily identify each ingredient. The quality of ingredients is very high and we have always had at least one item per meal that was a real stunner. The menu is very much focused on the fixed price kaiseki meal and there are only a few other options for diners; this is probably not the place to take your ultra-picky food-phobic friend.

We have eaten at a number of restaurants with high priced tasting menus, and we always walk away saying, "well,that was good, but I'd happily dine twice (or three or four times) at Makoto rather than go there again."

Diners with longer legs may wish to request at-bar seating. My leggy 6'2" spouse was not comfortable at the tables, but the bar has worked well for us.

Do NOT visit if you like to talk on your cell phone during the meal. They are banned and the ban is enforced.

Reservations are an absolute must.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    52
    22
    4
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Real Japanese food in Washington DC”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

Even with all the good Japanese restaurant in San Francisco, I have to visit Makoto every time I go to Washington DC, where I visit about 5 to 6 times a year. Why do I like it? Very authentic, great Japanese food and give you that being in Japan feel. The owner chief is a quiet guy and now the son is taking over. Lunch is the bargain $16.00 with more food than you can eat. Reservation is essential for dinner, the place can sit only 20 people and no big party. Do remember wear you better socks since you have to take off your shoes in the restaurant

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great food, very disappointing service. Beware if you have allergies.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

The food was generally excellent, particularly the seafood. The problem was that they served me a walnut sauce after I informed them that I had a serious nut allergy. While the waitstaff does not speak perfect English, the woman who took our order clearly understood that I am allergic to nuts and warned me that the shabu shabu course was accompanied by something that contained walnuts. When the course came, I asked the woman who served the course whether any of sauces contained nuts. She indicated that one side dish contained nuts. She did not indicate that one the two sauces, the one for the meat, contained nuts. After I ate the sauce, two women who were aware of my nut allergy came to the table and informed me that I had eaten the walnut sauce. I had to put my shoes back on (the restaurant charmingly requires you to take off your shoes when you enter the dining room) and go across the street to the CVS for benadryl. A failure of language comprehension was somewhat excusable in an ethnic restaurant. The failure to communicate knowledge of a potentially fatal allergy to the server of the only course that contained nuts was inexcusable.
We have never experienced another restaurant in this price range that failed so spectacularly in handling my nut allergy. And while the waitstaff expressed concern, they did not offer to compensate us in any manner. We assume that most restaurants would have comped the meal or a significant portion of the meal, such as the $65.00 bottle of wine. At a minimum, it seems that they should have offered to pay for the totally unnecessary benadryl purchase.
Moreover, before the nut course, the servers rushed us through two courses by bringing us the next course before we had finished the previous course.
We are usually willing to overlook subpar service because we dine out primarily for the food. Makoto is the one exception to this rule. The restaurant's service is simply inadequate.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
75 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Best Japanese restaurant in DC”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

This is more than food, it's an experience. The chef's menu is always a great choice. I have been to this restaurant at least 7 times in the past 4 years, and it never failed to amaze me with the creativity of the menu. I noticed there is at least one review that complains about waitresses being very alert and refilling glasses. Note this is a Japanese custom. This restaurant is very tradition (shoes off, waitress always available, all staff greets you loudly when you walk in, etc). If you are not comfortable experiencing other traditions, you might not like it. If you are open minded and looking for a true Japanese experience in the heart of DC, then don't hesitate. It will not disapoint. I highly recommend it and can't wait to go back.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Simply the Best Japanese”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

Make a reservation (there are only about 4 tables and small bar). Remove your shoes at the door and put on the slippers provided. You can stash your personals (coat, purse, etc.) in the hollow hatch beneath your seat. Then order the 10-12 course meal and let the excellent service and food come. Your only choice is fish or meat for the main course... for the rest you put yourself in the chef's hands and you will NOT be disappointed. I've never had a bad meal or experience at Makoto. You walk out feeling perfect. Neither hungry nor wanting more. Your tongue will thank you and you'll be talking about which friend you want to turn on to the experience as you put your shoes back on and walk out the door.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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