Matuba Japanese Restaurant serves sushi as well as other traditional entr�es. The inside of the restaurant is simply decorated with drop ceilings and wood paneling. The decor on the walls is just as much for education as it is for aesthetics, as hung throughout the restaurant are charts with different types of sushi and sashimi along with their Japanese names. This visual guide makes ordering at Matuba that much easier for sushi novices, as they can simply find a picture of something they like and order that.
Matuba has dinner options like shrimp tempura and tekka don, but the focus of the menu is on the sushi and sashimi. There are several types of rolls that guests can order or they can get one of the combination sushi boats or bento boxes. These meals can feed anywhere from one to four people and are usually a sampler of various menu items.
The staff was extremely kind. They discovered that it was my grandsons birthday and brought him dessert with a candle and sang to him accompanied by drums! My family loves the sushi.
This was the second time we went to Matuba, and honestly made reservations by thinking it was another place. The first time a year ago, the a/c was broken. This time the temperature inside was still hot but better. That was about the highlight. The table was dirty with someone's left over chopsticks. 20 minutes from getting out drinks before ordering anything. I want to try the fried pork and what arrived was a leather patty that could've been out of a frozen food box. The sushi my husband got was ok, except his came with avocado, which the menu did not state. Service continued to be sub par. Am surprised at previous reviews, as this is not the best sushi place in Bethesda. So disappointed. Will not return.
A friend and I recently had dinner at Matuba Restaurant. I have eaten many times at this restaurant and with few exceptions the food and service have been excellent. I had the combo teriyaki chicken with vegetable and shrimp tempura. The tempura is always freshly made, crips, and never greasy. The chicken also was well prepared. My friend had the lobster sushi that was excellent; however the Japanese fried chicken was a little over done with not very much flavor. The ambience was quiet and comfortable for pleasant conversation. This is still one of my favorite restaurants in Bethesda.
Food was not all too good and there were some pieces of caviar sprinkled across my pickled ginger, which the restaurant didn't really seem to care about. Too bad this is the only japanese and sushi restaurant option on opentable for downtown Bethesda. Other than that, the service was at its usual decent level.
We had sushi and various rolls. It was very fresh and tasty. I hadn't been in this restaurant in over 20 years and was so happy to find it again. If it hadn't been on Open Table I may not have remembered where it was (moved out of the area in 1996.) I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves sushi.
I frequently dine at Matuba in Bethesda. The food is always excellent and dependable. The Terriyaki chicken ad the shrimp/vegetable tempura are well prepared and beautifully laid out on the plate. the tempura is crisp, not at all creasy, and works well with shrimp and a variety of vegetables. The Terriyaki chicken also is well prepared, tasty, tender, and moist. My companion usually orders a verity of sushi to complement her meal. These are also well prepared by chefs at the front counter using very fresh components. The noise level is quite tolerable for a Bethesda restaurant. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Bethesda.
Ordered spicy tuna donburi which would have been great if it wasn't as salty as it was prepared. The miso soup was also salty, and edemame beans seemed to not be so fresh, which kinda ruined the overall dining experience. Otherwise, had satisfactory service from an attentive server and restaurant was clean as it always is.
Matuba continues to be one of the best sushi restaurants in the Metro area. Its consistently high quality food and service makes this an area classic. This is a restaurant at which you will never be disappointed.
haven't been there in a couple months/year and as always.. food was good to great, service, excellent. I like sashimi, fresh fish, and not any smell from it. Nice and bright colors... friend has the spicy lobster roll, (she wanted more spicy) a chinese thing. LOL.. overall, enjoyed the dinner.
For years I have dined at Matuba Japanese Restaurant and have appreciated the consistently excellent food and the service that is always attentive. The sushi and authentic Japanese dishes are delicious and well prepared. The restaurant is small and can get crowded at peak dining times; however the ambience is comfortable and the noise level acceptable (especially in comparison to many other restaurants in Bethesda).
Matuba has been a good reliable, neighborhood restaurant for years -- welcoming staff, fresh sushi, varied Japanese menu with pleasant atmosphere --truly a neighborhood gem !
Food was fine. Took forever to get our food because a waiter from another table took our food before our server could get to it. Consequently, we had to wait while the kitchen prepared another order. Otherwise fine and inexpensive.
The tasty and well prepared food, sushi and tempura that was ordered, is the reason for choosing this restaurant. Architecture and ambiance are less than appealing, especially for a Japanese touch.
Everyone was very friendly from the moment we walked in the door, the sushi was spot on, and the place had a lot of character. It had a small business/ family owned feel, with great food and personality, which I will always support when I find a place worth while. We will definitely be making a trip back soon.
I haven't been to Matuba in several years and was disappointed. It used to be one of our favorites, but the shashimi did not seem fresh and there was a fishy smell that was overwhelming.
The food just wasn't that good. Sushi was okay; chicken teriyaki pretty boring. Very nice waitress though.
This place was sub-par. It smelled like garbage from where we were sitting. Come here if you want to eat lousy food and wait forever to get attention from the server.
They have loft saved for families. They prepare a special "chopstick" for my 3-yo son, very consideration. The food was great. We have been there several times and never got disappointed. Not cheap though, but worth the price.
Good sushi with a very casual ambiance. The staff and sushi chefs are quite friendly and actually are Japanese! The sushi and sashimi are well prepared and tasty. Enough to return for more.
The bluefin tuna sushi and the edamame were great, and so was the service. We had a new dessert that was fantastic. It was green-tea creme brulee.
I like their selection of sakes and quality of their sushi isn't too bad (nothing to be too impressed about either). They have a $14.95 dinner special which I have ordered a few times already and I like the selection of meat/seafood they let you choose from. Their menu prices are pretty fair for being in downtown Bethesda.
Adequate buffet to satisfy if you are extremely hungry. However food was mediocre and not impressive.
Food was great and fast. Waitress was very nice and we got free saki for booking on opentable!
The food was terrible. The service was not attentive. Would not go back or recommend to anyone.
We have eaten here for many years and enjoyed it until recently.
There was an unmistakable atmosphere of stress and strain among the staff which gave the restaurant an uninviting atmosphere. Children have overtaken the sushi bar in back with the moving display.
Please find a new manager for this otherwise great restaurant.
We've loved Matuba/Bethesda for decades, but noticed that portions are getting smaller -- sort of zen in some ways, but disappointing. Fish quality is still top notch. Staff is wonderful.
I have enjoyed many meals at Matuba and the food was good as always, and the service was outstanding.
Food was ok - nothing special, but not bad. Service was terrible. They got a little busy and we never saw our waitress again.
The sushi was delicious and the ambiance was pleasant. This is not a fancy place, which my girlfried and I liked. If you are looking for a great meal without any upscale mumbo-jumbo, then look no further.
Friendly service. Food is tasty but I wouldn't call it innovative or spectacular. You can count on Matuba for a nice meal with friendly service and reasonable prices.
Always good fish. Always. Often, their specials are really special, too - the mackerel was stellar on this occasion. One problem, and it's beyond the control of the restaurant: families with children are generally seated in the upstairs area, which is fine. I have children, and the upstairs is a bit more tranquil, which is great. However, many patrons feel like its OK for their precious little ones to scream during dinner. When they're at the next table from me. Which is NOT OK when I'm trying to relax and enjoy excellent sake and sashimi. This has happened with truly annoying regularity on my last several visits. The waitstaff are apologetic, but there's really not much they can do about clueless parents.
We had not been to Matuba in a number of years. We were disappointed in the food. The green salad had a very mayonnaise-y dressing, the salmon teriyake had a nice sauce, but the fish itself was kind of yucky under the skin. The sushi rolls, too, were just not great, although I can't really pinpoint why. Service was adequate, not memorable. Overall, don't think we will return.
The food was ok. If someone said "hey, I'm going to Matuba do you want to join?" sure I would go.
I would not necessarily make a special trip.
After living in Japan for nearly 10 years, I returned to the US about two years ago. My wife and I have searched for authentic Japanese restaurants since we've been back, and Matuba is one of only two restaurants in Maryland that we'd recommend. The food is great, the waitstaff are helpful, and the decor is tasteful.
I found the nigiri sushi fish pieces quite small and thin.
It took quite awhile for us to get water we requested-but our waitress' attitude was quite pleasant. There were limited choices for drinks--only wind and beer and for a couple of our party who wanted cooked food, but not tempura. The fish was very fresh.
We used to eat at Matuba often, and the food was always good back then. We came back after a long hiatus, and found the food to be really poor this time. Not one of the four of us liked our meals. The chicken was dry, the tempura was over-fried, sauces tasted terrible, etc. There are other much better Japanese restaurants around - this one has gone downhill.
AC wasn't working well, but the foood was great.
The restaurant was clean and open. The wait staff were friendly and attentive. However, the food reminded me of China, more than Japanese. I have lived in both countries and have eaten their notable foods. I have eatened at this restaurant in the past (1990 through 1998) and the food's quality and texture was very different than what I experienced on Father's day. Having known the quality and taste of original Japanese dishes and the previous quality of this restaurant, I am sadden at what was presented as Japanese dishes.