Nara-Ya

4.5
146 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 a la carte menu and available tasting menu's, 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

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 146 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DD
DanielD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful location and ambiance! We shared a couple of sushi rolls and they were not only delicious but decently sized. Also had cocktails and they were amazing. Beautiful views of the river. Staff were excellent. Highly recommended.

EF
EdwinF
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food
Great service
Amazing cocktails
We will be back

D
Dcfoodie
Tulsa
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience4

The service was very slow and a bit odd. Not to the level of other high end restaurants I’ve frequented in DC. The food was decent, but not great value for the price.

A
vipAlex
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience2

I was really excited to try Nara-Ya because I love Japanese izakaya and sushi. I have eaten at great Japanese restaurants. Bottom line this place was created for Instagram based on the decor and food presentation which I have no issue with. However the food is priced at Zuma and Nobu prices but does not come close to an experience at Zuma or Nobu. Also this is not a place for sushi unless you your definition of sushi is rolls. For example only 5 types of fish and 4 of them were tuna, but somehow they had had a 12 piece nigiri and sashimi omakase option. For sushi in dc my recommendation is Nakazawa(best), sushi taro or Ogawa. If you want a quality izakaya I’d recommend O-Ku or Cranes. Although I am looking forward to some of the new Japanese spots opening up soon.

We had chu toro and salmon nigiri( ok ), A5 wagyu tartare which they doused in a soy marinade and ruined the flavor, crispy cauli(good), smoked tuna (good but very small portion for the price), rockfish (good but nothing special and 3 oz portion), squid ink lobster couscous( couscous was very dry), A5 wagyu filet ( should have been rarer, no more than a 3 oz portion and thank god I asked them not to pour the sauce on it because that would have absolutely ruined it). I never understood why any restaurant would ruin A5 wagyu by making some sauce to drench it in.

Overall the food wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great and when you drop $300 for 2 people on food (ex wine and drinks), you expect a much better experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience1

Very nice location and ambiance. I had the braised short rib—which was okay. The meat was tender and soft but the overall flavor of the meal was not memorable. The tempura crunch roll sushi and the electric eel were very good. The district spice sushi roll were okay—not great. I have had better, less expensive sushi rolls. The portion sizes of the food are very small for the price.

F
vipFlips4evr
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food2service5ambience5

Beautiful restaurant with great service and presentation. The food itself was OK and a bit overpriced for what it was.

JW
JasmineW
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Food wasn’t good but the aesthetics were amazing. The drinks were also really good.

VF
vipVeggieFoodie
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food was really good! However, I would say the vegan sushi option could have been much better.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Food was 7/10. Some dishes were great others were not. Inconsistent service. The waiter forgot my hot tea until after my entree came out. Cool vibes, that’s what you’re paying for.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a beautiful experience- our host was amazing-the vibe was perfect🙏🏽

e
eitje
Richmond
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience5

Went for a friends birthday. It was a fine experience but the food and service are not worth the price at all. Wayyyy too expensive

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My server also part bartender was very knowledgeable even when it came to my celiac needs she accommodated me.

ML
MegL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Walking into NaRa-Ya was exciting and fun, the menu looked new and fresh. Unfortunately that was the end of the excitement. Our drinks were overly sweet, and felt low in alcohol content (which for $18+ a glass was disappointing). Service was good up until the main course. Our sushi took a long time to come out, with no update from our server. Once we finally did receive our sushi, it looked beautiful! However our the sushi itself was mid-level, which did not match the price point. It seemed like the chef relied on avocado and marsvapone in rolls and less on the cuts of fish within the roll.

Beautiful restaurant, but a disappointment for the luxury price point.

L
Lele
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience3

Unfortunately I cannot recommend NaRa-Ya to the vegan/vegetarian crowd. We ordered the 5 course vegan tasting option and it was absolutely not worth the price. The mushrooms were incredibly salty, the cauliflower was bland, the sushi was uninteresting, the tofu lacked effort. Overall it was a major disappointment.

AR
AlexR
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service, food. Breathtaking views and great cocktails and wine selection! Will definitely come back!

SD
SuburbanDinerslovesdc
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Over priced for what it is. Sushi was good but not special

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a wonderful experience!!! The service, food, drinks and view were all top notch! We will definitely be back!!!

TJ
TamarraJ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The dishes were fresh and flavorful.

OM
OlivierM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience3

Definitely disappointed. Long wait for an underwhelming dinner. We had 1 roll and 2 entrees.

Waitress was very good and was pleasant. Sushi was good. Wasabi short rib was also tasty. That’s the good…

The bad: waited probably 40 mins for the food. Their 46 dollar squid ink lobster couscous was a complete miss. For a seafood dish and the price, this dish was horrible: overcooked lobster and unseasoned dish.

Left a sour ending to our night…

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 12, 2021

Good Afternoon, I'm terribly sorry that you were charged for the squid ink couscous. We were quite busy last night and I asked the server to split it off so I could take it off later. There was a failure in communication on our part as the restaurant staff. You should see a refund for the squid ink couscous going back to your card in 2-3 days. Thank you for your patronage and we hope to see you again. If you do come in, please ask for Mike and I'll make the next experience much better.

Report
c
carolinem
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a beautiful setting right on the water, definitely go when during sunset . The décor is so cute and the staff was so friendly. The sushi is fresh and displayed beautifully.

ED
EricD
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Head down a beautifully decorated hallway to a private elevator to floor 3.1 where you are greeted by great views of the waterfront. Cocktails are interesting and delicious with a clear nod to Japanese spirits. The food was creative and delicious. The smoked tuna was a huge hit.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Experience, superb service and extraordinary food quality

JN
JohnN
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The ambiance on this place is great and there's a variety of menu items to satisfy varied tastes. And, our server was fantastic!

CM
vipCMD1
New England
5 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The 5 course dinner was outstanding, delicious and not too much. The service was exceptional and Shirette our server knew the menu in and out. Very knowledgeable and helpful. Great way to celebrate a birthday.

TR
TomR
New Mexico
21 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Food and drink are the superstars as they should be followed by service and view. Beautiful presentation and great flavors. A dining experience. We’ll be back

E
Ealla
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Amazing space great staff. Precious portions loaded with salt.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
17 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience2

Hot dishes were good. The nigiri was not tasty and fresh. Service was slow. Only a few weeks open so must still be working out the kinks. Okay place but not going back

JP
JP23
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was very good but expensive! We spent $400 on not a lot of food for 4 people, it was a birthday celebration and only the hostess acknowledged so otherwise they don’t do anything for it- nor did they honor my request for a window seat- instead we were tucked in a corner near the bar with minimal view. The presentation and food was good though- be prepared for $30 plus small plates and $20 wine and mixed drinks!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Today was such a magical it’s my daughter graduation. The family and I had a blast. The food was delicious the setting was beautiful looking over the harbor just what I wanted. Customer service was great. Food was presented beautifully in a timely manner. I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you are plant based eater. I will definitely return again. Thank you to the Universe for a great night.

KK
vipKristinaK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience5

The ambiance is really what this restaurant has going for itself. The food while presented beautifully was nothing short of average.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had an amazing dinner with friends specially thanks to our server Angel!! We will be back !

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 4, 2021

Thank you for the great review! 😍

Report
DW
DaveW
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

The food is excellent, and I keep wanting to say it’s worth the price and it might be, but just know if you watch your spending you should think twice.

They had opened recently so that could be why the service felt a little awkward and forced which promoted an unrelated atmosphere.

Seating was not comfortable.

The views were great but then anyplace at the wharf has a nice view.

I might would go back if they had a happy hour and a deal on small plates.

r
rachelsmom
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Our party of 4 had the 5 course tasting menu, 2 of them the vegan option. Each course was wonderful - personal favorites being the sushi course & matcha tiramisu dessert. Each dish very elegantly presented, our server was wonderful. Then came the check & the already added gratuity (22%!) & “Covid charge’l whatever that is. We weren’t thrilled with that part, keeps me from giving it 5 stars. If you’re cool with that, I think you’ll have a memorable meal.

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 4, 2021

Thank you for the overall excellent review!! The covid charge is to help us offset the charge of increased cleaning supplies and paying a contractor to fog the restaurant every night with decreased revenue. I'm sorry that it wasn't explained to you. Moving forward with our capacity increased to 100% and our revenue going up we should be removing the covid charge shortly.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience5

I want to say the food was magnificent but the entire experience was ruined by the host !!

I originally made the reservation for standard table instead of high table on open table but the hostess showed us way to high table when asked about it, she said she needs to check and takes us to a standard table and tells us that we need to let the table go in 30 mins!! I had made the reservation week before and looks like it’s either problem with open table or Nara-ya and it totally ruined our experience!!!

It’s just horrible how you spend lot $$$$ and have a bad experience.

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 2, 2021

I'm sorry to hear that your experience wasn't up to par. We have been dealing with a staffing shortage like everyone else and are working with our new team members on how to deal with situations correctly. Our sincere apologies for it not being handled correctly. We have been having some issues with opentable and hopefully that will be remedied this week. We know it is your choice to spend a substantial amount of money with us and we hope to turn this experience around. Please reach out.

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TD
TheDances
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, great service, all with a beautiful view. Highly recommend.

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 2, 2021

Thanks for the great recommendation and the wonderful feedback!

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S
Sondraf
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

LuLu was fantastic from start to finish. Her recommendations were great and the food was delicious! I definitely plan to go back!

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 2, 2021

Thank you for the great review! I'll let Lulu know she made your experience great!

Report
YA
YasmineA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

It was a beautiful venue with great views

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

It was a overall nice experience. The waiter encouraged us to try new things and we did.

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 2, 2021

Thank you for the great review! We are constantly working with our culinary team on our cuisine and hope that we can see you again.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Girls night was a success we enjoyed everything from the food to the drinks and that beautiful view of the water. 10/10

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 2, 2021

Thank you for the great review! Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

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S
Shen
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food and atmosphere. Drinks were small. Overall great meal but a bit much for what you got.

Nara-Ya
Responded on June 2, 2021

Thank you for the overall great review. We are working on our portion sizes and hope to see you again.

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FAQs

Nara-Ya is rated 4.5 stars by 146 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.