Cafe Japone

Circa at Dupont

Cafe Japone has been a favorite of mine for a while now so this review is long overdue. The venue is a bit of a hidden gem in DC – a two-story establishment it really is somewhat of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of sushi places in the DC area. The top floor offers a fairly laid-back sushi restaurant and bar complete with a karaoke stage. Walking into the downstairs bar however is sort of like entering a strange post-modern planetarium / lounge replete with billowy curtains, plush couches and a DJ booth.

Cost – $$

Service – B-
Cafe Japone doesn’t stake their claim on service. Actually their service can seem downright apathetic at times, as if to say, “This place is so cool we don’t even have to try very hard.” It is pretty cool though so I guess they don’t have to try that hard.

Food – B+
The sushi is pretty good. The sushi chefs are actually Japanese (as is the ownership) so they are really forced to represent appropriately. Actually in Dupont proper, I think the sushi is as good as it gets although it isn’t enough of a draw to bring people from all over the city in and of itself.

Decor – A-
As I mentioned in the preface to this review, Cafe Japone is a pretty funkified venue. Upstairs and downstairs are like night and day. The upstairs portion is not much different than any other sushi bar in the city – the downstairs portion is completely unique. I think the ownership decided to make the upstairs area the cash cow while making the downstairs portion more of a vanity project.

Feel – A-
It is one of my favorite venues in the Dupont Circle area. It is a good place for dinner or happy hour on weekdays, and a bit of a tucked-away gem for a weekend evening with friends. The lounge isn’t really so much of a social venue but offers intimacy and privacy for groups or couples.

Cafe Japone is located at 2032 P Street, NW. They can be reached at 202-223-1573.

What’s the Buzz:

May 6, 2007 – Cafe Japone (Clubhouse Lawyer) – I just have a few more weeks in DC, so I’m trying to do as much as I can as time permits. One of my co-workers is also leaving DC soon and this past Friday was her last day in the office. We had a sort of going away at Cafe Japone Saturday night. Full article…

Cafe Japone on Urbanspoon


  1. Thai Chef and Sushi Bar in Washington, DC - December 10, 2008

    […] by, opting for places like Regent Thai if I’m in the mood for Thai food and a place like Japone if I’m in the mood for sushi in the Dupont area. On a whim I decided to try Thai Chef and […]

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