SEI restaurant & lounge

4.7
2375 reviews
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$30 and under
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Asian
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for Anniversaries
Modern Asian small plate cuisine from award winning Sushi Master Noriaki Yasutake. The intimate space, located next to the Landsburgh Theater, features seating for 70, sushi bar seating 10 and a cozy lounge area. Yasutake offers his modern spin on traditional sushi, specialty rolls and Asian fare. SEI offers an outstanding Happy Hour with crafted cocktail & sushi specials Monday through Friday.
What 2375 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Ok. It is in fortunate one the best features of a restaurant it’s not it’s food

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a
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful! I rarely go back multiple times to a restaurant in DC unless it is 100% worth it. The staff at SEI is by far the friendliest and most attentive of any restaurant I've been to in the 7 years Ive lived in DC. In addition their restaurant week menu and bottomless mimosas/bloody mary deal is the best in DC. Definitely one of my favorites!

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MH
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Novel sushi, all of which was quite good. The fish and chips roll was tasty, but next time I’d probably go for one of they’re more adventurous rolls or stuck with the nigiri (which was very nice). The cocktails were also really good and quite interesting.

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EA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Came here for restaurant week. Very disappointed. Ordered sake, and the cup it came with was dirty, got a replacement that was even dirtier than the last. Then my GF found a bone in her salmon sushi... Pretty sure sushi is not supposed to have bones. Then to top it off a waiter stepped on my jacket (hanging from the chair) and broke my keychain. The food overall was lack luster. I wish I could give 0/5.

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P
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Asian fusion restaurant with innovative and tasty dishes. However, the table are too close and the restaurant can be quite noisy.

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TK
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great food. Great service.

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OT
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came for restaurant week!! Great meal!!

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Really nice. We went there for dinner on restaurant week. Portions were well sized (unlike other skimpy, pricey restaurants) and delicious, combining Japanese food with a tiny bit of Mexican food (e.g., guasave guacamole, tuna (Japanese style) tacos). We didn’t like the chocolate pancakes for dessert but the bread pudding was scrumptious! Quiet, elegant and modern. Really nice :)

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MR
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on 14 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Beautiful chic setting for creative Asian small plates, like Asian tacos and Kobe beef sliders. Food was delicious and service was excellent.

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s
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on 14 January 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

The bento boxes are a great value , lots of food for a good price. Creative and tasty drinks. Waiter was attentive and friendly.

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OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on 12 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very attentive and friendly staff. Nice atmosphere and great food.

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N
1 review
Dined on 9 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

SEI is such a hidden gem. The bibimbap is delicious and well-priced - we've tried all three! Cocktails are great! Came here for a birthday and a date. Love the decor, and staff are helpful - waitress gave great menu recommendations, and they opened the door for us as we left. Really nice time! :)

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Z
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 9 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A quick late dinner after a theater reception. Service was fast and the food was wonderful!

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OT
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Been here before, and is always the same.. very good!

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KL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 4 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food has been consistently good. The decor is modern with a well light but smooth dining experience

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S
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 3 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants

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LI
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on 1 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always the food was excellent as was the service. We only needed a small meal since we had come from a party, but there were plenty of options for light fare. I love going to SEI!

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LO
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 1 January 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

I like discover then this restaurant was for me a beautiful experience. But for some of my friend the choice if their order was difficult then they didn't really eat.i would like that next time the servers be more helpful like ask what you like rice or potatoes...meat or shrimp and give them some possibilities. But the rest was perfect!

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JG
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 29 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants in all of DC. I come here every time I’m in town. The fish and chips rolls are amazing. I sometimes find myself thinking about them during the week leading up to my arrival. If you love sushi, this is the place. I think the overall atmosphere is chic without trying too hard. Service is outstanding don’t. I always sit in Alexis’ station or at least ask for him if I’m seated elsewhere. It’s hard for me to come to DC and not dine here. I highly recommend.

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EC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food and service are excellent, and priced very reasonably for what you get. While quieter than most restaurants in the area, still too noisy to have a real conversation with your companions.

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v
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Our waiter was good- ambience was really nice- food was sub par

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was interesting and delicious. Kobe sliders very good and we also enjoyed the scallop roll. Very fresh.
Would definitely return

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food. Is. Perfect.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 24 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service and cuisine! We brought our college aged daughters and scored a homerun!

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SR
1 review
Dined on 21 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food...many options...great service with helpful suggestions. We loved discovering it—especially right next door to Shakespeare Theatre. Valet parking, too!

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EM
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 21 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 1

The sushi dishes were pretty good. The cooked dishes were overdone, not tasty, and boring. (Boneless short rib was actually disgusting.) Adding to all was the fact that everyone (not just at our table!) had to shout and their own table to be heard. Never again.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 21 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice as usual!

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PL
Baltimore
31 reviews
Dined on 17 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Went 12/17/18 before a Smithsonian event. Asian inspired tapas with a very full sushi and sashimi selection (which we didn't partake of). The garlic skirt steak was fabulous and the pork buns were good (but not great). Had a side of black rice (wonderful). My wife had boneless pork short ribs and loved it as well as the Asian Pear Sangria. Followed up my selection with the Korean Tacos. Great and larger than some of the other dishes (3 smallish tacos). Service was excellent without being intrusive. My only complaint, as is true with most of the tapas style restaurants I've been to, is that the dishes are small for what you pay for them. I had 3 'entrees' and a side, my wife had 2 with a side and dessert, and we certainly weren't overfed. But with 2 drinks each and tip it was over $75 per person. Wonderful meal but really quite expensive for what we got. So we recommend it for a special occasion where unique and delicious tapas are what you are looking for, but expect to pay for the experience.

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T
Washington DC
142 reviews
Dined on 16 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first visit to SEI. Almost a completely positive experience -- delicious and imaginative dishes and fast service. Several of the sushi creations I had never encountered before. The caveat -- it's not cheap!

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U
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Pretty good and somewhat inventive Asian fare, but outrageously expensive.

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s
Washington DC
151 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Arrived Saturday at 6:00PM for a 6:00PM reservation. "Please wait at the bar." I thought "Uh oh." SEI was jammed with Caps fans. But the bar wait was about two minutes. "Whew."

Wine came promptly. Our first dish arrived at 6:35. Did I mention the joint was slammed with Caps fans?

We had our favorites, Kobe beef sliders and fish 'n chips roll. Then a bunch of dishes we hadn't had previously. Yum! Service was as attentive as a slammed dining room could be.

Hockey fans thinned out about 7:00. So the decibels dropped below the level of a jet engine. I will check our next theater night against the Caps schedule. Or get earplugs.

I wish SEI would scrape the white paint off their windows. Passers by can see in because their heads are above the window paint. But we diners only see disembodied heads gawking in at our meals. Gawking parity, please.

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DC
Pittsburgh
11 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The sushi was amazing. The service was a little fast with the pacing of our meal but that may have been personal preference.

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t
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

The food was not as good as previous times. :(

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DC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 14 December 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Sushi is excellent, everything else we tried was ok. Great service.

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R
1 review
Dined on 14 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Sushi and tacos are very good. Seaweed salad is so-so. A little bit expensive, but still affordable. 1.5-2 plate person would be sufficient.

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S
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on 9 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent quirky menu—great service too!

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AP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 9 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great atmosphere from an attentive and helpful service team

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CK
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on 8 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

It's been a few years since I was last at SEI, and unfortunately I was a little disappointed in the food quality this time around. I used to think it was one of the best places in the city to get sushi, but I found the sushi this time to be just slightly better than average - especially since it is a bit on the expensive side. It's still a good place though, just not as good as it used to be in my opinion.

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D
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on 8 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and a great vibe!!!

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T
Philadelphia
217 reviews
Dined on 6 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Is this the most underrated restaurant in DC? Our answer is yes. We enjoyed yet another superb experience at SEI and were again so impressed that our conversation centered on its lack of notoriety. The crispy shrimp sushi roll, the spicy cilantro tuna roll, the waygu beef sliders, the caramelized Chilean sea bass, etc,. were all 'world class' in flavor and presentation. We now dine here each time we visit DC (often).

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