Photo by Emma Patti. See more photos in the gallery below.

Yuzu, the Japanese restaurant replacing the former Divino Lounge on Wisconsin Avenue, is having a soft opening on Monday, and sushi lovers can look forward to authentic dishes prepared by owner Yoshihisa Ota.

Ota was most recently a partner and chef at Kushi in downtown’s Mt. Vernon Square, and had been a sushi chef in Japan, where he owned his own restaurant. This is his first solely-owned eatery in the U.S.

The menu at Yuzu—named after a pretty Asian citrus fruit (which decorates the awning outside the restaurant)—will feature a full range of sushi and sashimi, as well as combination cold (i.e. albacore tuna tataki with spicy jalapeno sauce) and hot dishes (grilled mushrooms and scallops with butter).

Ota is also serving up meat entrees, such as stewed, sliced duck with seasonal vegetables and grilled chicken with yuzu pepper sauce.

My previous blog about the place (see February 5, 2013) mentioned that the restaurant would also offer robata-style grilled foods, but that will not be the case.

Décor wise, the restaurant has been spruced up with a fresh coat of beige paint, and like other Japanese restaurants, the look is spare and simple. Diners can sit at the wooden sushi bar (Ota’s “chef’s table,” where he will be preparing sushi to order), regular bar, lounge area or at tables and chairs. The whole restaurant seats about 70.


Yuzu’s beer, wine and liquor license hearing is not until May 2, so you’ll have to hold off the sake for now.

7345 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, 301-656-5234