46240 Potomac Run Plaza
Sterling, VA 20164
CUISINE Seafood, Sushi, International
PRICE $$$ ($21-$30)
HOURS Daily from 11:30am - 10pm
NVM AWARDS Best Restaurant 2008
Best Restaurant 2012
Best Restaurant 2009
Best Restaurant 2010
NEARBY METRO None
By Warren Rojas
Food: 6.7 Ambiance: 7.7 Service: 7.3
“Thank you, sir, for trusting me” sushi chef Yoshi Katsuyama says, tilting toward me in a humble bow, after I encourage him to prepare what he feels is best that day.
The pleasure was all mine.
Hooked proprietor Doug Palley has cycled through a gang of chefs since launching the original restaurant a few years back.
Luckily, he’s not lost hold of Katsuyama—the Zen master responsible for many of the mouthwatering images played on a constant loop on the wide-screen sets sprinkled about the cavernous locale.
Fresh jumbo lump crab and buttery avocado lovingly embrace beneath the cover of sesame-studded rice.
More delicious crab awaits in a Benedict- uniting poached egg, sautéed spinach, juicy tomato slices, hickory-smoked bacon and hollandaise (dear kitchen: just connect the final dot and layer the bacon across the eggs pre-saucing).
Unsettling chalkiness sabotages whole Maine lobster.(November 2008)
By Warren Rojas
Food: 7.3 Ambiance: 6.2 Service: 6.3
Anyone who believes the words “seafood” and “Sterling” have no business being uttered together has clearly never been to Hooked—a funkified fish shop with fresh sushi to boot.
The one-time carryout counter has been replaced by a pint-sized bar, while all the available floor space has been claimed by sleek black tables surrounded by trippy blue chairs (very cosmic bowling).
From behind his meticulously kept counter, sushi veteran Yoshi Katsuyama handles the raw fish side of the dining equation.
Aesthetically pleasing sushi that proved to be just as appetizing include the two-tone Pacific roll (red and white tuna, tempura crispies, spicy mayo) and the Las Vegas roll (crab, lobster and caviar).
Bulbous crab cakes are all jumbo lump, all the time (never any filler). Miso sea bass is suffused with caramelized flesh.(November 2007)
By Warren Rojas
Good sushi, naturally, requires fresh seafood. Great sushi requires exceptional seafood and the watchful eye of an expertly trained sushi chef.
So, what’s required for great carryout sushi? Merely calling over to Hooked to make sure chef Yoshi Katsuyama is working.
This nautically themed newcomer does nothing but seafood, which it does pretty well. But the real lures are Katsuyama’s enticing raw fish arrangements, ranging from the basic (fatty tuna on rice) to bountiful (the house Las Vegas roll combines crab, lobster and caviar sprinkled with a sweet marinade).
The fresh scallop roll summons lengths of meaty mollusk draped across their steamed rice bedding. New York roll ties together salmon and crisp apple with a blast of mustard (sounds weird, tastes great). Jumping coasts, the Malibu roll appeases seafood lovers with hunks of white meat crab wrapped around thick-cut asparagus, with bright orange roe poured over to fill in any gaps (impressive). Likewise, a special dragon roll surrounds tuna, spicy mayo and more caviar with a soy-soaked eel (soy provides the sweet, while the spicy mayo plays cleanup).
Want something a little more substantial to pad those tired old bones? Miso-marinated sea bass yields a lily-white medallion of fish with a honey-like finish. Heat seekers can savor the dozen or so medium-sized, lightly battered (thin breading barely coats the pinkish prawns beneath) shrimp tossed in a terrific hot sauce. Or fill up on the chifa rice, a Chinese-style, fried rice blend packed with seafood (shrimp, mixed fish, scallops) and just a touch of cumin.