Dish of the Week: Perry’s offers stunning rooftop views coupled with tasty Japanese fare

Media Credit: Kimberly Courtney | Photographer

I opted for the Element Roll ($16), featuring rice, avocado and yellowtail with Kabayaki sauce and a spicy serrano pepper on top

Perry’s is on a roll – the rooftop sushi restaurant has been an Adams Morgan staple since its opening in 1984 and remains a hotspot destination, providing stunning views along with tasty Japanese cuisine in a historic area of Northwest D.C.

Founded by Saied Azali, Perry’s became notable for its pioneering approach to Asian fusion and has since become a quintessential Adams Morgan institution, thanks in part to the often sold-out weekly drag brunches and hip rooftop scene. The menu offers an array of Japanese cuisine to choose from as well as an option to have a sushi or sashimi meal curated by the chef, but choosing a few of the rolls from the sushi menu to share with the table is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Perry’s popularity comes with a drawback – with constant bustling crowds, it can be difficult to get a reservation on weekends. But on a rainy Tuesday night, the place is fairly quiet, a welcome change from the normal hustle and bustle.

At first glance, Perry’s seems fairly nondescript. It shares the building with another restaurant owned by Azali called The Mintwood Palace, and patrons need to walk up a steep flight of stairs to even reach the main dining area. But after making the climb, the space is a treat.

Stylish, ornate wallpaper matches the chair and booths behind a long, elegant bar which takes up an entire wall. Large, curved windows framed by dark curtains overlook the street, adding to the ambiance of the rainy evening to create a lovely and calming atmosphere for a meal. While the room is expansive, the lower lighting gives it a cozy feel.

After being seated promptly, the server welcomed us with an extensive menu. Perry’s offers soups, salads, sushi and nonsushi appetizers, as well as a long list of larger entrees. For a substantial meal with a wide variety of components, order the Bento Box with rice, pickled vegetables and your choice of shrimp, chicken or pork as well as the option to add sushi ($17). For a real adventure, order the Omakase chef-curated meal, or choose a large platter with a spread of options like the Sashimi Deluxe ($33) or the Salmon Lover ($25).

We kept it simple and ordered from the Sushi A La Carte menu which has traditional sushi rolls called Ura Maki for eight pieces per order. Pricier options include the Spider roll ($19), with crab, avocado, tempura flakes and spicy mango, and the sushi menu also offers more affordable alternatives like the California Roll ($8).

I opted for the Element Roll ($16), featuring rice, avocado and yellowtail. This standout roll is topped with a Kabayaki sauce, which adds a subtle sweetness, complemented by a spicy serrano pepper on top. Each roll was aesthetically pleasing, wrapped tight and precisely garnished with the pepper adding a green pop of color. The rolls were topped with tempura flakes that added a crunchy texture to each bite, contrasting with the delicate-tasting yellowtail.

Perry’s menu is best shared, so we ordered the Spicy Crunchy Salmon Roll ($10), which provided a nice change from the milder Element Roll. To create a more complete spread, we also ordered the Pork Gyoza Dumpling appetizer ($9) to compliment the sushi rolls. The dumplings were a standout – warm and fried just the right amount. Both dishes were great additions to our shared meal and easily divided among two patrons.

Although the rainy night kept most of the guests inside, Perry’s also boasts a popular, lively rooftop bar. Patrons can head into a hallway at the back of the restaurant and up another set of steep stairs to find a large dining area with string lights swinging above and a birdseye views of the busy neighborhood and surrounding buildings below.

If you’re looking to avoid the outdoors in the District’s recent stormy conditions, a covered bar on the rooftop offers reprieve from the rain. There, I found a common sight at Perry’s – a small shielded party enjoying the dining experience, stormy night and all.

Perry’s has tasty sushi fare, but it’s the swanky yet inviting atmosphere that will keep you coming back for more.

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