This Japanese restaurant is located right across the street from my apartment. Finally got a chance to check this place out.


1401 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209

Take a look at their Lunch Menu

indoor dining area

We came in around 1:00PM, and the lunch crowd was slowly leaving. We were immediately seated. I was surprised by how quick the service was. I flipped through the menu and saw that they had a lunch menu.  Since I was going to get sushi a couple days later with my cousin who was in town I decided to try something besides sushi. The lunch offered a lot of non sushi choices. I decided on the Nikkudon.

complimentary salad and miso soup

The complimentary salad and miso soup was surprisingly good. I really enjoyed the salad. The dressing on the salad was excellent. I’m not exactly sure what is in the dressing, but the flavors were excellent.  A mix of sour, tangy, slightly sweet. The miso soup was your average miso soup. Nothing special about it.


Nikkudon – Sauted thin slice of beef with vegetable and egg

I was not expecting this dish to come out like this at all. I was expecting sauteed slices of beef over dry cooked rice. Surprisingly there was broth on the bottom of this dish. The rice were perfectly soaked in this fragrant broth. The mixture of the beef, cabbage, rice, and the broth was delicious. My favorite part was the broth. It really brought a nice touch to the dish. My only complaint is that the sauteed beef was not as flavorful as I would have liked it. It kind of lacked flavor which was made up with by the broth.

Lunch Box A

Kanpai Lunch Box A – 5 Pieces of Sashimi, Tempura, Japanese Pickle

My friend went with the Kanpai Lunch Box A. It was presented very beautifully in the bento box. He said that the sashimi tasted fresh. Everything looked quite colorful!

Overall the food in Kanpai was above average. If the place wasn’t located so close to where I live I don’t think I would go back. My only complaint was that the waitresses kept rushing me through my meal. When I go to a restaurant I like to really think about what I want to get especially if it is a new restaurant. The waitress came over to our table and asked us 3 times whether we were ready to order. Then later she brought the check over before I was even done eating! Perhaps they close after the lunch time crowd to get ready for the dinner crowd? I have never been so rushed through a meal before.

Other than that Kanpai is a cute, casual Japanese restaurant. They even have a really nice outdoor seating area. I will have to go back when the weather is warmer, and the outdoor seating area is open. Perhaps the next time they will let me dine at my own pace.

Stars – 3.5/5


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