Maneki Neko

Written by on February 12, 2013 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Falls Church, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Our good friends, and monthly-dining-companions first introduced us to Maneki Neko as one of their favorite sushi restaurants in the area. After months of craving sushi, we finally made our way to Falls Church.

Maneki Menu

Type of cuisine: Maneki Neko specializes in a variety of Japanese foods, served in a casual, friendly environment.  Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with Japanese cuisine!  Our staff can help you choose something that you’re sure to like.

Our specialities include:

  • Sushi and sashimi
  • Okinawan Soba noodles
  • Okonomiyaki

We serve a full selection of Japanese beer and Sake (rice wine).”

Maneki Utensils

Ambiance:Maneki Neko means “Beckoning Cat.”  The waving cat is a traditional symbol of good fortune in Japan, and is often seen in the windows of businesses there, welcoming customers inside.” And the beckoning cat cannot be missed. Lining the front window, lining the front of the sushi bar, on the menu and placed throughout, Maneki Neko can’t be missed. Calming yellows and oxblood colors make up the walls and ceiling, bamboo-like seating at matching chairs and tables, including an eight-person barquette make this strip-mall storefront a cozy and comfortable setting in which any sushi-lover will feel at home.

Ambiance Maneki

What I ordered: We each started the evening with a bowl of miso soup ($1.95 each).

Miso Soup

Chris was in the mood for “something fried” to accompany his lemonade ($2.95) and opted for the Shrimp & Veggie Tempura ($12.95), which included a side of Japanese white rice.


I was struck by the Spicy Maki Combination ($16.95) and enjoyed the serving of Spicy Tuna, Spicy Salmon & Spicy California Roll.

Spicy Sushi

Our dining companion and good friend, in town from VA-Beach selected a Sprite ($2.95) and Sushi Entree ($14.95), the chef’s selection of nigiri sushi with California rolls (13 pieces).

Chef's Sushi

What I loved: The Spicy California Roll! Yum! The abundance of shrimp (of which I reaped the benefits) in the tempura cannot be forgotten.

Why I loved it: While the service was friendly and sweet, the space cozy and welcoming, it is precisely for this family-friendly, personable ambiance that I loved it: “‘IRASHYAI MASE!’  It means “Welcome.”  Welcome to Maneki Neko.  My name is Futoshi “Tao” Takazato.  I started working at my first sushi restaurant when I was 24 years old.  Over the years I have worked with many master chefs.  When I first started out I was a training chef at a little restaurant in Arlington, Virginia.  I remember being mesmerized by the art of sushi and how a fish can transform into a colorful work of art.  I became committed to making sushi for the rest of my life.

It took me six months of practicing and learning before I was able to make sushi for my first customer.  It took nearly five years before I woudl feel comfortable and confident in my art.  After training for sixteen years and being promoted to head chef, and felt I was ready to graduate and open my own restaurant here in Falls Church.

That’s how Maneki Neko was born!”

Our Business

Maneki Neko was founded in 2002.  Over the years we’ve become known as a friendly place where you can come for good Japanese cuisine, whether you are a seasoned traveler or a new to Japanese food.

If you’re a regular, we might start calling you by name and anticpating what you usually order.  If you’re new, introduce yourself!  We hope you enjoy your experience and return soon.

Special Events

Watch for Maneki Neko at events like the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC, and Falls Church’s own Watch Night festivities on New Years Eve.

Maneki Neko also hosts periodic sushi-making classes.  Ask your host!

Cost: Low to Average ($10.95-$17.95 per dinner entree)

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