Ocean Blue restaurantThere’s a new seafood place in Sterling, Virginia, and it’s simply amazing. We love to eat out, but seafood isn’t everyone in my family’s favorite. While my husband and I love it, and our vegetarian but occasionally pescetarian daughter tolerates it, our sons just aren’t into it — usually. But Ocean Blue was so good, they ate out of their comfort food for one reason — the Regatta Boat system.

See, there are various ways to eat at Ocean Blue. With a few exceptions, the booths are all next to two huge aquariums that provide an immediately calming and entertaining ambience. My kids didn’t complain once about our lesiurely meal, because they were constantly looking at the fish. At the base of the aquariums, is a moving stream of regatta boats carrying sushi and rolls that you can simply pick up and eat. Like dim sum, the color-coded platters cost a different amount, so you can quickly start eating apps straight from the little boats until you’ve decided what else you want.

Ocean Blue

Next, there’s a Ramen Bowl buffet with two broths — one of them vegetarian. This was a treat, as my kids love ramen, so they each got a bowl, and my daughter’s — of course — was meat free.

Kids who don’t want either the sushi and rolls on the regatta boats or the ramen can still order from a standard Kids Menu that includes a fun quiz about the aquarium. There’s even a special prize for kids who successfully answer the quiz — an adorable turtle or shark’s tooth necklace. My 11-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son both said that was the nicest prize they’ve ever received at a restaurant. They’re used to stickers or a plastic toy.

Ocean Blue ramen

For adults, Ocean Blue offers such a variety, that you can easily splurge for a soup-to-nuts date night, or keep things reasonable and just do the sushi and ramen — or share edamame as an appetizer and order an entree. It’s the kind of restaurant where you can show up dressed for an evening, or stay casual and enjoy a weekend lunch with the kids.


Address: 21438 Epicerie Plaza, Sterling, VA 20164

Parking: Plenty of free parking.

Kids’ Menu: YES! Plus, a quiz that kids can take and then turn in for a free necklace.


Disclosure: My family was treated to a complimentary  meal during the restaurant’s soft opening for press.