So I am now finished with my conference and I can report on the results of my dining forays in Tysons Corner. In the end I did not go with any of my conferees for these meals, for a variety of reasons.
Shamshiry: a very good meal here, but the service did not impress me. After waiting forever for my meal, one waiter insisted it was on its way, but another realized that my order had mistakenly been set up for take out and had been sitting on the counter for about 15 minutes. It was still hot, though, and the kebabs and polo rice were great. I had the Shirin Polo, made with candied orange peel, and the Chelo Kebab Barg, made with beef, and this was a very good combination. Would go back (and check that my order was sent to the right place).
Konami: wonderful sushi, at very reasonable (I thought) prices. The nigiri sushi (slices of raw fish on vinegared rice) consisted of almost too big slices of fish over very good rice (I am one of those who believes that the rice is the essence of good sushi, so tend to critique the rice more than the fish). Their maki (rolls) are also very good, though the spider roll, made with crisp soft shell crab, was very hard to eat delicately, since it was too big to eat in one bite yet it was impossible to bite through. Luckily I was eating alone so no one I know saw what a mess I made of it. Their uni (sea urchin) was among the best I can remember having. Definitely would go back.
Colvin Run: I decided to splurge for my last dinner and go to Colvin Run. I did not reserve, but they had tables available. In the end I decided to sit at the bar rather than by myself in this couples-and-groups type of place. I had a very hard time choosing my meal, primarily because I wanted to have wine with dinner and the dishes I wanted went with very different wines, and yet these were not available at reasonable cost by either the glass or half bottle. So I ended up having the tasting menu with a flight of wine (four courses with four 3-oz glasses of suitable wines) for $82. This was not in the end a good buy, since the portions were rather small (though the dishes were uniformly excellent) and 12 oz of wine should not cost $23 (the differential between the set menu with and without the wine). Also, paralleling a recent article in the WSJ about the speed with which restaurants see you out their door, this was about the most expensive meal per minute that I have had--I was out of there in 70 minutes. Would I go back? Probably, for a special occasion or something, but I would not have the set menu again, and I would not go alone.