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Aug 2, 2010 05:50 AM

Kushi lately

I have never been to Kushi but taking a few out of town friends there on Sunday night. Any recommendations? From reading the board when Kushi first opened, it looks like the consensus is that the highlights are the grilled items.

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  1. I especially liked the yaki onigiri and grilled meats on skewers. I also appreciated their selection of plum wines.

    3 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      do you think it is worth it or should I pick something else? My friends wanted some unique Asian. I thought about the Source too but thought it would just get too expensive based on how expensive my recent trip at the lounge got, quickly.

      1. re: daves_32

        I really liked Kushi when I went. I had a $50 Groupon and had no trouble at all spending it by myself. The dishes are quite small, so if you and your friends are really hungry, you could rack up a hefty bill. It really fits the bill for "unique Asian" though, if your friends have never been to an izakaya place.

        1. re: daves_32

          You might want to think about what you really mean by "unique Asian" - and what that would mean for your friends. It might mean a field trip to the 'burbs for a big family-style meal at a Vietnamese or Chinese place, for example.

          That said -- I went to Kushi for the first time this weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The grilled dishes were especially good - pork belly and beef. Really good ice creams for dessert too.

      2. It's definitely packing 'em in as they follow the trendy formula for expensive drinking and snacks. It is not unique at all as sushi and grilled chicken, beef, or pork are really nothing new. Compared to what they have in a city like LA, the offerings are very timid so as not to upset delicate sensibilities.

        For sushi, I thought the roe and the uni outshone any of the fish, which I would not fool with again. I did not have any of the grilled meats.

        I'd follow suit with a Groupon, if available.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          I think grilled clams, chicken skin, gizzards, and livers are pretty unique, particularly since they grill it over Japanese charcoal instead of gas/electric cookers. But yeah, by LA standards, it is pretty tame. Hopefully, this won't be DC's only izakaya for long.

          1. re: monkeyrotica

            Well my friend and his wife are coming from Michigan so non-buffet is unique. However, my friend's wife is not adventurous at all so i was trying to meet in the middle. Eden wouldn't work for her.

            1. re: daves_32

              Then Kushi would be a good choice; there's a fair amount of relatively tame stuff, but also good things that you can't get at most other places. The clams and chawanmushi are my favorites; check the other big thread on Kushi for other recommendations.

              This reminds me that I have one of those Groupons to use, and will be in that area tomorrow midday. I think my lunch plans were just made...

              1. re: daves_32

                I had the same thought with my Mother in Law (also from Michigan, as we are also) and she completely freaked out and ran out of the restaurant. *After* we ordered $150 worth of grilled food and sushi. Which happened really easily, by the way.

                Trust me, if people aren't adventerous, they don't want to be in a restaurant where people are cutting up and deboning raw fish, shucking clams, etc. She actually said it was the smell. And that the menu was so confusing (my husband found it overwhelming also).

                Just don't ask me to explain - IMO, it's mostly grilled meat, the menu is a list, and the atmosphere is cool. But there's the experience I had with other "unadventerous" people. Just take them to Ping Pong Dim Sum or something like that. Or Zengo or Oya. There are several other good Asian places around Penn Quarter too, right? Like Asia Nine and Sei? I don't know, at least think about peeking in yourself and taking a look at the menu first.

                Also, I just have to say, that I don't know where they are from in Michigan, but to imply that all Asian food in Michigan is a bunch of cheap buffet places is awfully misleading. I could get better Chinese take out in my hometown of 35,000 people there than I can within the limits of the District.

                1. re: Raids

                  near Grand Rapids. There are a few good asian places but nothing unique. I grew up there

                  1. re: daves_32

                    Ah, okay. I think I'd go with Asia Nine or Zengo. Either will be easier on the budget, the menus look like what you're looking for, and the decor is less stark, I think, than Oya or SEI. And they're more like $30-50/person than the $75/person I spent at Kushi.

              2. re: monkeyrotica

                Anyone care to comment on how it compares to izakayas in New York City in terms of price, quality, and value for money? In NYC, we like Yakitori Taisho (cheap dive), Sakagura and Yakitori Totto (mid priced), and En Japanese Brasserie (higher end). We visit DC a few times a year, and would like to know if Kushi's worth checking out. The menu looks good, but is the high price tag justified? Thanks!

                1. re: Noodle fanatic

                  Having been to Yakitori Taisho, I'd say Kushi is definitely more expensive, but the quality of the food and the atmospher is far higher. This is not a cheap dive by any means. I'd classify it as mid-to-higher-end Japanese, but I think much of that price point is justified in the quality of the ingredients, the level of service and preparation, and the fact that for izakayas, it's the only game in town. I think it's certainly worth the visit, and you'd be able to sample a few items without going broke, but if you're looking for really exotic flavors, I think you might be disappointed.

            2. I really enjoy Kushi's food and atmosphere. The portions are small and it can get a little pricey. If you want to cut back costs a bit and enjoy a fun "unique Asian" place, there's Sticky Rice on H St. Granted not the best sushi you'll have, but they have a wide variety of things on their menu (tater tots!) and I feel is quite reasonable.

              Sticky Rice
              1224 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

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