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May 29, 2011 09:06 PM

How is Kushi these days?

Hi, everyone. I went to Kushi (at CityVista, near Chinatown) not long after it opened and posted a review on this site. I haven't been back since, but I have a friend who might be coming into town in a month, and I was thinking of taking her there. I was just wondering if any of you had been there recently, and what you thought.

My friend loves small plates places, and would also love to sit at the grill bar and watch them make the food. But she also has pretty high standards for food quality, and I'm afraid I still haven't developed a refined enough palate to be a good judge about whether or not Kushi would meet her standards.

So, I was hoping that some of you might be able to offer some input. Have you been to Kushi recently? What do you think of it?

Thanks a lot.

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  1. Love Kushi's grilled items, think the sushi's just okay. It's there just because customers would complain that a Japanese place HAS to have sushi. Some of the flavors of the grilled items can be be pretty muted, but to me, that forces me to focus on the item itself instead of the seasonings. Like the crispy chicken skin, the liver, and gizzards. The higher-end grilled items, like the fois gras and kobe beef, really dont' do much for me.

    1. We used to go to Kushi and spend well over 100 for two almost weekly. Unfortunately the fascination of the new place wore off quite fast for us. The grilled items have been going down in quality. As we watched, the grillers don't quite care about what they do now and sometimes the skewer meats actually catches on fire. I have complained about the quality of the grilled food, only to have them tell me that it's supposed to be burned up like charcoal. I don't eat that burned food at home, never mind at a restaurant. I told them it doesn't happen in the places in NY or Tokyo as the Japanese watch these things like a hawk and offered to post pictures of the burned up garbage on the web to see what the folks on the web say, and they backed off a bit. Not a good sign. Sushi has never been good at Kushi so consider it a waste of money. Raw oysters were size of quarters last time I tried. It's natural for a place to drop in quality to a level where they are just above the point of needing to worry (losing money/empty seats). So given the fact it's still trendy, I don't think it's going to get better anytime soon. It is still over-priced but the food is the problem. There aren't many options in town but we'd rather do without at this point.

      1. I just had a catered lunch from Kushi last week (I wouldn't have chosen sushi for a catered lunch, but the host did), and the sushi was just not that good. Granted, it generally doesn't travel well, and I am a picky sushi person, but it didn't get me wanting to dine-in there, that's for sure.

        1. Went here for the first time last weekend, and thought it was pretty solid. I don't eat sushi, so everything was meat or veggies. Highlights include the grilled skirt steak, fried chicken (special), stuffed shishito peppers and eringi mushrooms. It was pricey, yes, but I thought it was about in line with every other DC restaurant (which unfortunately, is expensive).

          1. I was one of the enamored originally but, like others have said, the infatuation is over. The last couple visits the food was underwhelming and I received downright awful service at the bar. I mean, the point of eating at the bar is that the bartender/server is *right* there, but we had to stand up and wave at him to get any attention at all. With those prices, I'll just go elsewhere.