Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Washington DC - Kushi Izakaya & Sushi

Lunch time is probably not the coolest time to visit but the food was enough to win me over.  And for the quality, I didn't think the prices were unreasonable by international standards, especially if it's an Izakaya first, then a sushi joint second?  The cool factor is high - high ceilings, dark interiors, and while I did not check, from what I've heard, a comprehensive selection of sakes, shochus, and other knock-me-over drinks.  

The menu isn't big, focusing on sushi and kushiyakis (grilled skewers of meat or vegetables).  And if you do the sets, the skewers come with miso soup, pickles and rice.  A pretty good deal.

The skewers we ordered are largely winners but special mention goes to the Buta Bara.  Melt in your mouth pieces of black pork belly that had a pork fragrance only found in this species and so tender to the bite.  So good that I could not bear to discard the fat strip (which I ordinarily reluctantly do for health reasons alone).   So good we had to order seconds.  

The duck sausage which is an awesome combination of meat and liver, delivering a slightly gamey taste but not overpoweringly so akin to a foie gras sausage with bite, was also excellent.  Especially so with a strong drink.  

Other skewers were certainly competent so add these to your list - chicken breast with plum sauce and shiso,  chicken breast with marinated cod roe, chicken meatballs, Wagyu loin and mushrooms, and even the golden potato.

The Chef's sushi choice of 10 pieces were surprisingly good.  A nice selection of white fish, chutoro, mackeral, sweet shrimp, scallop, clam, sea eel and salmon roe.  All catch-of-the-day fresh, and laid atop a good bed of rice that had the right amount of sushi vinegar in it.  A worthwhile order. 

To supplement, we also had the fatty tuna and scallion maki.  Generously creamy from the melt-in-your-mouth tuna, and a subtle hint of heat from the scallion.  Always a winner.

As well as the sea eel and cucumber maki.  Sweet eel, with added crunch from the cool cucumber.  A refreshing combination.  

Certainly a big plus for the Japanese food scene in DC.  A more than worthy add.  

465 K Street NW
(between N 4th St & N 5th St)
WashingtonDC 20001
Tel: +1 (202) 682-3123

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