100 Best Restaurants 2011: Kushi
Comments () | Published January 18, 2011
Best Breakfasts 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 Happy Hour

Kushi
Address: 465 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-682-3123
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Sushi, Tapas/Small Plates, Japanese, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, Saturday noon to 2:30; Sunday brunch 11:30 AM to 3 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 PM to 11 PM, Friday and Saturday 5:30 pm to midnight, Sunday 5:30 PM to 10 PM. Open late night Thursday through Saturday 11 PM to 2 AM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Mt. Vernon Square/7th St.-Convention Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Rowdy
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Live uni; live scallop; nigiri or sashimi of sweet shrimp, o-toro, yellowtail belly, and mackerel; bari chirashi; grilled meatballs; skewered foie gras; quail stuffed with duck sausage; crispy leg of duck; Meyer-lemon sorbet with shochu; sea-salt gelato;
Price Details: Grilled items $3 to $30, sushi and sashimi $4 to $12.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Late Night, Weekend Brunch, Party Space, Good for Groups
Scene:
Food Specials
Happy Hour Details:
Monday through Friday, 5:30 PM to 8 PM; $4 rail drinks, $5 select small plates
Happy Hour Days:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

Lots of high-energy small-plates spots have opened, but there’s nothing like this high-minded izakaya, the Japanese word for a casual tavern that emphasizes food as much as drink.

Sushi is the draw, and the quality of the fish is exceptional. A few times a week, the kitchen serves an array of expensive but exquisite delicacies such as sea urchin straight from its spiny shell, fresh scallop, and moist chu-toro. The sushi chefs are learned and skilled—witness the rice in the nigiri, each grain light and distinct.

The robata, or grill, commands the room—flames leap from the pit a few times during dinner—but its treats, such as miso-marinated fish and roasted stuffed quail, are best regarded as accompaniments to the raw fish.

Kushi may not be for everyone—some will blanch at the prices, others will be put off by the trendiness and noise. But beneath the slick exterior beats the heart of a purist.

Also good: Sashimi of o-toro, salmon, yellowtail, yellowtail belly, and sweet shrimp; nigiri of mackerel, yellowtail, and salmon; bara chirashi, a jewel-like assortment of raw fish over a bowl of rice; chicken-and-scallion skewer; roasted corn on the cob with soy butter; skewered meatballs; Valrhona-chocolate and sea-salt gelati.

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/18/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews