4822 MacArthur Blvd., NW (Second floor)
Washington, DC 20016


Neighborhood: Upper Northwest, Palisades

Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese

Opening Hours:
Open for lunch Monday through Saturday noon to 2:30 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday and Sunday 5 PM to 9:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 5 PM to 10:30 PM.

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Noise Level: Intimate

Reservations: Not Needed


Best Dishes:
Ankimo (monkfish liver); sunomono salad; oshizushi; eel kamameshi; eel unadon; fatty tuna and yellw; mango mochi.

Price Details:
Starters, $1.50 to $6.50; entre├ęs, 9.75 to $25

Special Features: Kid Friendly, Good for Groups

Scene: Food Specials

Cheap Eats 2009: Kotobuki

Great food, low prices, lots of fun

Why go: Owner/chef Hisao Abe offers an unbeatable combination at his Beatles-playing walkup in Palisades: sushi that’s both cheap—$2.50 for a piece of toro—and high-quality.

What to get: Oshizushi, Osakan-style pressed sushi usually made with mackerel and served in a wooden box; seaweed salad; eel kamameshi, a kettle-cooked rice casserole; nigiri such as yellowtail, salmon roe, and flounder; spicy scallop roll.

Best for: A quick, quiet meal—the pacing can feel like it’s on fast-forward, especially when there’s a line of customers waiting at the door.

Insider tip: The kamameshi specials—$10.95 at lunch, $17 at dinner—are a true deal: You get eel, chicken, or vegetable casserole plus miso soup, sashimi (dinner only), and an array of small, panchan-like dishes.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here