465 K St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Sushi, Tapas/Small Plates, Japanese, Breakfast
Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30, Saturday and Sunday noon to 2:30. Open for dinner daily 5:30 to 11. 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
Noise Level: Rowdy
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;
Grilled items $2 to $35, sushi and sashimi $4 to $14.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible
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.