Food

100 Best Restaurants 2012: Kushi

From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

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Tokyo’s club kids would feel at home in this trendy space with its blaring indie tunes. The izakaya, as it’s called in Japan, is an after-work hangout for drinks and eats–that’s when the hordes descend for sake shots, sushi, and charcoal-grilled nibbles called kushiyaki.

The charcoal fire pit and surrounding U-shaped bar dominate the room. But don’t ignore the raw items–sushi and sashimi are almost always pristine. Besides the regular roster, chef/owner Darren Lee Norris offers such delicacies as fresh scallop and sea urchin straight from the shell several times a week.

What to get: Braised pork-belly rolls; bara chirashi, cubes of raw fish over a bowl of rice; sashimi of o-toro and yellowtail belly; duck sausage; pork belly; asparagus with blood-orange oil from the charcoal grill; sea-salt gelato.

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Expensive.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.