100 Best Restaurants 2012: Kushi

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


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.

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.