32 Comment

  • Pretty awesome and unique menu (reportedly very authentic). About half the patrons were hipster/urban explorers, the other half were expats who’d lived in Japan at one time or another

  • Good food, laid back and pretty accessible. Not cheap, but not crazy expensive.

    • Agreed.

      The large sashimi special is a very good value for two people and a “must try”

      Tonsoku was very good too, would recommend.

      I thought the uni was “meh”, probably wouldn’t order again at that price point.

      Monkfish was great and so were the soba noodles.

      It’s a great place and they hit the sweet spot with the price price point ($50 per person with some drinks). You’ll probably want a jumbo slice or a falafal later in the night since the portions aren’t huge.

      • Good to hear about the soba. Wasn’t Kushi supposed to open a soba/ramen place, or has that been put on hold?

  • Stopped by on a whim a few weeks ago. Place was totally packed. The host suggested I come at 5:00 if I want to give a table. I guess it’s great to see them doing so well!

  • talula

    Loved it! Our server was so nice and gave some great recommendations for food and drinks. Although, I don’t know much about Japanese food and I don’t like fish so I may not be the best judge. But I really enjoyed the few non-seafood dishes: garlic fried rice, several chicken options, and veggie tempura. The seafood eaters in my party raved about their fish dishes. Overall a very unique and tasty dining experience and I’d definitely go back. Great beer list too.

  • diploj

    I’ve been a number of times with Japanese colleagues (I’m not an “expert” but I used to live in Japan). It’s definitely a pretty authentic Izakaya (think Japanese style tapas). The food is really good. Not cheap, but reasonable for what you get. If you’re not full at the end of your meal, order one of the onigiri (rice ball with seaweed). They’re inexpensive, delicious and will leave you full. One other tip: they do a Japanese style “bottle keep” there, meaning that you can buy a bottle of sake or shochu and if you don’t drink it all in one sitting, they’ll put your name on the bottle and save it for you for your next visit.

  • Echoing others comments: not cheap but not outrageously expensive, very good food, great service, nice ambience. We enjoyed it greatly and look forward to going back.

  • But, the REAL question is, how is the fish? Sashimi… is it buttery soft? Sliced well? Clearly well picked and fresh?

    This, personally defines a good japanese restaurant. Anyone can make a decent roll, a great chef knows how to pick fish and cut them.

    • I liked this place… for the most part. I thought that the dishes were hit or miss though. I really enjoyed the yellowtail jaw, but I had a few items I didn’t like.
      – monkfish liver: served with a gigantic dollop of spicy mustard that overpowered the dish
      – eggplant dish: oversalted. (and I like my food salty). I could only have a few pieces.
      – octopus salad: meh..

      The good: awesome friendly service, mom and pop shop
      The bad: outrageously expensive, a few dishes overseasoned, not too many raw fish options

    • You are aware that the Japanese eat other stuff besides fish, right? There’s a reason why sashimi makes up less than a quarter of the menu here. The sushi is there for the same reason grilled chicken caesar salads are on every goddamn menu in town: people insist that they be there, regardless of how lousy they are.

      There’s a Japanese place in Rockville called Temari Cafe. The sushi is pretty pedestrian, but everything else on the menu is classic Japanese mom & pop diner fare: Japanese curry, “hambaagu,” katsu, grilled uni. Yet everyone eats the sushi and complains about how pedestrian it is. Why do you think it’s taken this long to get an izakaya in DC? Why do you think we still don’t have an okonomyaki place? “Savory pancakes? That’s not sashimi? Where’s the sashimi?”

      And, no, not everyone can make a decent roll.

    • I thought both the quantity and the quality of the sashimi was amazing for the price point. Definitely the best I’ve had in DC without going to an insanely expensive place like Makoto or Sushi Taro.

      There’s an old Japanese guy behind the downstairs bar who does all the cutting. His cuts were really good – very buttery, decent thickness, and fresh. You don’t pick the cuts, they only serve a mix of whatever is fresh at the market.

  • I hope they add agedashi tofu and takoyaki to the menu.

    • Mmm, agedashi tofu…

    • I ate there in August, a few weeks after opening, and I’m fairly sure we had agedashi tofu. It was delicious, so I hope they bring it back.

      As good as the food was, it was expensive and we were still a little hungry when we left, so we picked up some tacos next door. Perfect location!

  • Fantastic! Been twice already, and will go back again. Relaxed, fun, knowledgeable staff. Satisfying, fresh, peerless (in DC) food. The squid salad with pesto was EXCELLENT – may not be on the menu anymore now that it’s not summer. Sashimi is buttery and fresh, but there are so many other things on the menu that I prefer to try some of the other dishes.

  • Wish they had a take out option. I’ve tried a couple of times to do this but so far they aren’t ready for it. Don’t know if they ever plan to. I hope so.

  • Excellent:
    The cocktails!
    Sashimi starter
    Fried chicken with garlic
    Cream croquettes
    Rock shrimp fritters

    Fried rice
    Chicken meatballs
    Pike mackeral (special)

    Scallop carpaccio (on account of the whole peppercorns, the scallop itself was very good)
    Mochi dessert (but apparently very authentic for those who want to try)

    Overall this is a great place. Very helpful service too.

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