Those who know me (or have talked to me for 5 minutes) know I’m regularly lamenting the lack of good Asian food in the District. The most notable exception to my constant refrain is Kushi in the City Vista Building at 5th and K NW. Kushi manages to do everything … and actually do it well. So try to grab a seat at the vibrant grill counter or sushi bar and get ready for some tasty Japanese treats.
Kushi offers excellent izakya/robata options including the succulent and tender pork rib (do not order one to share, just get two), crispy grilled chicken wings, a wonderfully umami corn in soy sauce butter, chicken skin reminiscent of chicharones (when it actually comes out crunchy) and a whole host of other options including duck sausage and whole fish.
In addition to the awesome grilled items Kushi has excellent sushi and sashimi options (pick from the daily specials just flown in from Japan and you won’t be disappointed). Even the typical raw bar items are elevated by Japanese mayonnaise (it’s just better than cocktail sauce). I’m not usually a huge fan of sushi rolls but Kushi does those right as well, heavy on the fish and light on the rice.
Finally the daily cooked specials including various hot pot and noodle dishes are comforting, warming and usually add an element of spice to the menu. They are perfect with cooling Japanese pickles.
Kushi isn’t cheap and it’s easy to rack up a big bill without noticing since each dish on its own is pretty reasonable. But if you want to try it on a budget the $12 lunch special is a perfect way. The attached photos are just a random sampling of items from a couple visits.