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“Overall it was delicious.”
Review of Kushi Izakaya - CLOSED

Kushi Izakaya
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Mount Vernon Square
Cross street: 5th Street
Transit: Mt. Vernon Square Metro Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro
Miltown
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Overall it was delicious.”
Reviewed April 27, 2013

Kushi was a nice treat. They sat us right away even though we were early for our reservation. The menu was a little hard to follow but our waiter took the time to walk us through it and over up suggestions. The food was very good. My husband and I shared everything and we were satisfied when the meal was over. Good atmosphere too.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank allison1127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

75 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    34
    12
    5
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
62 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Great service, great concept. Please open a second location in Virginia!”
Reviewed April 27, 2013

We had a wonderful perch at the bar for our first visit to Kushi. Not only was the food delicious, but we got to observe the cooks preparing it. We absolutely loved the barbecued skewered items- especially the pork belly and the grilled corn. Outstanding. The sushi was adequate, but I would consider other restaurants if all I wanted was sushi. The service was excellent. Our server was attentive and helpful. Because it was our first visit, she walked us through the menu and pointed us in all the right directions. I would definitely go back.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Traveler22202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Good service, but definitely room for improvement in terms of food.”
Reviewed April 21, 2013

The service was very good at Kushi, with friendly and very attentive staff. However, the food was somewhat below expectations. Although decent, there is definitely is room for improvement and the potential for much more. Food was prepared rather quickly, but the dishes, especially the skewers which appears to be their signature, was inconsistent. Some dishes would be cooked perfectly, while others burnt. Similar spices were utilized on most of the dishes which did not allow for any truly unique tastes. The sashimi though by itself was quite good. Although decent, I would rate Kushi at or slightly below average compared to some of our previous experiences with Izakaya's in other cities in North America.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JCW416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“All the potential, none of the execution”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is a great space and concept for a restuarant and they so nearly pull it off. If you've ever been to an Izakaya in Japan you will know that the key elements are (many) speedy frosted beers and small plates to order.

Kushi has all the ingredients, but the execution is just poor. After an extremely warm welcome by the greeter and a follow-up where she recommended some dishes to me, the serving staff were really slow to move around the floor and take orders. It didn't concern me greatly as I was looking to make an evening of it.

However, once I'd selected my dishes things really started to come apart. The beer I ordered took over 15 minutes to make it from the bar, less than 10 feet away. My plan to move on to try some Sake with my Sushi evaprated as the service got slower and slower.

Then two of my skewers arrived, followed a while later by a seaweed salad. The chicken with wasabi was good, but the 'famous' pork belly was served luke-warm and missed the mark. Both tasty but not outstanding. The seaweed salad was actually excellent.

I was then informed that the chicken liver skewer had sold out, so replaced with gizzard and still no sign of the days special chicken heart. I expected these to be the highlight of the meal really.

I'd also ordered 5 Nigiri. The red snapper had sold out, but again not mentioned until some time after my initial order. I replaced with an extra Maguro. This individual dish arrived before the remainder of my sushi and the skewers.

I finally checked what was happening to be told that the chicken gizzards had sold out too. This still didn't really explain where the chicken hearts were nor why this only became apparent so long after my order (I'd been there an hour by then). The hearts finally showed up with the remainder of the Nigiri, which seemed disjointed. However they were excellent and worth waiting for. The Nigiri too was good, especially the flying fish roe roll and the Hamachi.

The really disappointing thing was that I sat at the bar surrounding the chefs and I could see that they were working efficiently. They were clearly getting bad instruction from the servers and this was leading to several serving errors (not just my own).

A shame really as this could have been a fun experience and would be a great place for an after work crowd. For an Izakaya, the beers need to flow a bit more quickly and the food needs to come out upon order (in Japan you don't order everything up front, but as the night progresses). The servers need to learn their product too. All the ingredients are there, they just need to work out the execution.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jamie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Very disappointing food and wine list”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Got a livingsocial deal - at least that's what I thought. The restaurant was located in a gentrified yuppified part of town with hip eateries and bars. Kushi looked hip although appearances don't match the food. Very very average izakaya food although it was sub par izakaya food that you would not even find in Japan. The seasonal tasting menu was a joke. Nothing seasonal about tiny duck skewers (burned to death) and vegetable fried rice. I was expecting the same thing from Japan during Spring - Spring vegetables, tender pork filet, sakura shrimp concoctions. What I got were burnt sausage, vegetable fried rice, over over fried katsu, bad bad sake, over spicy tuna maki -which isn't even Japanese btw - and honey banana. Really, fried honey banana??? If they want to charge Japanese prices, they have to serve quality food that you would find in Japan. Hate to say it, but really a lipstick on a pig kind of place. Save your $$$ for real good DC cuisine.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank freqtraveller2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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