Bientot: Kushi

CityVista in Mount Vernon Triangle, already home to Safeway and Busboys and Poets, will soon welcome an exciting new resident… D.C.’s very first Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant called Kushi. Izakayas get their names from the word Sakaya which means Sake Shop… they’re basically Japanese drinking establishments which also serve food to accompany the drinks. If Kushi sticks to the traditional definition of a Izakaya, popular, casual and relatively cheap places for after-work drinking, then I am going to become a regular! In the case of Kushi, it sounds like more emphasis will be placed on food. The restaurant’s focal points will be its kushiyaki counter with an open fire pit, its sushi counter and its private kotatsu rooms.

The team behind Kushi is Yoshihisa Ota, a well-known Tokyo chef, and chef Darren Norris, formerly of Ridgewells caterers. Norris was inspired to open a Japanese restaurant partly because his wife, designer Ari Kushimoto, is Japanese. She will be heading up the restaurant’s design. The menu will emphasize sustainable fish and meats from local farmers while the bar will feature a large selection of sake, Japanese beers on draft and shochu, a drink similar to vodka.

Kushi’s ABC notice was just posted on their window at 465 K Street NW and they have started to build an online presence creating a Facebook page and putting up a website. Our new japanese neighbour is expected to move in sometime in late 2009-early 2010. Patience… patience…

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