Several weeks back, I was strolling down an unfamiliar street and saw a sushi restaurant. With a taste for something fresh and clean I popped in and..well…BIG MISTAKE. It was not good sushi–everything was fishy and I left very unhappy. After that experience I needed two things: first, some time to forget about this last sushi experience and second, to make sure the next time I would eat sushi it would be at a damn good restaurant.
It was for this reason that I went to Kushi, a Japanese restaurant located in Mount Vernon Square that not only has sushi but also a charcoal grill where they infuse seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes with a smokiness that you always crave in the summertime. I have never been disappointed with anything I’ve ordered from this restaurant. So let’s get started.
For the fresh fish we got sockeye salmon and sea urchin nigiri. it was only my second experience eating sea urchin; the best way I can describe it is a rich mouse.
We then had a two sushi rolls: a real crab meat spicy California roll with a little fresh jalapeno and a nagihama yellowtail and scallion roll. The fish was so fresh and clean.
We then ordered Day boat sea scallops with yuzu kosho butter, a dish cooked on the charcoal grill. These guys were tender and loaded with that smoky flavor from the grill. The bright flavors of the yuzu and lemon juice brings out the sweetness of the day boat scallops. This dish was simple, flavorful and perfectly cooked.
Next, the pork belly skewers. I am not typically a fan of pork belly partly because my past experience of pork belly has been all fat and no meat. This skewer was just fantastic. The fat melted into and the meat, infusing it with so much rich flavor.
Then there was bacon wrapped asparagus. It was yummy but then again anything with bacon is yummy.
Finally, there was grilled squid body. This dish was also cooked on the charcoal grill and therefore infused with that smoky flavor I now crave. The dish was simple but flavorful.
A couple other things I love but didn’t get this time are:
The sashimi trio variety of marinated maguro tuna, hamachi yellowtail & salmon. This dish is delicate and truly showcases the flavor of the fish.
The duck fat pork ribs (must use your fingers) and the crispy duck thigh.
Also, if you haven’t tried fatty tuna before, I highly recommend trying that sashimi or nigiri style. The seared fatty salmon belly nigiri is also delicious.