Met the ladies for dinner and drinks at the end of a hectic day. We also finally met a long-time friend of the effervescent JK. It's really nice to meet good people and I love to gather with my wonderful friends. Each one is unique. Our traveling yogi pulled out a super cute chapeau and sequin top. Heard more about the evil boss of another, learned how JK has become a home coffee bean roaster and may, just may be a bit particular about making coffee. The company and the conversation was great. Unfortunately, Kushi continued to underwhelm.
Beautiful touch, violet lilies.
Another nice touch was the offering of house-made still or sparkling water to the table. Our main waiter was also very patient and fairly attentive.
Soba Noodle Salad
The vegan diner seemed to like this, but this is not really a traditional izakaya menu item. Where did the Japanese potato salad go, or hijiki salad?
This was down the table and didn't hear feedback at the time, but the slices are cut too thickly.
3 types of raw oysters with a weird soy-based dipping sauce.
Oysters were ok, but I prefer either a mignonette sauce or even cocktail sauce.
The coating and flavor was right, but the price was not right. Also the use of breast meat leads to a bit blander meat and I prefer leg and thigh meat for Japanese fried chicken bites.
Spicy Tuna Roll
Once again, the rice was wrong, too mushy. Glad only one roll was ordered.
Grilled Kabocha Squash with a soy-butter glaze.
The butter just didn't work right for me.
It rubs me the wrong way when restaurant staff mispronounce menu items. This is not "kabochi". Pet peeve, but just the proverbial nail in an underwhelming and overpriced dinner. I have high standards when it comes to Japanese food, with my own super authority at home. I had huge hopes for a true izakaya to return to DC. This one had flashes of potential early on, but a series of underwhelming dinners here left me with no desire to return. There are nice touches, like offering a platter of sake cups for the diner to choose from, and water service. However the pre-dining oshibori was missing, the yakitori are not grilled over flame, the sushi is just...I'm going to stick into the adage that if you do not have something nice to say, to not say anything at all.