Thursday, October 22, 2009

kotobuki

kotobuki
4822 macarthur boulevard NW, 2nd Floor, washington, DC 20007
neighborhood: palisades
tel: 202) 625-9080
hours: monday-thursday 12pm- 2:30pm, 5pm-9:30pm; friday - saturday 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-10:30pm, sunday 5pm-9:30pm

what was consumed: seaweed salad, sushi, sushi, sushi!
as i've mentioned before, i'm from southern california (so.cal). that makes me (a self-proclaimed) snob when it comes to some things: korean food (not only because i'm from so.cal, but also because i'm korean - haha), tex-mex, fast food burgers (woohoo in 'n out!) ... and sushi. sort of (sushi, i mean). point is, there's a large asian/asian american population, ergo there are many asian restaurants ... japanese (i.e., sushi) included. so what does that mean? i eat a lot of sushi. i crave sushi. i've made sushi. i love it.
here in DC, however, i've had a hard time finding good (and affordable) sushi places. why is that?! with the number of japanese nationals who find themselves coming in and out of the DC area, i would imagine more good and authentic japanese restaurants. but i can't seem to find them. no, i take that back. there are a lot of places in DC that offer sushi (in fact, a lot of korean restaurants offer sushi on their menus), but are they really good? are they really fresh? ... who am i kidding - i'm not the best at deciding what's just good and what's great (shoot, i'll eat all kinds). but here's the thing - lots of sushi places in the DC/metro area charge what ends up being an arm and a leg for their sushi. some of it is good, some of its is great, but do i want to pay a gillion dollars for it? maybe once or even twice. but on a regular basis? that's hard to do ... sigh ...
and then there's kotobuki. good (maybe even great!) sushi. what's more? it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. so excited!!!
we started our meal with seaweed salad. i love seaweed. i love seaweed salad. the slight tang from the vinegar combined with the sesame oil/seeds and other seasonings just come together to create a light and fresh start to a meal that is bound to be delicious. that seaweed is so good for your body is a fringe benefit - that's how great seaweed salad is (this one included!). while we started our meal with this (seemingly) small bowl of seaweed salad, its contents did last throughout the meal. maybe we/i were/was consuming sparingly. point is, the seaweed salad was delicious.
we then proceeded to consume 8 rolls between the 2 of us. i still don't think that's an exorbitant amount of food, but others beg to differ (granted, after the rolls and the seaweed salad, i was pretty full). the rice was just a bit warm when our plate was served and the sushi rice wasn't too hard, wasn't too soft, wasn't too sticky, and wasn't too much per roll. there aren't really any "fusion sushi" options - just the standard delicious options that i've come to love (the soft-shell crab roll is delicious as are any of the spicy ones - and they don't put mayonnaise in the spicy tuna that so many others do! excellent~). if only my stomach was larger - i could've eaten more! note to self: ask them not to put green onions in the rolls. while they don't put extra wasabi (which i'm not a fan of - don't judge), i'm also super adverse to green onions. if it's already in the mix (e.g. spicy tuna), then i'll take it; however, other rolls seem to be garnished with the green onions.
a couple of other things:
makoto (another well respected japanese restaurant) is downstairs from kotobuki. makoto is supposed to be super swanky with set menus and the like (sort of what sushi taro now, unfortunately, is trying to do ... ?) - i've never been. but i have been told that japanese japanese people prefer kotobuki to makoto. i don't know if it's because of price or because the food is better. no matter - it's something to take into consideration.
palisades has some really great restaurants, e.g. kotobuki, but it feels so so so far away. friend mike lives over there so i've been a few times, and now that i have a four-wheeled method of transportion it's much easier to get there. it's still important to note that getting to kotobuki is not really the most convenient (but it's totally worth it!). and finally, regarding transportation (of sorts), there's also only street parking and while it's not a bustling area, finding parking is always ... a challenge.
kotobuki is a super small place (which is part of the reason i like it). there are maybe 25-30 seats total (about 5 of them being at the sushi bar). i hear that's how sushi places in japan are. they don't take reservations and they close pretty early (9:30, i believe), but there are always a lot of people there and people are willing to wait in long lines to eat. i totally would. yum!

so, hey peeps! show me other sushi places that are delicious and i will look forward to trying them out. in the meantime, i have my new fav sushi joint - kotobuki ^_^ delicious!
online: http://www.kotobukiusa.com/

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