Jump to content

Kaz Sushi Bistro, Chef Kazuhiro Okochi on 19th & I Streets NW Downtown


Recommended Posts

I decided to finally try out Kaz Sushi Bistro (1915 I Street NW). More to the point, this was the first Wednesday I could make it there to get the Maki and Nigiri lunch combo, after learning of it's existance. The combo consisted of a spicy tuna roll, a California roll, and a piece each of maguro, sake, and ebi nigiri. Right from the start, I knew I was on to something good: the little cup of soy sauce was taped to the top to prevent spillage in transit, there were two packets of those little M&M-like mints, and the gari was clearly home-made. Trivial touches, yes, but they're obviously thinking this lunch-special thing through. I like that. It bodes well.

On to the main event, the sushi itself was visually very nice, and clearly carefully made. The tuna in particular was the most beautiful shade of deep red. I can say very easily that this was the best sushi I can recall having, in the U.S. and in Japan (Granted, I never went for a hard-core Edomae dinner, but there you go). Incredible. Even the California roll was good. Even the soy sauce was good. They are absolutely not trying to cut corners with the lunch special, and if they are, the stuff right at the bar must be positively mind-blowing.

I don't mind saying I was having a pretty insane day at work to this point, but after this lunch, everything seemed good and right with the world. biggrin.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to Kaz yesterday for lunch for the first time in ages (even though I work two blocks away). Unlike my usual practice, this time I had a bento box lunch (the soft shell crab deal) along with a side of uni (sea urchin). It was all fantastic, though a bit pricy ($30 all in, with tax and tip). I need to go here more often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next time you need to try the Tuna with Foie.  It is pure heaven.

Yeah, that's high on the list for when I eat there 'for real', but I think Wednesday lunch is officially going to be the Maki/Nigiri combo with maybe an a la carte order of maguro or buri nigiri tacked on for good measure.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, that's high on the list for when I eat there 'for real', but I think Wednesday lunch is officially going to be the Maki/Nigiri combo with maybe an a la carte order of maguro or buri nigiri tacked on for good measure.

I have only ever been to Kaz for lunch, but I have a friend with a nice expense account who cannot get enough of the Tuna w/ Foie or the Otoro. We went for lunch during RW, not even realizing that it was RW, and had the best lunch we have ever had there. The softshell roll was simply sublime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, and Kaz Sushi bistro

Very good, very inventive, things like tuna with mango purree or kalamata olice puree, or seared salmon with garlic chip.

For non sushi people- the short ribs, fried calamari and clams are very tasty.

For desert ice cream dumplings.

Ed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I go to Kaz on a regular basis for lunch and occassionally for dinner. I love the consistent nature of the fish... always has been fresh and delicious. The Kaz special sushis are unique combinations of flavors like tuna with almonds. Plus they have great soy sauce.

Oh and I actually think lunch at Kaz is a bargain: two rolls equals about $10 plus you get a bowl of miso soup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have always loved Kaz. While there are many new wave offerings, the approach to sushi is rooted in tradition. We always eat at the bar and order order by order. If you drink god cold sake and eat a lot of sushi, it can easily add up, but we do it more than we should because its so good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wait...what? Did I read that right? What comes in a shortrib bento box?

Signed,

Intrigued

I very much like Kaz for lunch, particularly the shortrib bento box and all the sushi, it is a great bargin either way you go. I still prefer Sushi Ko for a night out however, but both are wonderful restaurants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This afternoon I saddled up to the bar and sat in front of Kaz with a friend. I am surprised that I can move after this feast. The daily specials were outstanding. They Horse Mackerel were not as oily as other mackerels and was brought to life by the lime topping, the Organic Pacific Salmon was soft, and pure in flavor, the Young Yellowtail was very flavorful, and more delicate than the adult of the species. We also tried the special roll, which was two pieces of shrimp tempura with avocado, it was good, but paled compared to the other specials.
As for the regular menu, I have not found any unagi in Washington that is better than what Kaz has. The Seared Sea Scallop with lemon salt is beautifully cut, it looks like a knot, and comes with the request from Kaz not to use soy sauce with it. It is on par with some of the best scallop dishes in the city, but far more simple than any other in its class. The Yellowtail belly is clean and luscious. And my sushi partner's favorite is the Tuna with foie gras is always a treat.
When we arrived just before noon there were only a handful of people in the restaurant, by the time we waddled out close to 1:00 there was a line out of the door. I just wish this restaurant was not on the other side of the city from the culinary wasteland where I work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had dinner there a week or so ago and it was good, but expensive. Of course I knew that going in, but it was still a bit of a shock. My favorite dish was a special of scallops with yuzu. Enjoyed a nice bottle of sake too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a dental appointment downtown at 3, the rain poured down and traffic choked every intersection. I had a couple Manhattans at some bar (no cherry, no bitters, fuck you) then walked around in the rain like Ray Milland in "The Lost Weekend." I phoned the wife and said I couldn't make it home in this mess in time for dinner, which was only half true, as by then I had hatched a scheme to eat at Kaz and was therefore looking for any excuse to stay downtown anyway. It was now 5:45 and Kaz didn't open 'til 6. So I went to Franz Bader and looked at books on Japanese furniture and woodworking tools, a fitting aesthetic prelude to what I knew would be a wonderful meal.

I entered with a Japanese couple who also had been waiting in the rain at the entrance. I took a seat at the bar and ordered the "chef's parade" of six courses. Sashimi of toro in gazpacho showed the typical Kaz inventiveness and wit--strange that some of the best gazpacho I've had recently should come from a Japanese restaurant. The sashimi was immaculate. Flounder in juso, honey and seaweed was a bright festival of flavors, all beautifully harmonized and many of which seemed to echo in the following dish of scallop sashimi with juso and red onion, which was presented in a scallop shell. Next came morsels of sautéed salmon in a kind of mirepoix with diced tomato. The deep and rich flavor of this dish was welcome after the bracing acidic notes of the first three. Next came a dish that the chef kindly agreed to include in my parade: little-neck clam tempura with salt and wasabi. The tempura was a bit heavy, but still retained a delightful texture. I found myself enjoying the slight chewyness of the clams. Then came the only off note of the evening: sautéed slices of tenderloin in miso. It was brought sizzling to the table, like a fajita. But the miso had burnt in the pan and imparted a vile flavor to the dish. I came very close to sending this dish back but decided to let it pass. The following nigiri provided welcome relief, especially the charred bonito garnished with a chip of garlic, which brought out the flavor of the fish and accented its char perfectly; flounder and scallop were also highlights of this carefully prepared set of six selections. Dessert was a kind of coffee gelato served in a tapioca. The tiny beads that made up the tapioca had the gelatinous but firm texture of caviar. Meanwhile, Kaz himself had arrived and the bar began to bustle with activity as he and his two or three assistants began to put out the orders for the rapidly filling house. As I watched the pros with their blades, I couldn't help thinking of the book on Japanese woodworking tools I had looked at only an hour before. A little glass of complimentary plum wine provided a fitting end to this parade, which despite the weather managed not to get rained on. So much for getting stranded downtown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bo, Thank you for chiming in. I hope the restaurant is a great success.

However, I'd like to elaborate on my comments regarding Kaz. The portions at Wasabi do not equate to those at Kaz. At Kaz, I have two rolls at lunch. My bill is $10. My rolls consist of 6 pieces each. I also receive a cup of Miso with my lunch.

Interesting to see that their lunch prices are low. Have you been to Kaz for dinner? The sushi ranged from good to very good, but it was one expensive meal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been to Kaz for dinner on a number of occassions. I don't recall my tab being more than $30 a person. I love the special sushis they make like tuna and almond paste for dinner.

Though at lunch I tend to stick to two rolls and a complimentary bowl of miso. If I am really hungry at lunch I might get a salad or something. I think my total with tip at lunch is around $12. Even the first time I went to Kaz with a business associate, our bill was $45 for two including TORO. (my first time that lunch... you always remember your first :) ) And I was but-gusting full after that lunch...

To make it relevant to a discussion about Wasabi... Three sections of a roll equate to one serving. For me to get my typical sushi lunch of two rolls, I have to get 4 orders at Wasabi. Plus I have to buy my miso.

Straying a bit (OK way off Wasabi), looking at the online menu Kaz can be inexpensive if you order the normal items. Order up a bunch of the special dishes and it will not be a cheap meal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to many other fine meals, Kaz treated me right for a Restaurant Week dinner last August. They offered a hot appetizer selection followed by a pick-three of seven or eight different sushi and sashimi options. Jack and I left full, drunk and happy.

The same can not be said of my lunch there Monday, as this was a rare Monday when I couldn't come back to the office half-twisted on sake. Moreover, their $20 lunch included the standard miso soup, salad, and a seven or eight pieces of nigiri paired with a California roll -- not exactly what I was looking for.

Nick and I, who both worked in Japanese restaurants and are probably not Kaz's target audience for restaurant week, scrapped the RW menu and decided to split the grilled octopus ($8) for an appetizer, then each got the sashimi plate ($19.50).

It came with a three pieces of dark, beautiful tuna, three pieces of salmon with lemon (I could see where the acid seared the fish), three pieces of flounder (I think), two pieces of surf clam and two pieces of scallop. The stars of the show, however, were the three rich, buttery pieces of yellowtail. I saved my last slice of yellowtail for the end, wanting the flavor to linger as I paid the bill. After letting the last bits slide away, I watched as Nick made some tough decisions on what to finish his meal with. Unsurprisingly, the yellowtail won out.

Great meal, but for restaurant week, stick with dinner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Considering its location and reputation, you can have a great sushi meal for lunch for about $30 per person, incl. tax & tip. Stick to the Kaz specialties and you won't be disappointed. The fois gras tuna is excellent. I recall that soup is included in every meal.

They take a limited number of reservations for Noon, but nothing later. And if you have a noon reservation, be on time. They won't seat you past 12:10 or so. Policy to only seat you when the whole party has arrived, but I've gotten past that before.

I am meaning to go & sit at the sushi bar next time. Have only sat at a table in my half dozen or so trips.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Considering its location and reputation, you can have a great sushi meal for lunch for about $30 per person, incl. tax & tip. Stick to the Kaz specialties and you won't be disappointed. The fois gras tuna is excellent. I recall that soup is included in every meal.

They take a limited number of reservations for Noon, but nothing later. And if you have a noon reservation, be on time. They won't seat you past 12:10 or so. Policy to only seat you when the whole party has arrived, but I've gotten past that before.

I am meaning to go & sit at the sushi bar next time. Have only sat at a table in my half dozen or so trips.

Ha! I have a great sushi lunch there for $10-$12! Two rolls and a miso soup. I feel like it is the best bargain in the city. :-)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went to Kaz for the first time last night...very nice!

We started with some braised short ribs which were falling apart awesome...the grilled baby octopus were very chewy and not so good. We ordered 4 selections of sushi: sea urchin, eel, seared salmon belly and scallops poached in sake...The salmon and scallops were melt in your mouth fantastic. we also had 2 rolls, yellow fin and tuna tartar, both were adequate but nothing too exciting. Saki of the month was servicable.

So some big hits and a couple misses, but I think with a couple of visits one can weed out the misses...hell I'd go back today for lunch to have the short ribs, salmon belly and scallops!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This ranks in the top 5 item I've ever eaten. It is amazing. The way the sushi chef cuts the scallop to lay it over the rice... the succulent meat... the packed rice... I need to get back & have it again.

Kaz's toro with foie gras poached in plum wine is the most addictive thing I've ever eaten.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had a bunch of lunches at Kaz recently and the featured bento box of the day is a steal at around $12-13. Although some days of the week are better than others - Chicken Katsu (fried cutlet) with miso sauce was great whereas chicken terriyaki was not so great. Also the roll that comes with the featured box always seems to be salmon skin - which is ok, but not very exciting - the 2 pieces of nigri are better (1 salmon, 1 whitefish). Oh and the miso is very good. My new favorite is the signature salmon with mango puree which melts in your mouth. Good pick for people like me with a sweeth tooth. The edamame is good and a big portion to share. The age dashi tofu app is ok - sauce is good a flavorful, but the fried tofu isn't great - the tofu in this dish is usually silken whereas it was very firm here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had forgotten just how much a cut above the sushi at Kaz is. Just went there with a party of six for my birthday.

Wow. It's not inexpensive, but damn, it is good. That tuna with foie is such a standout.

The other thing I love is that the nigiri is actually in bite-sized pieces. I refuse to shove a huge piece all into my mouth, and biting it in half is so awkward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Received an email this afternoon from Kaz Sushi: "I am so excited to let you know that we have just received today, belly of a 400 pound Boston Bluefin Tuna (Otoro) from Cape Cod. This is one of the most beautiful tuna I have ever seen."

I recommend the O-toro sushi ($18 for two pieces), the chu-toro not as much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went last night for the first time for dinner - it is nice to see the wide array of sushi and appetizer special available. I had to sing the praises of the delicious seared salmon belly signature sushi (2 piece nigri) - just excellent combo of melt in your mouth with a big of cooked flavor from the searing. I also had some other sushi which was good as usual. However, my wife and I did not like at all the salmon tempura roll hot appetizer. By frying the salmon you basically get overcooked, bland fish which is only helped alittle by the ginger sauce poured over it. Skip this one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many years ago, a young, cocky talent separated from his master, and eventually grew into a master himself.

Last night was no ordinary meal at Kaz Sushi Bistro - it was a reunion of sorts, and the restaurant was in top form. With all the eye-glazingly hum-drum sushi Okochi cranks out, it's easy to forget just what a formidable sushi chef he is. Three things about this restaurant have been consistent for me: fascinating combinations of flavors, complexity of saucing, and solid execution from some unknown cook behind the kitchen wall.

Seasoned chicken wings, stuffed with homemade salmon sausage, fried then broiled, and followed by "oshinko" maki made with homemade chayote pickles.

"He should have fired me; I'm grateful that he didn't. It's only now when I recognize just what a great chef he is."

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a better bowl of miso soup in the city? If there is I would love to know about it. I certainly enjoyed my bowl today more than the shrimp tempura roll, and as much as the impeccably fresh uni (a miscommunication since I had ordered unagi).
What was so great and different about this miso soup? I love miso soup and have had pretty good soup at Kaz on several occassions (albiet part of their lunch deal, not specially ordered), but never anything amazing. Nearby at Chopsticks, a counter service place on 19th and L st, I had a pretty good and dark small bowl of miso soup for $2 (although it lacked the tofu chunks which often comes in the soup). Chopsticks also has a shitake miso for $3 that I haven't tried yet.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What was so great and different about this miso soup? I love miso soup and have had pretty good soup at Kaz on several occassions (albiet part of their lunch deal, not specially ordered), but never anything amazing.

Great question. First, I should note that I think it is the best in the area, but it seems that miso soup is not the strong suit of most Japanese sushi restaurants in these parts. That is unfortunate, because it can be such a lovely soup. Why I think that Kaz has some of the best is that the soup tastes like it is made from scratch, I can pick-up the subtle flavor of the dashi and it balances well with the miso.

Thank you for the tip on Chopsticks, I will give it a shot. What I would really love to find is someone in the area that makes a miso with seafood. My favorite miso was at a small shop in Kagurazaka that cooked the soup with snow crab legs and delivered the bowls with two very large appendages sticking out of them or at the food-centric Ryokan, Fukiya where breakfast started with a miso soup made with clam broth and baby clams throughout the soup. But absent a similar soup, I will be happy with the simple goodness available at Kaz.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there is better sushi in DC, I have not found it.

Two of us, a light sake to start, the yellowtail carpaccio appetizer.

A few rolls, some nigiri, and a richer sake.

Threw sense to the wind and ordered both the green tea tiramisu as well as the chocolate marquise with lemon vodka ice cream. They were both great, but the chocolate and lemon, both great on their own, each managed to stand up to each other for one of the finest desserts I have had in a long time.

So I decided - I would rather eat at Kaz once than a less pricey joint twice. It's just that good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lisa and I went to Kaz on Tuesday night for our birthday dinner (yes, we share the same birthday). We sat at the sushi bar and ordered the omakase. Kaz Okochi was directly opposite us and we were prepared for one heck of a night.

Let me first tell you what we ended up getting (everything was nigiri - no rolls of any kind):

- Tai snapper

- Japanese scallop

- Flounder (2 ways)

- Tuna with foie gras miso

- Tuna with black truffle

- Sweet shrimp

- Walu

- Albacore (seared)

- Smoked monkfish liver

- Seared scallop

- Uni

- Japanese mackerel

- Tasmanian salmon

- Smoked mackerel

- Octopus

All this was washed down with a bottle of Oyama Nigori and then a few Sapporos.

There is no doubt that this was some of the best nigiri sushi I've ever tasted. The Walu was our hands down favorite, but the smoked monkfish liver and raw scallops were a close second. The uni was amazing. Simply nothing like the crap that gets served in most places. The flavour was so sweet and delicate. Absolutely nothing like the overpowering and bitter slop most places pull out of their fridges. And the rice, Oh, the rice!! Every individual grain was like a little pearl. I've never, ever, tasted anything quite like it (possible exception being Sushi Nozawa). While nothing was bad, I might rethink the truffle on the tuna. Tuna is so bland these days to begin with and all I could smell/taste was the truffle. Maybe there's a better venue for it rather than on top of the very mild tuna. But it's a minor quibble.

Value for the dollar? Exceptional!! I've simply never eaten such fantastic nigiri sushi without paying almost twice as much.

So...why did I walk out of Kaz somewhat disappointed? I've had omakase quite a few times, most notably at Sushi Nozawa in LA, Nobu in Vegas, and Morimoto in Philly. While the quality of fish at Kaz was easily up to par with all the aforementioned places, what was missing was some of the sense of adventure and creativity. At virtually every other omakase, I was treated to something truly out of the ordinary. I was given variations on themes, rather than just nigiri for every portion. Granted, at Nobu and Morimoto, I also paid twice as much. But I guess that when I order omakase, I expect to experience not only the highest quality of seafood the chef can procure, but I also expect him to stretch (or even break) some boundaries. I didn't get that on Tuesday night.

Now - is this a fair expectation? Have I bought into a concept that is outside of what omakase what meant to offer? That's quite possible. At least now my expectations have been reset. I wholly agree with susanmab who said "I would rather eat at Kaz once than a less pricey joint twice." This will be my go to place for the most exceptional nigiri sushi I've had in DC. But I don't think I'll ever go there with the expectation of a "show".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- Smoked monkfish liver

And the rice, Oh, the rice!! Every individual grain was like a little pearl.

I also had this smoked monkfish liver several nights ago, and it's fantastic. The sushi rice is consistently first-rate at Kaz, and I love your description of every individual grain being like a little pearl.

It sounds like what you got was the Sushi Omakase, as opposed to the full-blown omakase featuring both raw fish and cooked foods - it's too bad, because cooked foods are a strength here (despite Kaz himself not doing the cooking). I'm not sure how these are listed on the menu, but next time you go, just say that you want an omakase that includes sashimi, cooked foods, and sushi, and you'll be all set.

Although Kaz might berate me for saying this, I think this restaurant went through a down period for several years - I sensed a bit of boredom in the past, like it was running on cruise control - but my last several visits here have been terrific. Kaz seems like he's re-found his mojo, and is even making an attempt at blogging!

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

had a very nice lunch at -- and pleasant chat with -- kaz today. should you be wont to try kindai, farm-raised bluefin from the egg, he expects to receive his first delivery some time next week.

kanpai,

-chris.

A More Sustainable Tuna?

Japan's Kindai Bluefin Arrives in Virginia

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9031000677.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those intrigued by Don's Monterrey Bay Fish Grotto tuna sandwich post, this hit my in box about an hour ago.

Arriving just in time to celebrate for our 10 year Anniversary and to wrap up the Cherry Blossom season - We are receiving a superior piece of Kindai Bluefin Tuna (Toro) from Japan on Fri., April 10th

KINDAI BLUE-FIN TUNA (Toro)Kindai Tuna is what I call "Tuna of the Future". At the Kinki University Fisheries Center in Japan the Bluefin is spawned, hatched and raised to adulthood at their facility. The result is a sustainable product that does not deplete the natural population. The Kindai Bluefin contains significantly less mercury than other Bluefin and contains no antibiotics or anibacterial agents. Each "Kindai Bluefin Tuna" is shipped with a detailed "tuna resume" that outlines everything from the nutritional value of the feed the tuna has been given to the tuna to water ratio in the facility where it has been raised. This tuna is not only eco-friendly and more healthful, it is a sheer delicacy! Supplies are limited and we are fortunate to be able to get a supply at KAZ. This excellent high fat Toro has a silky, rich, clean, taste that is extraordinary. The Toro arrives on Friday, April 10th. Be sure to stop by and try this incredible fish before it is all gone!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Kindai is as good as advertised. We went on Friday night and had the omakase, which included the lean, medium fat, and high fat portions of the tuna. Not surprisingly, the high fat was the best, an incredible buttery/salty flavor that I associate more with nice cuts of red meat moreso than fish. The tuna was the star of the show, but the Kindai Tai Red Snapper is not to be missed, nor the Bird's Nest or the Hirmasa Hamachi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Kindai is as good as advertised. We went on Friday night and had the omakase, which included the lean, medium fat, and high fat portions of the tuna. Not surprisingly, the high fat was the best, an incredible buttery/salty flavor that I associate more with nice cuts of red meat moreso than fish. The tuna was the star of the show, but the Kindai Tai Red Snapper is not to be missed, nor the Bird's Nest or the Hirmasa Hamachi.

Agreed. I went last Saturday and was very pleased. Believe it or not, I thought the Albacore toro was fierce competition for the Kindai.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Kindai is as good as advertised. We went on Friday night and had the omakase, which included the lean, medium fat, and high fat portions of the tuna. Not surprisingly, the high fat was the best, an incredible buttery/salty flavor that I associate more with nice cuts of red meat moreso than fish. The tuna was the star of the show, but the Kindai Tai Red Snapper is not to be missed, nor the Bird's Nest or the Hirmasa Hamachi.

Last night I also had the sashimi plate which included the maguro, chu-toro, and o-toro. As a point of reference, imagine the slices of o-toro, except each slice was 3-4 times wider (not longer or thicker, but wider, and without much of the fat trimmed off). Then imagine 8 pieces of it - that's the dish I had at Monterrey Bay Fish Grotto (yes, what I'm saying is, that dish was the equivalent of 24-32 pieces of the o-toro sashimi at Kaz, albeit slightly less thick, and in more of a "butcher's cut,"). For $55, it was charity. Too much of a good thing? Well, yes!

They're out of the Kindai Tai, but the Madai Crudo is an extraordinary dish - four generous slice of the fish presented as crudo, drizzled with EVOO, and served with some salt, garnished with capers, and accompanied by small, diced mounds of olive, sundried tomato, and basil. Also, Kaz is dicing the Kindai Maguro and serving it as an elevated Salade Nicoise, the whole thing to be mixed together. Okochi goes Italian and French - who knew?

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a far too long absence, I had a wonderful dinner at Kaz last night.

I sat at the bar and Yori took care of me and fed me well. The Madai crudo was wonderrfulbut the crudo presentation did nothing for me... it was the fish itself. Other highlights were Japanese scallop, the house smoked fatty mackeral (amazing!), albacore toro & other things I seem to have forgotten in the haze of 4 sake. The only miss was the tebasaki (crispy fried chicken wings which were not).

As for the Kindai Bluefin, I am not convinced. I must say that having started my sushi eating back in LA in the 70's, when 1600 pound bluefin were not rare, the Kindai is only a return in a more sustainable fashion to approach the taste of the true. How sad that we cannot simply ban the fishing of the Bluefina nd restore its population to a sustainable level and then go back to enjoying the original wild fish. Unfortunately, at current capture rates, the wild bluefin may be gone in 5 years. Having said that, the maguro cut was lovely but the chutoro was superb. They were out of the otoro but I am usually more impressed witht he chutoro anyways.

The meal wasn't cheap but as a very special occasion place, Kaz remains one of my favorite places to eat in DC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kaz had otoro last night at $14 for 2 pieces (nigiri), chutoro at $12 for 2 pieces, and a kindai tuna chives roll for $10 (the fish was overwhelmed by the seaweed so you can barely taste the fish - wouldn't advise wasting good tuna this way). It was good but if Monterrey Bay ever gets more Kindai, that's where we would go (portions are much smaller at Kaz).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As many times as I've been to Kaz, I've never gone just for maki, but now I have and I'm glad I did.

A plate of DC Roll ($6.50, eel, avocado, egg, cucumber), Tuna Roll with Jalapeno ($5.50), Salmon Roll with Cucumber ($5.25), Asparagus and Roasted Bell Pepper Roll ($4.25), and Oshinko Roll ($4.00) was a perfect combination of flavors, lightness, and heft. These were outstanding rolls, and the sushi rice in particular remains as good as you'll find in the DC area.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bento boxes at lunch ($12, give or take) are such a great deal, and plenty of food, that the RW lunch menu always seems like overkill.

As many times as I've been to Kaz, I've never gone just for maki, but now I have and I'm glad I did.

Bears repeating. I'm sure the price is up a buck or two, but the bento boxes at Kaz are a fantastic lunch deal for the quality of food, especially considering the neighborhood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Treated myself to a Kaz sushi bar dinner last night, in honor of my I'm-now-closer-to-30-than-18 birthday. I was seated at the end of the bar closest to the entrance to the kitchen, which made me feel a little in the way, but thats ok. I ordered green tea and ended up paying $5.25 for what tasted to me like a very normal garden-variety sushi bar green tea, but maybe I'm just a tea philistine? To start I had the soup special ($8.50, I think), which was a cold, velvety-smooth butternut squash soup with huge hunks of blue crab, topped with a light sprinkling of chives and roe. Delicious, substantial and oddly refreshing at the same time. For sushi I ordered KAZ Sushi Tasting 009 (Chef's Choice), $32.00: 8 pieces nigiri & 1 roll (mostly from KAZ's signature sushi). The roll was actually 4 pieces each of a smoked eel w/ pickled daikon and a spicy scallop, of which I could have eaten an entire bowl... sweet, spicey, smooth, creamy, lush. Yum. If I remember correctly, the nigiri included Tuna w/Italian white truffle, Flounder w/ume & shiso, Sake Poached Sea Scallop w/lemon-cilantro, a huge and wonderful piece of smoked mackerel (I think), an ama-ebi (sweet shrimp) with some kind of fruity tapioca pearls, Seared Salmon Belly w/ soy-lemon sauce, a large piece of tuna... I wish I had taken a picture. To be perfectly honest, I've had better sushi for much less money, but it was a different kind of good, a simpler, more classic good that comes from perfectly pristine ingredients and faithfulness to the flavors that have propelled sushi through a culture for generations. This is not that. Its creative, inspiring, fascinating, and a nice distraction from what everybody else is doing. Its not something I would want to do every day, but damn, is it a tasty way to spend a birthday.

Edited to add, because I forgot but wanted to mention: I'm not impressed with the sushi rice here. It strikes me as bland. I think it works, because it lets the fish and the sauces be the star, but... I don't like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to take a moment to qualify something. When I say that my dinner at Kaz Sushi Bistro was "revelatory," I'm not saying that it's up there with the "holy shit" moments of Komi or Vidalia. What I AM saying is that it was "revelatory" in that it revealed something to me: namely the fact that I've never had good sushi before.

All sushi I've had previously has tasted the same to me. I don't have very sensitive tastebuds to begin with, but drowning/dunking my California rolls in wasabi and soy sauce didn't really help much. Then again, that was just to overcome the fact that all sushi I've had in the past has been relatively flavorless.

Not so at Kaz where, for the first time, I was actually able to appreciate what I was eating!

I could have eaten a taiko drum full of the unagi ($4.75). If I'd had a cold and could only have gone on texture rather than flavor, I would have sworn I was eating a piece of foie gras. It wasn't rubbery in the slightest: it melted in my mouth!

My true "revelation" came when I got the Kaz Sushi Tasting 009 ($32): basically an assortment of the various Kaz signature sushi. Highly recommended if you want to see what Kaz is all about. Everything from tuna with truffle (OMFG) to Japanese butter fish with yuzu zest. The garnishes were unique, certainly, but what blew me away was that everything tasted different!

Atmosphere was casual (jeans), and service was slow but friendly. The table next to ours featured a family of three who brought their own collapsible chopsticks, a father who ordered on behalf of the family while checking his Blackberry, and a daughter who lamented that she only had forty five minutes of dressage at school that day. I didn't recall ordering a table of wasps, but there it was.

Since I really don't have any other "upper tier" sushi restaurants to compare it to, I'm hesitant to describe Kaz as an "amazing sushi experience," but if you've only ever had mass produced, lowest common denominator sushi that's been soaked through with soy sauce and wasabi and with a texture akin to vulcanized rubber, it certainly will be.

Oh, and a word to those who want to head out after work: they don't open until 6 on weeknights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

has anyone else had trouble making reservations at Kaz? When I called last week they said the daytime person can only make reservations for evening and only the evening manager can make day reservations. In other words, you can only make reservations for lunch if you call after 5 pm. odd?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...