sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 15, 2007

sushi, restaurant-week-style
posted by soe 1:58 am

Saturday night, our friend John wanted another shot at Restaurant Week and was excited to find one of his favorite sushi joints, Kaz Sushi Bistro, taking part. Knowing Rudi’s love for raw fish, when he heard we’d never been, he promptly made the three of us reservations.

Warm toilettes awaited us as we sat down in this quaint restaurant. The front of the restaurant is filled with tables with the sushi bar set up across the rear of the room. Colorful insets in the wall were covered with branches to create interesting works of art. It felt … homey.

We were presented with menus to cross-reference choices and little sushi order sheets to check off our selections: an appetizer, three nigiri, two rolls, and a dessert. I started off the evening with an order of Ginger Twist tea, a spicy blend of lemongrass, ginger, and other herbal infusions that just got better as the night went on.

I was pleased to find plenty of vegetarian options amongst the nigiri and sushi rolls, but was confounded by the appetizers which lacked even a single one. I told the guys that I intended to ask about substituting a vegetarian appetizer, but if not I’d just pick something that they were welcome to split. The waiter immediately noticed I’d not selected an appetizer and, when I explained my dilemma, offered me veggie tempura without even a pause. I delightfully accepted, having been expecting the more mundane miso soup or side salad. The tempura was light, hot, and crispy without even a hint of being overdrenched in oil. It was fresh and I nearly choked when I discovered the zucchini slice was about a bazillion degrees!

My dinner at Kaz'sI’m pleased to report that everyone really enjoyed their food. John and Rudi split most of their selections so as to be able to better experience the different options. My entree contained a wealth of vegetables. The nigiri were inari (a sweet marinated tofu), nasu (Japanese eggplant), and shiitake mushroom, and the rolls were portobello & sun-dried tomato and roasted red pepper & asparagus. The nasu and the portobello roll were definitely the highlights of the meal, but I couldn’t find a single item that I was disappointed to have chosen. And the homemade wasabi was really a treat!

Dessert had been a choice between two options — espresso tapioca with bourbon ice cream (something that didn’t appeal to me in the least) and lychee panna cotta with mango sorbet. I was surprisingly pleased with the panna cotta, but the guys were blown away by it, finding it far superior to their own dessert.

The night was still young when we returned to Dupont Circle, so we went to the local Starbucks and sat outside to enjoy a rare cool August evening. We chatted until they kicked us out at closing time, a perfect ending to a wonderful evening and to a generally well-received Restaurant Week.

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