Young and Hungry

A Very Early Look at Kushi at CityVista

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Darren Norris, foreground, shows where the kushiyaki grills will be.

Y&H plans to write more about Kushi later, when your attention is focused on food blogs not a long holiday weekend, because I think this upcoming sushi and kushiyaki operation at CityVista will be one of the most talked-about restaurants of early 2010.

I will say this, however, about Kushi: Its principals include Darren L. Norris (former chef at Ridgewells Catering in Bethesda and at China Grill in NYC), Munehiro Yonemoto (former chef at Raku in Bethesda), and Yoshihisa Ota (who has decided to abandon his respected Tokyo sushi house to work at Kushi).

Together, these chefs will do something that you'll never find in Japan: a combined sushi house and kushiyaki restaurant (the latter of which serves grilled and skewered meats beyond the chicken found at yakitori houses). The two concepts will be kept separate inside Kushi's massive 4,000 square-foot space at 465 K St. NW, in the same CityVista building that also includes a Busboys & Poets and the second outlet of Taylor Gourmet.

The space, Norris told Y&H during a walk-through earlier this week, is designed to hide nothing. Diners will see everything at Kushi, right down to the whole tuna that chefs will break down in a special glassed-in room at the restaurant.

More pictures after the jump.

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Norris and Peter Laufer, Kushi's director of operations, bookend the small room that will become the glassed-in space where cooks will break down the fresh fish supplied to the restaurant.

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Ari Kushimoto Norris, a former AOL art director, is handling the interior design at Kushi, including the bar area next to which she is standing in this picture. She is married to Darren Norris.

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The plans for Kushi call for a small dry goods area, only one small freezer for ice cream, and prep stations in public view. The idea is simple, Darren Norris says. Kushi wants to show its freshness to customers.

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A shot from one end of Kushi to another. The space, despite its size, will have less than 100 seats.

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Three of Kushi's principals: Laufer, Ari Kushimoto Norris, and Darren Norris.

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