Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Sugar and Champagne Affair

Photo courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi
chocolate custard, cocoa crumble with roasted banana ice cream @ Watershed- Washington, DC
courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi
It’s almost time for the Sugar and Champagne Affair — back next month for the eleventh year. As the name implies, Sugar and Champagne is a dessert and bubbly reception that benefits the Washington Humane Society.

Once again hosted by Chef Todd and Ellen Gray, the event highlights all things sugary and sweet, with chefs showcasing their confections. Of course, leashed dogs are welcome and encouraged to attend. So walk around with your favorite four-legged friend and eat desserts and doggie hors d’oeurvres respectively.

Chefs on-hand for the VIP reception include:

New this year: you can also meet contestants from TLC’s show Next Great Baker. Held Wednesday, February 1st, at the Ronald Reagan Building, the event begins at 6pm with the VIP Chefs’ Tasting Room followed by the General Reception at 7pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Special: Sake at Kushi

Photo courtesy of
‘Kushi 02’
courtesy of ‘Max Cook’

In the whole wide world of drinks, there’s nothing more intimidating to me than a sake menu. Staring at the thirty-six selections at Kushi Izakaya & Sushi, my brain usually goes blank. Add shochu and my head really spins. It may be the Japanese. At least I can bumble my way through a French wine list, but sake? Forget it. So when my WLDC partner-in-photographic-crime Max Cook and I had the chance to spend some time with their beverage director, George Young, to learn about sake, we jumped. Well, I jumped, Max loves sushi more than sake. But after just an hour reviewing the basics of production and sampling the menu, I felt much less intimidated and am now eager to explore more.

Luckily, George himself is newly converted to the joys of sake and proved the perfect host to de-mystify the nature of rice wine. Wait, let’s start with that phrase – sake isn’t actually “rice wine,” as wine implies production from fruit. Sake comes from rice, and therefore is considered its own category. But how does rice become sake? What’s the difference between those cloudy white liquids and the clear ones? And what about hot versus cold? George patiently explained it all for us. Continue reading

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Chef Yonemoto of Kushi (Part I)


You gotta respect a man with a headband and lean, mean butchering skills, right? Chef Yonemoto of Kushi Izakaya and Sushi is bent over a cutting board chiseling away at a raw chicken, effortlessly slicing up breast strips for us to grill. Cathy and I are standing in the open grill kitchen (if you want to get all fancy about it, you can call it the robata counter) of Kushi sipping green tea and observing the inner workings of my newest favorite sushi spot in the city. Continue reading

Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, The Features

Eat Like Me: March’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘aliciagriffin’

Spring is a lovely time in Washington – this isn’t a revelation. But it’s a perfectly pleasing time to be eating out in our city. Chefs are getting excited about spring farm produce, and menus are waking up from their brussel-sprout-and-short-rib trance. Fish makes it’s way to a more prominent place on the menu, and cherry cocktails celebrate the turn of the season. The arrival of Zaytinya’s Easter festival makes me think of sundresses, and the announcement of RAMMY nominations makes me want to strip off my tights and thrown on some open-toed heels. These events that make DC the perfect place to eat in spring, and I’m oh-so-happy to be back here again! Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

First Look: Kushi Izakaya & Sushi


There’s something wrong with me (maybe). I can’t get enough sushi! I just crave it – spicy tuna, firecracker, flying fish roe, fatty tuna, I WANT IT ALL. So when I was invited to check out the new Japanese gastropub in Mount Vernon Square, I jumped at the chance.

Sleek, modern and minimalist, the best Kushi experience you can have is at one of their three (!) bars – the sake bar, the sushi bar or what I call the grill bar – what is technically supposed to be called the robata counter. I sat at the robata counter – the bar surrounding Kushi’s kitchen. There is literally no back kitchen at Kushi, everything is prepared out front under the watchful eye of diners. With charcoal and wood burning grills, a sous-vide machine and a few tiny stoves, eating at Kushi is cooking theater. Chefs slice, dice, grill, plate and prep right in front of you. It gives the diner a perfect vantage point for the evening, and also keeps you craving more. Continue reading