D.C.-area nightlife, events and dining

Restaurant recommendations from Post food critic Tom Sietsema

Nearly 20 kinds of sushi are a buck a piece at Kotobuki.
Nearly 20 kinds of sushi are a buck a piece at Kotobuki. (By Sean Mccormick)

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By Tom'stake
Friday, April 18, 2008

KINKEAD'S (** 1/2 )

2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW;

202-296-7700. Entrees $28-$35

The seafood restaurant created by chef Bob Kinkead in 1993 is a testament to the beauty of fresh fish and to American ingenuity; the menu even bills a half-dozen long-running dishes (among them grilled squid with tomato fondue on polenta and cod lavished with crab imperial, spoon bread and Virginia ham) as "Kinkead's classics." Although a wave of new places to eat kept me away for a while, returning to this bustling, multi-level restaurant reminds me why the crowds continue to flock here. Chowder crammed with creamy oysters, sweet corn, rich crab and Smithfield ham is a bowl I want to lick forever, and cornmeal-crisped flounder is rounded out with a chorus line of enhancers, including shrimp and a lemony crab ragout. There might be a few cracks in the picture (dreary bread, distracted waiters), but they're nothing a platter of chilled oysters or a warm pecan tart can't fix. (Reviewed Oct. 14)

KOTOBUKI (**)

4822 MacArthur Blvd. NW;

202-625-9080. Entrees $12-$16

"Cheap" and "sushi" are words best avoided together; prime fish tends to be expensive, after all. An exception to my rule of thumb is this second-floor Japanese shoebox, where chef Hisao Abe offers nearly 20 kinds of sushi for a buck a piece. Among the lures are rich glazed eel, delicate flounder, sweet scallop and creamy lobster (salad), each slipped on a finger of rice and each tasting fresh. Invariably, the waitresses are gracious, and the sake is poured into square lacquered boxes. And invariably, I wish Kotobuki were closer to my home. (Reviewed Oct. 15, 2006)

To read complete reviews of Kinkead's and Kotobuki from The Washington Post Magazine, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/weekend.

Coming Sunday: Don't miss Tom's review of Pacifica Cafe in Gaithersburg in The Post Magazine.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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