Aki Kushiyaki review image

Aki Kushiyaki

Japanese in Capitol Hill

    Perfect for
  • Business Meals
  • Date Night
  • Dinner with the Parents
  • Special Occasions
  • Unique Dining Experience

Editor’s Note: Aki Kushiyaki is temporarily closed for restructuring.

Aki Kushiyaki grills food on sticks over binchōtan charcoal, and is exactly what the corner of Madison and 22nd needed. The 12-course tasting menu relies mostly on some standout chicken: moist thigh with skin that crackles like crème brûlée, minced chicken with the facade of a meatball yet drippy juiciness of gyoza filling, and deboned wings with a snap on the outside and ideal tenderness on the inside that’d make sports bars everywhere raise their eyebrows (if they had eyebrows). But the majesty of Aki Kushiyaki goes far beyond chicken, with pork dishes like shoyu-brushed belly wrapped around crisp snap peas, and a tangy tomato wedge that takes on all the flavor of the bacon that it’s mummified in. And even though it’s clear that dinner here is a big deal, the servers wear t-shirts, and the near-silent dining room has this effortlessly laid-back feel.

Suggested by writer