Bushi-tei's Blossoms

By

Growing up in the D.C. area, I didn’t realize how special cherry blossom season was until I left. Even fall foliage in New England (where I went to college) doesn’t compare. So when I found out that bushi-tei restaurant in Japantown had a four-course prix fixe meal in honor of cherry blossoms, I took action. Unfortunately for me, I’m not the only one who pounced on this unique offering of cherry blossoms mingled with wild shrimp, a brined cherry leaf stuffed with tuna tartare, veal loin stuffed with dried cherries and a cherry mousse with cherry compote.


Cherry blossoms in D.C.
Photograph by Heidi Sung

By the time I arrived on Saturday night, the last cherry blossom dinner had been served, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying my own three-course meal. I’d been warned that the portions were on the small side, so I was surprised by the size of my friend’s lobster and crab salad. The generous chunks of meat expelled any concern that I might walk out hungry. We also got the classic tuna tartare, despite the owner Takumi Matsuba’s suggestion of seared foie gras with pumpkin pot de crème. (Tip: don’t go to an elaborate meal after a failed attempt at jeans shopping.)


Lobster and crab salad                                              Tuna tartare

I thought a second about getting the pan-roasted duck breast. I spent another contemplating the grilled Sonoma lamb chop and one more on the Kobe beef with pommes frites before deciding on the pan-seared Maine scallops. What caught my eye was the black rice tabbouleh accompaniment.

We finished things off with green tea and a black sesame blancmange, which was not like any dessert I’ve tried. Light and not too sweet, the black sesame seeds were pulverized and made into a pudding with a coconut milk reduction and pineapple salsa on top.

If you haven’t tried bushi-tei, it’s just the spot to take someone for a special occasion. No detail is left unconsidered—even the water is a micro-structured electrolysis water with a pH of 8.5-9.5—I don’t know what that means, but it was good.

As for décor, the wood on the walls and stairs comes from a Japanese home in Nagano that was built in 1863. The utensil holders are a design by Tak’s wife. And the toilets are like no other you’ll find in the city.

No wonder this spot got one of the coveted Michelin stars.


















Show Comments ()

Related Articles

DON'T MISS A BAY AREA BEAT! SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER.

Follow Us On