Let the KushiQ Backlash Begin…

KushiQ (3rd Ave. btw. 45+46th) opened on Monday, introducing their special brand of fast food yakitori, in a hip setting.  I’m all for meat on a stick, and I’ve been pretty pumped up about this opening.  Grub Street gave it a nice write up yesterday, but it looks like the early word on the street is not so great.

First the mixed…

The food was okay.  They sell a box combo, where you can choose a base of rice, salad or bread (that looked terrible) and then three skewers on top of it.  I tried the combo with 1 chicken, 1 salmon, and 1 beef stick.  The beef and the chicken were both very good, the salmon was eh.  They put a whole bunch of crap on the rice (sauce, sesame seeds, seaweed) and also those yellow pickles that you get as banchan in Koreatown.  

Is it a good deal?  No.  My box, with tax, was $8.56 (it did come with miso soup, which was fine.)  Is it worth a try?  Yeah, [but] I absolutely refuse to pay for a stick with literally only three pieces of vegetable on it.  Lame.

By far the coolest thing is the skewer cooking machine, which mechanically lifts and dips each skewer into some sort of cooking/marinating liquid -Sara (via Email)

I am intrigued by this meat on a stick dipping machine. At least she ordered something. Comments from three walkouts- after the jump

FYI: I just walked by — Kushi Q was open for lunch. The yakitori selection was meager and the menu itself was sparse (think they had some soup in addition to the a-la-carte yakitori offerings). The combos which mostly consisted of a few yakitori sticks + miso soup all started at 6-7+. Totally not worth it for the quantity of food. I walked in and walked right back out.  -WorkAlong3rdAve (via Comment on ML)

And his disciple… 

I had the same Kushi-Q experience as WorkAlong3rdAve. I walked in, looked around and walked out. It did look good, but there was so little food for the money. The sweet potato fries sounded good, but not enough to make me order.   -Lara (via Comment on ML)

And finally…

I dropped in to check out what was going on, but honestly, they didn’t look super appetizing. Kushi (literally “skewer” in Japanese) Yaki needs to be served hot off the grill and these looked like they’d been sitting on platters for 20 minutes. I’ll reserve judgement until I actually try them, but I don’t have high hopes… -Marc (via Email)

I think I’m going to reserve judgement as well.  Meat on a stick deserves to be evaluated based on the quality of the meat on a stick.  (Although I am a fat man, and can be swayed by quantity)


  • Since I didn’t like being called someone’s disciple on here, I decided to give Kushi-Q a taste. It was AWFUL! I got the Tori bento box which is 3 skewers of chicken on rice. The chicken is all bad cuts of gristly dark meat and had a fishy taste to it. To top it off, it was greasy. It is by far the biggest waste of $7 I have spent in a long time. Oh and they are only taking cash today because their terminals are not working (which I understand happens, but after tasting this culinary debacle, it just added to the entire experience). The only positive: the dipping machine Sara described does look cool.

  • Based on the bento box I just had, I’d say Kushi-Q is promising. Not there yet, but I see possibility. The yakitori was decent if not spectacular quality, the soup was tasty, and I really don’t mind rice with a bit of authentic flavoring sprinkled on. The pickles were…limp. But overall, I’ll be back, maybe in a couple of weeks. Yes, the place looks a bit sparse, maybe more concept than delivery at this point, but that, too will probably improve. Besides, they just opened! Give them a few hours of shakedown time, already! (Tough, unforgiving audience, these Midtown Lunch types!)

  • Oh, of course I will give it another try in a few weeks. I am a forgiving luncher, unless it involves food poisoning (not mentioning any…ehemCPK…names…)

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