Complementary or Competition?

Kanlaya Thai CuisineIn the comments section of the recent posting on Kushi readers wondered aloud about competition between Kushi and Buddha Bar. I agreed with Nick’s point that the menus and atmospheres of these two venues could be different enough to prevent much cannibalization of business. Buddha Bar’s reputation is that of a dressy, ultra-trendy weekend nightspot which I don’t think Kushi plans to compete head on with.

For discussion today what are thoughts on Kushi versus Momiji (505 H St)? How similar will they be? Is the impending conversion of the Lee Loo space (521 G St) to Absolute Thai a wise choice so close to Kanlaya and Royal Thai?

Photo credit: zanyshani

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  1. 1

    Cozmot says

    I don’t think that Kushi will have an impact on Momiji’s. They’re far enough away from each other that they shouldn’t pull foot traffic away from each other. I can tell you that Kushi won’t take my business away from Momiji’s, where my wife and I eat at every week. The quality of the food, the presentation and the great service makes this our favorite downtown restaurant.

    We’re also fans of Kanlaya but really wonder whether four Thai restaurants within a couple of blocks of each other is sustainable. The really iffy one is Absolute Thai, with its location and small size. We wish them luck, and will certainly try them, but just don’t think they could lure us away from Kanlaya.

  2. 2

    washingtonydc says

    From the descriptions of Kushi that have been percolating around, I think its Izakaya-style Japanese dining will offer the city something new that isn’t really found elsewhere. I’m hoping that Kushi will offer a good night scene that will keep foot-traffic going late into the night on the weekends. While there may be some similarities in the menu offerings of the more traditional Momiji, I have a hunch that it’ll be different enough so they won’t be in direct competition. (As an aside, I just wish Momiji delivered!)

    And I agree with Cozmot’s questioning of the sustainability of the proliferation of Thai restaurants so close to one another. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them close down eventually–but that’s the nature of the business, I suppose. For now though I’m happy to try alternatives to Kanlaya, which is fine, but nothing extraordinary.