180 Rte. 25A East Setauket, NY 631-751-2299
At this sophisticated spot, chef-owner Ken Ming turns out some amazing Japanese-South American raw fish creations (tiradito with escolar, yellowtail seviche), the result of a past stint at SushiSamba in Manhattan. Case in point: Ming's aptly named dynamite roll (escolar, tempura flakes, jalapeno, tuna, yellowtail, salmon and lemon and yuzu miso sauce) packs a citrusy wallop.
Hours: Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday; dinner, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, 3 to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 3 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Ambience: Very Good Service: Very Good
The last time I tasted yellowtail seviche as sensational as the one at Domo Sushi, it was in Manhattan, at the Japanese-South American restaurant Sushi Samba. It's no coincidence that Ken Ming, Domo's Japan-born owner, was a sushi chef at that same New York City destination.
Here in Ming's East Setauket spot, urbanity informs both the colorful decor and nontraditional Japanese menu.
Seviche, made with ginger, garlic and soy, just edges out the tiradito (a Peruvian raw fish dish), which I had with escolar (also called "super white tuna") in a spicy sauce. Escolar is also a component of the explosively good "dynamite" roll, made with tempura flakes, jalapeno, tuna, yellowtail, salmon and an eye-opening lemon and yuzu miso sauce. Other top rolls: "spicy Titanic" (salmon, avocado and caviar wrapped around spicy tuna and tempura flakes) and "kiss on fire" (crunchy spicy tuna, jalapeno, escolar, salmon and spicy sauce).
Domo's kitchen redefines rock shrimp tempura with a drizzle of chili sauce instead of the usual mayo. Wasabi shumai is a surefire sinus-clearer, while lemongrass hot and sour soup with shrimp and scallops has electricity.
Lamb chops, panko- and pistachio-crusted, are delectable despite being a bit too well done. I'm surprised by the quantity (about a dozen) of the spicy grilled garlic shrimp encircling a hill of boldly seasoned vegetables. Chilean sea bass, grilled with plum sauce, makes for another choice entree. Our Japan-born waitress takes credit for the lovely mango with purple sticky rice, a dish she learned to make when traveling in Thailand.
I expect better chirashi (sashimi over seasoned rice) than a skimpy combo that contains both surimi (crab stick) and cooked shrimp yet not enough finfish. Chicken, salmon and filet mignon yakitori are all woefully over-grilled.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
While you can make a grand meal out of rolls and appetizers, entrees are generous and include soup or salad. Lunch is a genuine bargain.