The omakase for one at Kinben Sushi in Plainview.

The omakase for one at Kinben Sushi in Plainview. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

I’ve got a regular drill when I try out a new sushi restaurant: Sit at the sushi bar and order a chirashi — an assortment of fish scattered over a bed of rice. But once I took a seat at Kinben Sushi in Plainview, I couldn’t ignore the posted fish specials: Shipped directly from Japan were suma (bonito), kanpachi (amberjack), madai (sea bream), suzuki (sea bass) and two species I’d never heard of, emperor (fuefuki dai) and alfonsino (kinmedai).

But wait there was more: King salmon, otoro (tuna belly), sweet shrimp, sea eel, king crab, uni (sea urchin) from both Japan and California, ikura (salmon roe), Kumamoto oysters and the emphatically gill-less wagyu beef.

Clearly this was an evening for omakase (“chef’s choice”) which, at Kinben, is priced at $75.

Traditionally, omakase is served piece by piece, with the chef choosing the progression of the meal according to the flavors and textures of its elements. At Kinben, it’s all the two sushi chefs can do to keep up with eat-in and takeout orders, and so the omakase is served as a jam-packed platter that, in this case, included most of those specials. Of note: The uni was cradled, taco-style, in a “tortilla” of grilled wagyu beef.

Kinben’s regular menu is a familiar combination of starters from the sushi bar and kitchen: Sushi and sashimi, kitchen entrees (teriyaki, tempura and grilled hibachi plates); plus a good assortment of rolls including signatures such as the ZZ (spicy salmon, crunch, avocado with soybean, seaweed-topped toro, salmon, yellowtail, eel, sweet shrimp with spicy mayo, eel sauce, honey wasabi and yuzu tobiko, $22). For the rice-averse, there are also naruto rolls (wrapped in cucumber) and nori tacos, wherein the fillings — spicy tuna, spicy salmon, toro-caviar, uni-caviar, king crab, Wagyu with truffle salt — are cradled in sheets of dried seaweed.

The restaurant is owned by husband and wife Adam and Ada Zheng, previously of A&A Sushi House in Hauppauge. They left that establishment to take over the space that had been Heike Sushi and named it Kinben which means “hard work” in Japanese.

Kinben is open for dinner every night but Monday and lunch Tuesday through Saturday (when there are various lunch specials including a bento box for $15.

Kinben Sushi is at 1163 Old Country Rd., Plainview, kinbensushi.com.

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