Dao's departure has left a Legacy.
The new eatery at the old address keeps faithful to fusion in identity but is mostly loyal to Asian cuisines as they are. It's one big combination plate.
So, this is where General Tso faces pad Thai, Saigon lobster meets Mongolian chicken, and hibachi highlights share the table with sushi. They're all sent into a dining room that hasn't changed very much from the serene-versus-showy style of Dao.
Yes, the colorful fish tank still is an eye-catcher.
What has changed a bit is the level of service, which can range widely, from uneven to very good, depending on your luck. But the food generally rivals what drew you here before -- even if what's billed as crisp frequently delivers less crunch and what's labeled spicy often means low-heat. Moderation reigns.
But try the satisfying coconut-seafood chowder, with shellfish in a broth turned creamy; or start to ignite your appetite with tom yum soup, the Thai seafood-and-vegetable specialty that deserves a little red pepper next to it. Cool off with seaweed salad.
That Saigon lobster also is refreshing, with sweet meat, mango and cucumber in rice paper. The yellowtail serrano, or thinly sliced fish accented with the pepper plus citrus-soy sauce, is a lively alternative.
But chicken satay arrives dry. Tempura shrimp and vegetables: limp. And the Thai crabcakes must have lost some shellfish en route.
Instead, pick the marinated and grilled short ribs, a tender Korean side trip served with a green salad. The eggplant sandwich also is recommended, along with the familiar nigirizushi, with uncooked fish on vinegared rice. Mackerel, fluke and tuna are dependable choices.
The house specialty rolls, however, display less harmony than the UN Security Council. The more flavors, the greater the collision. The lobster salad roll, for example, brings in wasabi, tobiko, avocado, kiwi and mango sauce, and "crunch." The monster roll, finished with eel sauce, mango sauce and a wasabi-aioli infusion could defeat Godzilla.
You're better off with a good, straightforward rendition of Beijing duck, Bangkok basil chicken, pad Thai, and udon and soba noodles. Siamese red snapper could lighten up on the pineapple sauce, but the fish is fine. The hibachi selections are the standard solos and unions.
Of course, the fried banana, red velvet and chocolate lava cake transcend fusion.