Domo - Page 2

The bar's the thing at this Hayes Valley sushi hotspot
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Photo by Rory McNamara

Still, our favorite among the rolls was negi-hama ($4.75), an elegant preparation of diced hamachi and scallions in which each ingredient spoke clearly and in harmony with the other.

In a multicultural vein, Domo offers a small selection of crudos ($5.95 for two). Tastes rather than full courses, they're presented in porcelain soup ladles and might include spicy tuna with sriracha, sesame oil, cilantro, and avocado chunks; and uni, or sea urchin, which is slightly oozy and presented with avocado chunks, wasabi, soy sauce, and sea salt.

In the Hall of Disappointments I place, not for the first time, toro ($10.95) — fatty tuna, from the fish's belly — and not only because of its pale, lard-like color. Fatty tuna is considered a great delicacy and is priced accordingly. But in my experience the more ordinary, ruby red flesh is prettier, tastier, and more tender. And we were not wowed by a Kobe beef tataki ($11.95); the flaps of beef were flavorful and voluptuously soft, but why was it thought wise to wrap them around half-raw asparagus spears? Beef tataki is one thing, asparagus tataki quite another.

Despite the peculiarities of Domo's layout, the service staff is attentive and friendly: plates are cleared quickly while fresh dishes emerge from the kitchen at regular intervals. I did notice that water glasses could go some time without being refilled — not the biggest of deals, but not completely irrelevant in a restaurant serving fire cracker balls and spicy hulks. I almost typed "hunks," which wouldn't have been a typo, actually, since Domo is part of the new Hayes Valley, and welcome to it.

DOMO

Dinner: Sun.–Thurs., 5:30–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 5:30–11 p.m.

Lunch: Mon.–Fri., noon–2:30 p.m.

511 Laguna, SF

(415) 861-8887

www.domosf.com

Beer, wine, sake

MC/V

Noisy

Wheelchair accessible

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