Friday, October 4, 2013

Doma Sushi Review

One of the perks of moving to an apartment complex on Callowhill Street is the fact that the GF and I are so close to neighborhood hotspots such as Sabrina's and Doma. And with the GF's newfound love for sushi, the latter seemed perfectly suited for a date night.

Taking a look at the menu, it was clear that owners' Patti and Robert Moon's Korean heritage was evident throughout. Dishes such as yuk hwe (beef tartare) and dolsot bibimbap (hot stone fried crispy rice) popped up amidst the sushi options. And while I typically eschew sushi joints that aren't manned by non-Japanese chefs (foolhardy in some instances, to be sure), as a fellow Korean, I appreciated the unabashed amalgamation of Korean and Japanese cuisines.

The atmosphere at Doma is modern, sleek, yet relaxed. Orbs of lights dangle above your heads, ready to set the scene for the meal that is to come. 

The online menu touts pork belly buns (seemingly ubiquitous ever since Chef David Chang made such stellar versions at Ssam and Ko). Unfortunately, on this visit, it seemed that they were out of pork belly or may have even taken them off the menu. Naturally disappointed, I soldiered on.

Hamachi Crudo ($10)
Yellowtail, jalapeno, cilantro, yuzu 

Interested to test the quality of both the sushi and the chef, I ordered the crudo. The hamachi (yellowtail/amberjack) was prototypically meaty and clean. The jalapeƱo contrasted nicely with the mild flavor of the fish, with the cilantro and yuzu providing brightness to each bite. A nice start to the meal.

Uni Trio ($16)
Seared scallop, yuzu 
Quail egg, dashi broth
Tempura shiso, tempura sauce

Naturally, I had to order the uni, especially when it comes ensconced as a trio of bites. California uni (specific source unknown) was presented in a nice progression. From left to right, the scallop was lightly seared and provided a vessel for a dollop of uni. The yuzu's piquancy provided the acid, contrasting nicely with the butteriness of the sea urchin. The quail egg added heft on top of the umami of the dashi. The scallions added a nice herbaceousness as well. Lastly, the tempura shiso provided a nice textural contrast, with the savoriness of the tempura vessel ands sauce complementing the uni nicely. Hard to go wrong with this dish and uni as a whole.

Rock Shrimp Tempura ($12)

Rock shrimp tempura is always a fan favorite on any menu and Doma's iteration did not disappoint. Sweet, yet spicy - the rock shrimp were perfectly crunchy, meaty, and not overcooked. The unadorned fresh cabbage tempered the rock shrimp flavor bombs nicely. 
Soft Shell Crab Tempura ($8)

Being soft shell crab season at the time, the ubiquitous tempura had to be ordered. This was the GF's first time trying the crustacean so I assumed it would be a nice beginner's entry. For those who have never tried this delicious dish, it's meant to be eaten whole - shell and all. The clean crisp tempura prep did not overpower the freshness of the crab, which included roe - nice. The accompanying dressing was superfluous, a spritz of lemon was all that was needed. But for the GF, she was on the fence with the dish - it was more of a texture thing though and really, she was ready to move on to the sushi.

Sweet Potato Tempura Roll ($5)
Cucumber Roll ($3)
Triple Spicy Double Tuna ($13)
Tuna, seared albacore, spicy sauce, siracha, tempura crunch, scallion, sichimi pepper, sweet glaze  

Since this wasn't omakase, we opted to finish our meal with several rolls. The GF was craving a simple california roll, but I think I was still enjoying the soft shell crab in my mind so somehow a cucumber roll was ordered. Oops. Still, it was simple and fresh enough to provide an intermezzo, if you will. The triple spicy double tuna wasn't overly spicy, offering seared tuna on top and fresh within - a nice contrast in preparation. Each bite did lend some slight heat on the finish. And of course, the GF's favorite, sweet potato tempura roll, was prototypically crunchy, sweet, nice.

Apparently if you pay in cash, you get 10% off your check. Always appreciated! Also, I don't believe your previous receipt is necessarily needed.

Overall, Doma hits the neighborhood spot for sushi. Omakase isn't offered, but there are a variety of dishes that can test and pique your palate, and Doma also offers a wide variety of well-crafted rolls. It seems to be a great place to take a date or just relax with your friends. The GF and I will be back often, I'm sure. 

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