First look: Domo Japones

Housed in a refurbished post office, Domo Japones goes for a sleek yet friendly vibe. Photo courtesy Domo Japones.

The goods: Progressive Japanese cuisine finds a stylish home at Domo Japones. The urbane bistro, new to the Design District, comes courtesy of restaurateur Amir Ben Zion (Miss Yip, Bond Street) and chef Timon Balloo (Azul, SushiSamba) and sushi chef Naohiro Higuchi (Nobu Bahamas). Décor is understated chic with dark wood tables, leather banquettes and color provided by the evocative contemporary art on display. A gleaming sushi bar staffed by handkerchief-ed chefs crafting rolls in time with the pulsating music gives the dining room energy.

The grub: Rare Asian ingredients pepper Domo’s eclectic menu. Think fried capers, mushroom dust and wasabi puree. Novices can relax, as there’s plenty of familiar fare like miso cod and spicy tuna rolls. Portion sizes veer towards small and medium-size plates so diners can opt for several appetizers ($7-16) and rolls rather than typical entree-heavy meals.

The hip and hungry can get their sushi fix on with rolls like the “Italiano” made with oba (Asian pesto), sun dried tomato and avocado. Yuzu kosho, made from a tart Japanese citrus fruit, is added to an eggplant appetizer layered with yellowtail and shows up again in a “Tri Color” roll made with tuna, salmon and whitefish. Mains include a filet mignon seasoned with sansho pepper (a cousin of Chinese Sichuan pepper) and udon noodles with duck breast, wild mushrooms and a bursting quail egg.

For dessert try the warm chocolate cake with Okinawa sea salt and a miso apple strudel served with ginger ice cream.

Early verdict: Food fiends will be migrating over the causeway to sample Domo’s delicacies. Late night noshers will appreciate Domo’s loungey atmosphere and extensive sake and cocktail list.

Domo Japones, 4000 NE 2nd Ave., Design District; 305.573.5474


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