Friday, February 19, 2010

We're at Sushi Damo in Rockville and I'm perplexed...then delighted

We sat at the sushi bar at Sushi Damo in Rockville Town Center so that we could get to know the chef. Strangely, we were served by a waitress instead of the guys behind the bar. Sure, for drinks, maybe, but I like to talk to the dude who's cutting my fish. This was confusing...then the food came.

The head chef delivered - with a nod that showed he remembered us from a tasting a few months back - the first round of fish, which was delicious and the technique showed great attention to detail in its presentation and the preparation of the rice and the fish. We ate silken, ruby-colored tuna; buttery yellow tail; mild and clean striped bass; smoky, delicate Spanish mackerel; heavy and dull fluke, and terrific fresh water eel...and others. The Mango-something roll (sorry) was great too. It was the best use of fish and fruit I've tried.

The second round of food was prepared by a chef who was right in front of us. Perplexingly, he put it at the pick-up where it sat waiting for a waitress - shimmering at us - until Kat pointed it out. When it did hit the bar I was in for a big treat: the best salmon skin handroll I've had in a long, long time. my very favorite - I use it as my benchmark, along with tamago - and theirs was exceptional. The nori was crisp and fragrant. The little bit of fish was cooked just right - juicy with fat - and the skin was an ideal balance between crispness and chew. I can't emphasize this enough. I'm going back just for that.

Dessert, which was house made chocolate mousse with black pepper, was the most fun I've had with food since my trip to MiniBar. It was a great combination of diverse flavors, sensations and textures. Extra A+ for the gold leaf.

The bill was steep. Edamame for 6 bucks is rediculous...we were silly not to look, but still. Miso soup is too salty and could also stand a pass.

Without the booze and the above skip-ables we spent about $60 before tip for 15 peices and a roll.

The bottom line is that for flavor, inventive and modern use of technically-excellent traditional preparation, and great quality of fish, Sushi Damo is a safe bet for a great sushi in Rockville, MD.