Tucked into a roomy corner space in the Van Aken District Market Hall, Domo Yakitori & Sushi
(3401 Tuttle Rd.) almost feels like a proper – albeit small – restaurant as opposed to a food court stall. It is physically separated from the main hall, there are tables and chairs, and guests can even plop down at the counter to watch the show.
That show encompasses a variety of Japanese street foods that are grilled, deep fried, griddled and rolled. Despite a seemingly limited menu, there is a surprisingly robust numbers of options, especially when you consider supplements and add-ons. The trio of principal food groups here is comprised of sushi, yakitori and okonomiyaki.
The sushi is straightforward enough for fans of the category. Choices include sashimi, nigiri and rolls, further divided into groups for non-fish vegetarian items and those containing fish (raw and/or cooked). Well-constructed rolls range from a straightforward avocado and cucumber roll ($6) to a colorful twist of cooked shrimp, kanpyo (gourd), sushi rice and nori, draped in ripe avocado and garnished with a briny-sweet crab salad ($13). In all, there are more than a dozen sushi options.
Yakitori, the emperor of street foods, is grilled meat on a stick. Here, options include most classic chicken parts, from the wing, breast and thigh to meatballs and those succulent “oysters.” The bite-size pieces are marinated, grilled, glazed and served atop rice or noodles. Prices range from $10 to $13 for two three-piece skewers. In the non-chicken department, there is pork belly, quail egg and duck meatballs along with vegetarian sticks containing grilled mushrooms, tofu or shishito peppers.
The third section of the menu is devoted to okonomiyaki, a rarity around here. Domo prepares Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, which is a layered smorgasbord starring a large savory pancake presented on a bed of crunchy gently cooked cabbage. But that’s just the start of it: there is also bacon, fried eggs, chewy noodles, sweet and sour sauce, spicy aioli and umami-rich bonito flakes. That base model ($9) can be supplemented with add-ons like shishito peppers, shrimp and octopus for a few extra dollars.
Place your order, grab the pager that will signal when your food is ready and go shopping for a beverage, preferably a cold beer. This is street food, after all.