In an interview for the Examiner today, Thomas Shin, co-owner of Dami Sushi and Izakaya, discussed their grand opening starting today and going through Sunday, his favorite dishes that he's put on the menu and more. Thomas began by talking about the sushi and yakitori. “We have a yakitori bar incorporated with the sushi bar. Some of the fish for sushi we get from the fish market and other fish and seafood we have delivered. The sushi, yakitori and izakaya dishes are are my very favorite foods and not very many Japanese restaurants have them all. I love izakaya dishes and that's what made me add them to the sushi bar”. Yakitori, of course, is at it's most basic skewered or grilled chicken, but can also cover other meats, poultry and seafood prepared that way.
Thomas was asked what dish he wanted people to try. He answered, “Of course the fresh sashimi is one of my favorites. We get fresh fish every day . Besides that, my favorite dish is a Whole Grain Salad that we developed the recipe for and I want people to try that. It's very healthy, with kidney beans, lentils, Indian millet, fresh mozzarella, black rice and baby mesclun, mixed with our special sauces”.
“For Happy Hour, we are having several specials, but my favorite is the one dollar oysters. We get the oysters fresh every day. Our chefs go out every day to to fish market to buy the oysters and they are very fresh”. For Dami's menu, Thomas likes to bring in a variety of Eastern, Pacific and Kumamoto oysters. Each one has different flavor characteristics and works very well when served on the half shell.
With fresh fish a specialty at Dami, one of the most desirable sushi bar dishes will include yellowtail belly, the fatty, best part of the yellowtail which is served as toro. This is the most flavorful and delicate part of the yellowtail. The yellowtail also makes an appearance not only as sushi and sashimi, but grilled as yellowtail collar, yielding a delicate cooked dish that shows off the flavor of this prized fish.
Thomas continued, “We are also doing a lot of tempura dishes from the kitchen”. With his love of oysters, Thomas has put a special Oyster Tempura on the menu, served with enoki mushroom, grated radish and ponzu sauce. Thomas concluded, “We also have special teppanyaki dishes, different from other restaurants in Japan. We have beef, scallop, shrimp and lobster teppanyaki. They are stir-fried in a skillet with vegetables and served with fried rice. It's really good!”
Thomas has planned a lot of things for this grand opening weekend. There will be a number of of events to match the grand opening. Each day during open hours, Dami Sushi & Izakaya will host games, giveaways and entertainment outside the new storefront including a raffle giveaway for a new iPad Mini and carnival games and contests for prizes such as tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm, movie tickets and gift certificates to the new restaurant. Additionally, Dami Sushi & Izakaya will reward the first 50 customers from each day a $20 gift certificate for their next visit and all customers after, a $10 gift certificate.
Thomas concluded talking about the grand opening by saying, “We will be serving craft sakes, draft beer and soju. We'll also have some food tasting menus available. Plus, all weekend we will be having some free food samples so guests can enjoy trying some of our new, special dishes”. With the opening of Dami Sushi and Izakaya, Orange County will definitely have a new place to enjoy some excellent beverages along with excellent Japanese dishes and a small plates menu. They are certainly a welcome new choice in Orange County's restaurant scene.
Dami Sushi and Izakaya