Sushi and Sake Take Flight

If you’ve ever dreamt of sampling nigiri prepared by an Iron Chef competitor, head to Domo Sushi on El Paseo in Palm Desert.

Tiffany Carter Current Digital, Restaurants, Watch & Listen - Restaurants

The Hot Nights Roll sizzles with a painterly display of sauce.

Master sushi chef Jin Young, who was a runner-up on Food Network’s Iron Chef series in 1998, aims to transport his diners to Japan through awe-inspiring dishes focused on traditional flavors, precision slicing, and elegant plating at Domo Sushi on El Paseo. Newly opened in Palm Desert, Young’s sushi bar will join more than 100 participating restaurants for Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week, June 1–17.

“This restaurant concept is the art of sushi, and the beautiful plating is from the imagination of chef Jin,” says Bella Walker, who is a sushi artist in her own right and works directly under Young. “His menu is very different. It’s simple, clean, and the flavors and tastes are very fresh.”

VIDEO: Watch Chef Bella Walker prepare the Caliente Roll.

The prix-fixe menu created for Restaurant Week features some of the establishment’s most popular dishes as part of a three-course tasting menu — your choice of a starter, entrée, and dessert. The highlights: Red Snapper Ceviche, a beautifully plated appetizer featuring fresh red snapper and cucumbers in a light and tangy ponzu sauce, and the Hot Nights Roll, a hand-mixed spicy tuna roll with cucumber, shrimp tempura, and avocado topped with tuna and tobiko. For dessert, save room for the Pineapple Boat — a cored pineapple served with maraschino cherries, assorted fruit, and a splash of sparkling sake.

During Restaurant Week, Domo Sushi will introduce sake flights to complement its cuisine. John Mahoney, general manager and sake sommelier, will guide guests through the restaurant’s pairing options to offer an educational journey while tasting this beloved Japanese spirit.


The Rainbow Roll is in the shape of a rainbow.

“Light food with light sake is a good rule of thumb,” Mahoney says. “We will be offering premium, sipping-style sake. With so much fun being had with the food, I wanted to have fun with the sake as well — and what better way to do that than to offer flights. It’s a way to sample different sakes as you sample different cuisines, like you are meant to do in Japanese dining.

Part of the dining experience at Domo is the tranquil environment. “We want that really Zen feel,” Mahoney notes. “You come in to the restaurant [and are met with] nice, soft music [and] beautiful décor, and then it’s all about the food. Only the finest quality. We eat with our eyes.” Great sushi is as much about art and technique as it is about flavor, he explains, joking that patrons often spend a lot of time photographing their food before they actually eat it.

The Rainbow Roll is in the shape of a rainbow, the Red Snapper Ceviche looks like a bursting flower in full bloom, and the Hot Nights Roll sizzles with a painterly display of sauce.


The Red Snapper Ceviche is a beautifully plated appetizer featuring fresh red snapper and cucumbers in a light and tangy ponzu sauce.

Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week offers visitors and locals an opportunity to sample a variety of area eateries at a discounted rate and gives chefs the chance to create and test new dishes for future menus.

“It’s a slower period so restaurants can really focus on their menus and their food,” Mahoney says. “Restaurant Week shows what a foodie town we really are. It’s great for the community. It gives the chefs a chance to take a breath and create without being so busy during the regular season.”

The Restaurant Week menu at Domo Sushi on El Paseo is $49 per person excluding tax and gratuity and features optional wine and sake pairings for each dish at an additional cost.

For more information on Restaurant Week, visit