Dragonfly, located in the Dr. Phillips/Restaurant Row area, has released their Summer Omakase menu featuring special chef-curated items, based on the season’s finest ingredients. I had the pleasure of sampling each of the items, including 2 specialty seasonal cocktails. Now, if you’re like me, you enjoy sushi, but the thought of leaving your meal selection entirely up to the chef is enough to make you a little…nervous. Sitting down to this evening’s dinner I had no idea what to expect. My best guess was somewhere between a California Roll and something, that if not prepared correctly, could facilitate my demise.
To prepare myself for the feast, I selected 2 of the Summer drink specials: A Shade of Blackberry (Hatsumago kimoto sake, blackberry gastrique, ginger syrup) & the Sake Sangria (Junmai Sake, peach liqueur, lillet blanc, fernet branca, yuzu juice). Each were strong, yet flavorful – the blackberry was by far my favorite and also among my dining companions.
Even though this was only the first course, I could have just sat with a giant bowl of this and have been perfectly happy. My favorite was the pickled Shishito peppers – sweet and tangy, and a delightful compliment to the sesame vinegar in the chilled broth.
The fish was perfectly crisped on the robata grill and the bonito flakes danced with the rising heat (no really – they flutter and dance! Dinner and a show!)
Next up was a selection of sushi rolls – their Natsu Roll -left-(Katsu shrimp, goat cheese, cucumber, fresh jalapenos, avocado, snow crab, red onions, mango, tomato and pepper relish) – I loved the contrast of the jalapenos and mango. The goat cheese was a surprise and if I wasn’t told that it was goat cheese, I wouldn’t have known – the flavors in the roll really mellowed out the bite that goat cheese can sometimes have.
Shogun Roll – top – (snow crab, cucumber, cabbage, jalapeno, avocado, torched tuna, fried Enoki, mornay sauce)
Satori Roll – bottom – (snow crab delight, scallion, green & red bell pepper, cilantro, avocado, yellowtail, garlic chips, jalapeno garlic sauce)
Fourth up is what they’re calling the Quick Fire – 4 pieces of composed nigiri with special chef toppings. This can change nightly, according to what’s freshest. This evening we had Salmon topped with tomago (sweet egg), white fish topped with a jalapeno relish, tuna with guacamole, and octopus garnished with cilantro.
I trusted my chef with this one and tried octopus for the first time. To my delight, I really liked it! It wasn’t fishy at all – it had a chewy texture, but not tough or rubbery. The cilantro added a nice bright note. I’ll definitely be having it again.
By this time, I was very full. Much to my relief, the dessert wasn’t too sweet or heavy. The texture of the cake was dense yet soft and had the earthiness of green tea, while the azuki bean mousse provided just enough sweetness.
The Summer Omakase menu is only here for a limited time and can vary nightly. In the spirit of ‘omakase’, you are to trust the chef, or leave it in their hands – for the adventurous, this can be just the thing you’re looking for – for those who are not so adventurous, this can be just the thing to break you out of your comfort zone. The chefs at Dragonfly won’t steer you wrong!