Just walking through the gate to reach the front door of Domo completely shifted your sense of place. It was like stepping out of a district full of warehouses in Denver and finding yourself in a foreign country. I think one of the main elements that made it stand out so much from the surrounding buildings was the wood façade, which is something you don’t see much of in the Denver area.
The inside of the restaurant was just as unfamiliar feeling, but certainly not in a way to make the visitors feel alienated. On the contrary, it was very welcoming. One of the things that struck me right away was the way the chairs were designed. They were almost just like stumps that had been given some cushioning and covered with fabric. I found sitting on them to be surprisingly comfortable though. There wasn’t a forced angle you had to keep your legs at of dead in front of you, and there was no awkwardly high or uncomfortable back to the chair.
As for the food, well, it was nothing short of amazing. I don’t have too much trouble eating with chopsticks, so that didn’t bother me. Both the fried and the steamed dumplings were really good, as was the actual meal. The presentation of the nabe in the main bowl, the rice bowl, and three little side dishes was nice too. Getting to try real sushi was also a treat. The texture of the raw fish was a bit strange, but the flavor of it was a blend of spices that didn’t burn your taste buds off, it just gave the fish a nice kick. And it didn’t have that strange fishy taste that you get with sushi you buy from a grocery store.
A small touch that made the experience feel really authentic to something that you might find in Japan, apart from the general atmosphere, was the teacups. They were actual ceramic cups, that looked handcrafted, each with its own waves and bumps in the clay. I’d seen the teacups in art history classes, but never actually been to a restaurant that used them.