12 Elm St. Huntington, NY 631-923-1960
Specializing in sushi and sashimi, this Japanese restaurant also serves tempura, hibachi and teriyaki plates and a short menu of eclectic, contemporary dishes. Also a popular nightspot, the room is dark and illuminated by neon-hued lighting, and sees late-night bar crowds on weekends.Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 11:30 a.m- 12 a.m.; Sun: noon-10 p.m. Ambience: Good Service: Very Good Reservations: Recommended Credit cards: Accepted
Long Island's rush of Japanese-themed restaurants comes in to the booming beat of a party, far removed from those modest little places that used to send out sushi. Kashi is the latest and one of the best. The splashy newcomer shows off vivid decor, all geometric, hard-surfaced and illuminated. A disco ball, while doubtless apropos, would be lost here. But for all the sound and fury, the real show is on the plate, with high-style presentations and an overdose of imagination. It's fun. Join in.
Kashi's sushi bar is a perpetual-motion affair, with five chefs in overdrive. They prepare flavor-packed fare constructed with flair to rival the setting. Yellowtail-scallion, tuna and sea scallop highlight the traditional sushi; twister, with white tuna and spicy lobster, and takayama, with spicy tuna and jalapeño, lead the signature rolls. Yellowtail jalapeño accented with yuzu-lime zest and micro-greens adds to the festivities. The raw bar includes plump, briny Kumamoto oysters, sent out with a trio of good but unnecessary sauces: cocktail, ponzu and mango salsa. Filet mignon tataki materializes in a mustard-vinaigrette; the spicy tuna gyoza, with guacamole and Thai mango-chile aioli, both good. You'll find crisp, light tempura; crunchy spring rolls; a zesty duck salad with lime-hoisin dressing; and a satisfying crabcake, finished with mustard and shallots in a sweet mayo sauce. Tender filet mignon spiked with Thai basil heads the cooked main courses, along with a surprising addition -- an unorthodox seafood risotto starring shrimp and lobster that's an east-west treat. Seaweed risotto is the bed for respectable sesame-crusted tuna. If you're drawn to hibachi cooking, steak stands out. In this hyperactive environment, the prep, ironically, occurs offstage.
The tuna tortilla combines guacamole, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeños and roe with the rosy fish: lively but not exactly harmonious. Likewise, the blue-crab fajita, pan fried, with the shellfish, cream cheese and onion. "The king of the sea" plates grilled shrimp, scallops and lobster in a lemon-butter sauce, all of which makes you doubly appreciate the sushi. Skippable desserts, from cheesecake to fried banana.
THE BOTTOM LINE
A dramatic, glittery interior with food to match defines Kashi. The emphasis is on Japanese cuisine, but with plenty of twists and turns, updates and overhauls. It's fun. And the very active bar scene gives Kashi another dimension.