My wife and I got a babysitter and went to do something "fun." We tried out Domku which is not far from the old Foxey Playground strip joint in Petworth.
We split the pickled herring plate and that was very interesting. We got 4 pieces of crackers, about 9 pieces of pickled herring- none of which I'd ever tasted before and a variety of toppings from onions to capers. There was plenty to talk about on the plate- exotic, good and new for us. I can see that being a great first-date dish. You know, what IS this stuff? Let me answer that with a fun annecdote from my childhood that will impress you.
We asked to split a salad next, but it still came on one plate. The beets, greens, nuts and cheese all worked well together. My wife ordered the mussels in aquavit and loved them. I ordered the Slavic cheese pie in phyllo dough and it was pretty much so-so. I've had better phyllo dishes and the waitress didn't explain that it was served on a salad- and we had also ordered a salad. I ordered the mashed potatoes on the side- they were a little waxy, but otherwise really good and worth ordering. My wife got an Orange Revolution cocktail which she said was much stronger than she anticipated but one of the best mixed drinks she'd had in years. For dessert I had a marginally interesting beet cake which was a little dry and lacking a certain something- but it was a beet cake, so I can add a new entry to my dessert "life list." I wasn't dissapointed, but I'm not ordering it again. My wife ordered the chocolate cake which was well-made and the small taste I had was very good.
Service left something to be desired big time. The menu consists of many unfamiliar european dishes, but the waitress had difficulty explaining anything. We started with appetizers and kept the menus because we were still deciding. That's both exciting and disorienting. They had something on the menu called kazsa. Is this the same as Russian kasha I asked? No, she said. "It's umm... well... it's got macaroni and there's this other stuff that's uhh.." A grain? looks like cut up brown rice? and she's like, "yeah, I guess that's what it looks like." And she was not really happy that I explained it's the same as Russian kasha. There were literally 5 things I wanted to ask about on the menu, but stopped as it became clear she didn't know. I would have ordered a different entree if I knew exactly what it was. She also joked with my wife that she was supposed to drink the cream the mussels were cooked in. I had to remind the waitress that she didn't bring my wife a spoon with the mussels nor were spoons on the table! I made a joke of it, but she definitely gave me a glance at that one.
The check came and several of the items were a dollar or two less than the menu listed- I think the $10 cocktail was $7- so I had no problem giving the waitress a full tip- for all I know it was her first day.
It's a fun place, but I'd suggest giving the menu some full exploration online before sitting down. I think they might be caught between having a funky, fun joint and a small-portion nouvelle exotic restaurant. I would be happy to hear what other items, particularly vegetarian or seafood, are worth ordering.
I think the total bill came to $75.