Table for Two

Lovely spot for Asian fusion opens in West Hempstead

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Kumamoto Asian Bistro & Lounge

506 Hempstead Turnpike, West Hempstead

(516) 750-8838, www.kumamotoasianbistro.com

There is much to love about Kumamoto. Open only two months, this Asian bistro and lounge already runs seamlessly while offering an intimate space that will surely de-stress you. Décor is tastefully modern and chic — a backlit cocktail bar, attractive and smartly appointed seating, a festive sushi bar, and an Asian-themed mural. Soft background music couldn’t be more relaxing. And their cuisine — especially if you go with sushi — is edible art.

Experience is probably a key factor in Kumamoto’s successful launch. Owner Ming Lu has been in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years. Kitchen Chef Cao boasts three decades of preparing all types of Asian cuisine. Sushi Chef Bill comes here after working at fine eateries in Manhattan for 10 years. Servers are attentive and polished.

Kumamoto’s menu is enormous, displaying Chinese, some Thai, Korean and Malaysian, and Japanese cuisines with plenty of sushi options. Freshness is evident. Starters range from $3 for Miso soup to $17 for the Appetizer Sampler (lettuce wraps, honey glazed ribs, spring rolls, shrimp tempura). Sushi rolls are $4 to $18, sushi entrees, with soup or salad, are $13 to $25, and Classic Chinese and Signature entrees with soup or salad and rice, $13 to $22. Hibachi dinners with rice and noodles, and soup or salad, are $17 to $21. Desserts are $4 to $9. For lunch, specials are $8.95, and a Bento Box is $12.

We were welcomed with warm moist hand towels. Starting with Kitchen Appetizers, we enjoyed Duck Roll, four wraps filled with avocado, cucumbers, crisp duck and spicy remoulade. Korean Marinade Short Ribs were tender and flavorful, served with romaine lettuce. Also from the kitchen (meaning cooked and warm), was Black Bean Scallops — a mix of fresh bell peppers, asparagus, mushrooms and onions — tossed with plump sea scallops in savory sauce.

Sushi & Sashimi for 1 was sensational, a magnificent presentation complete with color-changing lighting. Seven pieces of sushi joined a dozen generous slices of sashimi (assorted raw fish), with a spicy tuna roll. Just as impressive (and incredibly delicious) was a popular signature roll, Pink Lady, a masterpiece built with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, and avocado, finished with crabmeat.

Desserts include Mochi, Warm Chocolate Cake, and the Exotic Bomb (mango passion fruit and raspberry sorbet covered in white chocolate).

Lunch is served Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dinner hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 4:30 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours are 12:30 to 4 p.m. for brunch, and 12:30 to 10 p.m. for dinner. Delivery, take-out and catering (one week notice for the latter) are available. There is plenty of parking as Kumamoto is located in the Cherry Valley Shopping Center. Reservations are suggested. Orders can be placed online.

Recommendations:

■ Duck Roll

■ Korean Marinade Short Ribs

■ Pink Lady Roll

■ Sushi & Sashimi for 1

■ Black Bean Scallops