As far as new restaurants go, it's usually the same old, same old. However, a trio of restaurateurs have combined their passion for good food and exceptional service and opened a venture with a twist.
Uniting a diverse palette of three cuisines — that of Japan, Thailand and Peru — co-owners Paul Adrianzen; his mother, Fabiola Adrianzen; and Saifon Sombun say their restaurant, Komoon Thai Sushi & Ceviche, is unlike any other in the Mission Square area off Pine Ridge Road.
"When we first came up with the concept, we thought that if folks liked sushi, they may also like Peruvian ceviche, which has gained popularity worldwide. So far, the concept has been very well received by our customers, who seem to like the choices," said Paul Adrianzen.
Upon entry, you are met with a sense of serenity emanating from a gentle waterfall piece that separates the foyer from the main dining room and the warm, genuinely pleasant smile of Sombun.
Your eye then moves to the larger-than-life digital photography of flowers, a bird and a trumpet mounted on colored and black canvases displayed on contemporary Asian-inspired colored walls.
The restaurant seats 56 indoors and about eight diners on the covered patio. Opt to sit at a table or booth, or at the sushi bar where you can watch the sushi chef, Wat Gatepong, work his magic.
Sushi rolls are made fresh from a selection of orange salmon, pink, white and red tunas, shrimp, eel, crab meat, avocado, asparagus and crisp cucumber slivers kept covered and chilled under glass, at the ready for sushi aficionados.
With a background of relaxing music, peruse a menu that includes a cornucopia of selections from the three cuisines. After you make your decision, a server appears with iPad in hand, using the latest technology, to take your order.
Adrianzen said that with the three different cuisines, each with its own particular sauces, condiments, meats and vegetables, it was a challenge for the servers to smoothly communicate the order to the kitchens.
"We met the challenge by implementing an iPad-based point-of-sale (POS) system that is highly configurable and that allows our servers to wirelessly send an order from a customer's table to the appropriate kitchen in seconds," Adrianzen said.
"This is much more effective than traditional systems, where the server would take your order, go to the POS station, input the order and send. The system improves kitchen efficiency, allows for faster order processing and the servers can also swipe credit cards on the spot."
While all that sounds easy enough, making a selection from the array of tempting menu items is difficult.
Select from large and medium sushi rolls ($3.95-$6.95 hand roll; $4.95-$10.95 roll), to special rolls ($10.95-$26.95) like shrimp tempura, spicy crunchy tuna roll or lobster rolls and sushi ($1.95-$7.95 nigiri; $1.95-$7.95 sashimi).
Peruvian ceviche plates are served with sweet potato and Peruvian corn ($7.95-$13.95) and are offered alone or in combinations of white fish, shrimp and calamari, marinated in lime juice with onions, herbs and seasonings.
Appetizers range from veggie spring rolls to yellowtail jalapeño sushi ($4.95-$14.95) to Thai and Japanese soups ($2.95-$6.95) and salads ($2.95-$10.95).
Dinner entrees ($12.95-$16.95) offer Thai curry dishes and a variety of sauces with choice of chicken, beef, pork, tofu, or mixed vegetables.
They share menu space with sushi and sashimi combination plate choices served with miso soup or salad ($16.95-$39.95), like the Komoon deluxe (California roll, tekka roll and seven pieces of nigiri).
Lunch specials, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. are served with the soup of the day. They range from Thai dishes — four types of curry and pad thai ($7.95-$8.50) — to sushi and sashimi combination platters ($11.95-$13.95), Japanese dishes ($6.95-$8.95) and Peruvian choices ($10.95-$13.95).
Enjoy daily happy hour deals from 3 to 6:30 p.m. with $2 beers and half-priced wine. Order $5 appetizer specials such as spring rolls, chicken or beef satay, shrimp in the blanket, crab rangoon, golden butterflies, edamame, seaweed salad, shumai, gyoza and fried tofu.
Pick up $5 sushi deals with rolls like California, spicy tuna, Tanzana, Boston, vegetable, salmon skin, crab, avocado or salmon.
The partners each bring solid experience to the venture. Sonbum has five years of restaurant experience and Adrianzen's mother operated a successful Peruvian restaurant in Boston that she sold before relocating to Florida.
Adrianzen's contribution is his business background in the high-tech industry, with a concentration in graphic and Web design and Internet marketing.
Adrianzen knew of Sonbum's desire to open a sushi and Thai restaurant and also knew of his mother's wish to open a location in Naples with Peruvian cuisine.
When they found the perfect midtown location, they knew the time was right, and Komoon Thai was born. The restaurant's name is derived from the Thai words meaning "of the island."
Takeout also is available and free delivery is available for locations within five miles of the restaurant.