Munching on Conventional Japanese Cuisine @ SUSHI DOJO
The other night I was invited to the Lower East Side for an authentic Japanese dinner at the opening of SUSHI DOJO.
Located in the heart of the East Village in Manhattan at 110 1st Avenue, Sushi Dojo opened on June 5th, 2013, and with only 36 seats, there’s an intimate and modern feel to the petite and clean space with an L-shaped sushi bar in full view. Specializing in traditional Japanese cuisine and seasonal dishes, the restaurant also offers a wide selection of sake.
Executive chef David Bouhadana has trained with Iron Chef Morimoto, and has worked as some of New York’s top Japanese establishments which is evident in the fresh sushi, classic seafood, and traditional flavors of the orient as prepped on the menu. There’s no fancy, ornate, Americanized rolls at Dojo. Their menus feature unique recipes of high-quality time-honored Japanese food!
I started with a trio of appetizers – the Nasu Nibitashi (lightly fried eggplant), the seaweed salad, and edamame! Thank goodness, I ordered the trio… These dishes were so small, they were more infant ready than plates for sharing. But they were indeed delicious, clean and light startes that made for an easy beginning.
The Buta Kakuni was like butter. Three sweet and tender slices of braised pork belly were more like gifts from heaven as they melted on the tongue. Marinated in a finger-licking Asian sauce, the hot appetizer is a MUST try at Sushi Dojo.
The sushi was delicious, although, like everything else, was a bit on the small side, but still satisfying and undeniably good.
I tried sea urchin for the first time at Sushi Dojo… It was slimy, it was gooey, it was unlike anything I had ever had before, but you know the saying – “When in Rome…” So, I took a risk, and I’ll leave it at that. But I will tell you it was flavorful, and had a texture of raw and tender entrails.
The vegetable tempura came with an amazing wasabi salt of which I could not get enough! I’ve never been to Japan, and I rarely go to the LES, but Sushi Dojo makes dining on authentic Japanese cuisine pretty easy!
Everything was small at Sushi Dojo except for the bill. Interestingly, my receipt came back with a couple of items charged at higher priced than as featured on the menu, but once I notified the manager, the matter was quickly rectified!
I enjoyed the quaint environment and the customary take on presentation and menu items at Sushi Dojo. It’s always good to spice things up with something new, and Sushi Dojo does just that with simplicity and conventional Japanese cuisine unlike anyplace else I’ve seen before! It’s good to know I don’t have to book a trip to Japan for the real thing!
***SPECIAL THANKS to JENNA WEILLER at KG Media Planners for the invite and awesome dining experience!