It’s been exactly a year since we sang the praises of a relatively new, mostly unknown, fully unassuming Japanese restaurant called Sushi Dojo in the East Village. Fast forward to today and the joint has become one of the darlings of the city’s sushi scene. Over the past year, Sushi Dojo has received a sparkling New York Times review and chef David Bouhadana has been anointed with one award after another, culminating with a spot on Zagat’s 30 Under 30 list. The combination of an energetic chef, an affordable omakase and a lively, sake-slinging atmosphere has catapulted Dojo into the conversation for the city’s best sushi. It’s also made one of its sushi bar seats harder than ever to snag.
There will soon be a new place to convene at for Dojo enthusiasts. Bouhadana is opening Dojo Izakaya — a casual offshoot serving non-sushi dishes — in nearby Alphabet City, under the guidance of chef Kazuya Saito, a Sushi Dojo vet and former chef at 15 East and Izakaya Ten. Con Edison just turned on the gas (often a restaurant’s last hurdle) and friends and family meals are being held today and tomorrow. Assuming all goes well, the public opening will take place "at some point next week," according to Bouhadana. Following the unveiling of Dojo Express — a grab ‘n go counter inside the Meatpacking District's new Gansevoort Market — this venue marks the team’s third city opening in just over a year. Talk about building a name for yourself.
Perhaps most importantly, we have some clues as to which items Bouhadana and Saito will include on their upcoming izakaya menu. Designed to highlight Japanese drinking food, the gastropub will focus on soba noodles that are "house-made every single day," says Bouhadana. The menu also features dishes like fried chicken, a pork sandwich and a variety of vegetables, such as homemade tofu and spicy cucumber. There will also be some overlap from the flagship Dojo, with the inclusion of the ever-popular uni cream croquettes. We’re already on our way over to Avenue B.
38 Avenue B (3rd Street)
New York, NY 10009
Read more about Japanese cuisine on Food Republic: