Sure, there are a bajillion places you can go in New York City to have Sushi. So when it comes time to pick out which one is the best and most authentic of the bunch, narrowing it down can be a really tough decision for all you new Yorkers out there. So let me make this one easy- Sushi Dojo on 110 1st Avenue in the East Village.
Executive Chef and prospective partner David Bouhadana, 27, has trained with Iron Chef Morimoto, has worked in some of New York’s top establishments such as Hatsuhana, and has trained for years in Japan. This Florida-raised man fell in love with Japanese culture, language, and cuisine while he was working as a bus boy. “I didn’t find sushi, sushi found me,” said Chef Bouhadana. “I started at 18 under my first master in Florida where I accidentally found myself in the kitchen.” Upon presenting his idea to the investors, David was hired as the Executive Chef for the restaurant and was given the unique opportunity to become a prospective partner in the future.
The term “dojo” is the Japanese word for education, and Sushi Dojo’s atmosphere is complimentary to an educational experience where customers can try new things. Sushi Dojo’s team of chefs consists of professional Japanese individuals who have trained for years and are eager to make every customer feel like their apprentice by sharing knowledge, recommendations, and sushi delicacies.
“Many individuals feel nervous and uncomfortable to try new things due to a lack of knowledge or negative experiences that they have had in the past,” said Chef Bouhadana. “At Dojo we encourage our customers to ask questions and try new things. We want them to learn by doing that and having the most memorable experience by dining in our restaurant.”
As a first time customer, I noticed that the look and feel of the place was quite warm and inviting and had an overall great atmosphere to it. David as well as the waiter and hostess were kind and engaging and made the whole experience a delight for me and my friend. Some of the stand out dishes in my opinion was the Edamame and Nashu Nibitashi (Lightly fried eggplant marinated in Dashi) for the cold plates, the Pork Belly for the appetizers, and any and all of the sushi that is freshly made by David and his team (my personal favorite was the Ikura otherwise known as Salmon Roe. Yum!)
Something to note here is that you won’t be able to order something like a California Roll, as this place pries itself on being traditional and focusing on high quality delicacies. This is definitely something that you would want to try out in the near future if you are visiting Manhattan or already live here. So stop fussing over which sushi place to go to and take the subway down to The East Village and try out Sushi Dojo for yourself. For more information, log on to their official website.