Address: 1116 S Dobson Rd, Mesa, AZ 85202
Phone: (480) 668-7979
Hodori is a Korean Restaurant located in the Dobson strip aka the road with the most Asian restaurants in Phoenix.
I’ve been there about 3 times and I would say that this was my first legitimate Korean restaurant experience in Phoenix. I’ve been to many more lately, but you never forget your first.
The good part about hosting eating events with like 15 people is that you can try everything. From what I figured out, the more expensive the dish, the higher in quality the food is. This makes sense, but in Hodori, it’s actually true. The seafood dishes are very good and the food that is served in these big cast-iron pots are delicious.
I was not a fan of their cold dishes. My $10.00 Bibimbap that is supposed to be served cold was average and the egg yolk was cooked all the way through.
The appetizers are worth it and should be shared by everyone. One of my favorites was this seafood pancake with squid and shrimp in it. It reminds me of a less-cabbagy okonomiyaki. The appetizer noodles are also very filling and authentic. These noodles remind me of Pilipino pancit.
A group of three got this big platter full of pig parts such as pork, belly, leg, etc), kimchi and napa cabbage. You are supposed to take these pig parts and kimchi, wrap it around the cabbage and eat it like a roll. You can do the same with the seared meats (bulgogoi and friends) with romaine lettuce and garlic.
Korean restaurants like to give out these little dishes called banchan. They give about a dozen of boiled, pickled or cooked vegetables. Though I can’t comment on everyone, I can give you the specifics. The kimchi’s alright but everyone raved about these fried potatoes covered in this dark syrup. The potatoes are actually cooked really well, have a great fried texture and the syrup isn’t sickeningly sweet. We asked for more when we ran out.
Hodori reminds me of a typical LA Korean restaurant. It has a nice white room with a bunch of Korean stuff shoehorned into it. You know, with the folding dressers and the bamboo plants. It’s a very spacious restaurant that can hold a lot of people. Our group of 15 might have taken up about 1/16th of the actual restaurant.
Service is decently slow, it took us a while to get our water but in their defense, they are busy and the waiters work very hard. I was fortunate enough to be served a person I knew.
I think their lead time from entrance to food-on-the-table needs a bit of work and coordination but none the less, the servers are very speedy and are always on the god.
I loved the way they handled large party checks: they keep the receipt and one by one, people can go up and pay for their portion. As long as everyone can decide what should be split, we can go up and pay for it with no dumb math confusion. They charge an 18% gratuity fee so you do not have to tip if you come with a table larger than 6.
Wait’s weird is that they serve their lemons in little plates. Interesting.
Hodori is decently expensive with about $10.00 being the cheapest dish. However, the price is worth it and I find myself very full at the end. Korean restaurants are rare in Phoenix, so it’s justifiable that they can raise the price. It’s also justified that they have a huge venue and their ingredients are of very high quality. I would say if you want your meal to be worth it, spend about $20.00 per person here.
This Korean restaurant has a very wide selection of pretty authentic food. Like mentioned before, quality will equal with price. The biggest bang for your buck is definitely the sizzling plates. My favorite part about Hodori is that they are just Korean food. Most Asian restaurants try to go far out and do all this weird sushi combos. Some are good, others are not. I would recommend any type of grilled meat or hot. I was not a fan of the cold food I’ve tried here.
For Korean Restaurants in Phoenix, Hodori is pretty good and if you need your Korean fix, this will work out. Before starting this review site, I would have said that this would be my gold standard but I’ve been to so many more Korean restaurants, that is now not the case. Compared to LA, well, LA has all you can eat bbq so you can’t really beat that. If someone could come up from California and do that successfully, you will have a killing here. That and also Korean Fried Chicken.