So apparently, an Izakaya is like dim sum for adults, or tapas for Asian people. It involves snacking, beer and small plates. The dishes in Dozo Izakaya are quite unique and surprisingly adventurous for the average eater. Of course, with our gang, we love adventurous food!
We ate an assortment of izakaya based dishes and a few familiar dishes.
Deep Fried Chicken Cartilage
Like Chicken nuggets with cartilage pieces inside them. Chewy and kind of awkward to eat.
Takoyaki, Gyoza, Pork Katsu
Takoyaki – Pretty good takoyaki. Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. I would argue it was a bit too gooey compared to most takoyaki I’ve had in Phoenix. I actually prefer Takoyaki a little starchier. I think it’s a matter of preference but I’d say that these are worth it.
Gyoza – Deep fried potstickers that was really nothing special
Pork Katsu with rice – A pork katsu layed on a bed of rice topped with what looks like just poured scrambled eggs and a lot of red pickles and green onions. The pork was crispy and breaded well but the egg kind of ruined the texture for me. Overall, very average katsu and I’ve tasted much better at other restaurants.
Now it’s going to get weird. However, these options were surprisingly very good. Though I wouldn’t recommend getting these dishes if you’re of the faint of heart, I’d like to notice that Dozo Izakaya is very good at grilling.
Beef Tongue and Grilled Squid
Beef tongue on a stick – I’d rank this as the best. The beef was charred very well and tongue in general has a texture I absolutely love.
Baby squid on a stick – Literally baby squid splayed out and put on a stick then grilled. Again, a very good dish. I don’t eat grilled quid too much but I appreciated the charred notes reflecting on the fishiness of the squid. Most of the time, squid is overcooked giving a bit of a rubbery texture but I’m glad this wasn’t the case.
Chicken Hearts and Fish
Chicken Hearts on a stick- A strange dish that wasn’t bad. I find hearts very grainy and rubbery at the same time and this dish had some of those notes. However, I also find the dish quite appetizing for what it is.
Grilled fish on a stick – I don’t think we ordered this but we got it any ways. The small fish was grilled well, with the taste of the sea and the scent of smoke, it was pretty good.
One of the rolls was very average but the specialty roll was delicious.
Las Vegas Roll
Tuna, cream cheese, avocado wrapped, then tempura deep fried and drizzled with teriyaki sauce. The texture of this roll was amazing since you get so many different types from the ingredients used. Highly recommended.
This place is smaller than we thought and was a bit crowded but we made do.
The style is very old-school Japanese with a bit of a modern flair. The walls were greyed and had a black atmosphere. The kitchen is very visible.
Apparently, their card machine is ancient and takes a long time to process 5 credit cards. By the way, you should probably bring cash if you want to get out of there fast. If you’re in a big group, you can only have 5 credit cards per table.
About $20 dollars a meal for us, but we ordered a lot. An average plate dish is about $10-15 dollars. The biggest trap is ordering a lot of unique and exotic small plates. Those things add up!
Dozo Izakaya has plenty of options. Their izakaya selection is impressive and adventurous. If you are not of the adventuring kind, then their standard menu has the standard sushi, ramen and other Japanese dishes.
Dozo is pretty small and their technology is a bit old but their izakaya dishes are super unique and they have good-enough Japanese food.
These guys are masters on the grill so if I were to recommend anything, get something grilled here.