The Dojo – Vegan friendly Japanese bar food in North Austin

CLOSED 9/2/2014

I’ve been hearing about The Dojo, a new Japanese Bar & Izakaya (small plates) in North Austin for a couple of months now,  when Sue at Counter Culture told me it was one of her favorite spots I knew I had to go stat.  I was excited to finally try it last week. For some reason I was expecting it to be on the fancier side like Uchi & Uchiko, where I usually go for sushi, and was surprised to find it stuck between a Chilies and a Trudy’s in a strip mall on Burnet & 183 with a bar in the middle and plastic menus. They did a really nice job with the location, though, making it very welcoming with lots of wood beams and different spots for seating.

I was excited that they had separate vegan menus (and gluten free) and of course, an elaborate drink menu with sake cocktails and lists of beer, wine and cocktails.

I think I got the Rising Sun which had Orange Sake, Orange Schnapps, Grand Marnier, Agave, Fresh Orange and Strawberries and reminded my of orange strawberry shakeup from the state fair. It was very sweet and frothy.

The first menu item we tried were the Brussels with truffle butter (vegan style) and they were delicious although they were also swimming in oil and we couldn’t even eat them all the way to the bottom. I love that Brussels Sprouts have become so popular in the last couple years.

It would have been smarter for us at this point to order something off the cold menu like the Tofu Caprese (Tofu, Tomato, Avocado Moussee, Shiso, Balsamic Pearl) or the Avocado and Crispy Tofu Salad but instead we went with more fried food. We tried the special with fried fennel.

and the Homemade Veggie Gyoza 

and Fuyu Maki Sushi which had winter squash tempura, cilantro, onion, carrot, and spicy miso.

I think the sushi roll was my favorite part, I really like the spicy miso sauce. We also got the Okonomiyaki Style Fried Potato which seemed more like Japanese waffle fries than Okonomiyaki to me. The fries were perfectly done and super crunchy.

Judging from the #atxvegan tag on instagram this seems like the most popular dish there and the most fun. It wasn’t for me because I think there must have been mustard in the sauce which I do not eat. We also tried the ramen and the udon noodles but I was so full at this point I stopped taking pictures! I know that Molly loves the ramen but I decided I must not be a ramen fan because I haven’t been too impressed by any that I’ve had in town yet. I’ll have to try some next time I go to the west coast. Or the recipe in Vegan Eats World.

Finally we got the dessert which, I didn’t photograph because it was melty when it came out, but it was WITHOUT A DOUBT my favorite part. “The Dojo Parfait” had ice cream, strawberries, mochi tempura, red beans, and pocky. I loved the pockets of fried mochi mixed with the coconut ice cream. It was like the fried ice cream I used to have at Mexican places in my hometown when I was a kid.

I think the Dojo will be a great addition to the neighborhood. How nice for vegans to finally have a bar that has tons of options for every kind of eater (there were some macro and lots of GF options in addition to all the fried stuff I had) which are all under-served in that area of town. I think they have been having a lot of settling in issues because the menu has gone through quite a few changes since they opened. Hopefully, they will tighten things up and continue to have a lot of success with the vegan community!

7 thoughts on “The Dojo – Vegan friendly Japanese bar food in North Austin

  1. mollyjade

    I remember describing to my family what okonomiyaki was. I used words like “potato cake with toppings,” “fluffy hashbrown pizza”. And then it came out and I looked like a crazy person.

    I don’t know what they’re serving but the Dojo is going to be at Texas VegFest, which is awesome.

  2. sara

    Sorry your Brussels were so oily. I don’t remember them being that way when I had them, and they were my fave of everything I sampled. The fried fennel and veggie gyoza look so good — I can’t wait to go to Dojo again!

  3. Tge Dojo Sake Bar & Izakaya

    Thank you for visiting The Dojo. I hope you enjoyed your meal at our establishment. Please allow me to clarify some of your questions/concerns.

    We are constantly changing our menu because our chefs have so many great ideas and flavors they want to bring to the table for our customers. Our menu changes about 1 to 2 months as the season changes. Our daily special changes 2 times a month. We keep popular items and move items from our special menu to our regular menu if they were a success with our customers.

    We take inspiration from everywhere, but incorporate Japanese flavors or cooking techniques. We want to offer something unique and different for our customers.

    Most of our customers do not know this but we have dedicated Vegan fryer and cooking tools. All of our food and sauces are made in house, so we researched and made sure the process or ingredients we use are pure vegan.

    As for our ambiance, we are keeping true to the izakaya concept which a place to hang with family and friends to eat and drink.

    We are super excited to be part of Texas VegFest. We cannot wait to see people’s reaction to our Vegan dishes.

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