Dojo is a Japanese word that can refer to a martial arts studio or a “place of the way.” As far as street food is concerned, dojo is defined as a place to practice towards enlightenment. Dojo can be found anywhere as long as there is discipline in the pursuit of a specific goal. There are hundreds of restaurants around the world, mostly in Asia, that try to perpetuate their concept of dojo. Dojo in food or in the food business would mean appreciation and respect for the pursuit of excellence in the selected cuisine.
There is one food business in San Francisco, Street Food Dojo, which has intrigued a lot of people because they are engaged in Asian fusion food. Those who are familiar with dojo have high expectations for the street food offer although since it is a work in progress, the feedback has been extreme and slightly confusing. In short, you either love it or you hate it.
Street Food Dojo is found in the financial district in downtown San Francisco. It opened late 2013 where a hot dog stand once stood. It is only open on weekdays from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening. As a specialty food kiosk, you have to expect the strange and unusual. For example, they have Kung Fu Fries with melted cheese, pulled pork, and gravy, Spam Musubi, and Curry Bento. These are not your typical Asian food and take some getting used to.
The main attraction of Street Food Dojo kiosk is it novelty so it still remains a question mark whether customers will want to come back for seconds. Some of comments about the street food from Dojo are that the food is freshly prepared, the area is clean, and the staff of two is friendly most of the time. The problem is that many of the customers of the old hot dog stand want the hotdog and Street Food Dojo does not have the typical hot dog. Theirs is either a Sumo Hot Dog or a Dojo Hot Dog. The hotdogs are served with Asian flavors like sesame seeds, shredded seaweed and gravy.
Other food items are the ribs with kimchi rice, spicy chicken wings, pork cutlets, and the popular Takoyaki balls which are octopus balls, and fried rice, among others. The portions tend to be small and the waiting time is long.
Does the Street Food Dojo come highly recommended? It’s definitely something worth trying.