From Korean-Mexican to Indian-Latin American to Chinese-Cuban restaurants, New York City is not afraid to mix and match food from different cultures. Despite the amount of fusion food places popping up these days, Japadog still came at me as a surprise. Japanese hot dogs?? Is that a real thing?? Will it actually taste good??
One night after doing yoga with my roommate on St. Mark’s, we decided that we did such a good job of working out that we would really like to go pig out. But actually. We wandered the streets, hoping that we could find something, anything, that was still open that late on a Sunday night. There were many times we got excited at the sight of some random restaurant’s fluorescent lights, only to just as quickly get deflated at seeing someone cleaning up inside and a “Closed” sign. Finally, as we started heading back in the direction we came from oddly enough, we happened upon Japadog.
Japadog was already on my radar, but I never looked up where it was or what the storefront looked like, so it was a pleasant surprise to chance on it when I was hungry. Despite it being so late, there were still people sitting inside, enjoying these unusual creations. Unusual because teriyaki mayo, miso sauce, bonito flakes (flakes of dried fish), and seaweed aren’t really your typical hot dog toppings.
The store’s walls are lined with photos of celebrities eating at the restaurant and clippings from various publications, some mentioning one of their hotdogs being “one of the must eat items of the world.” Well, don’t mind if I do then! You can choose what kind of hot dog you want (beef, bratwurst, veggie, etc.) as well as what kind of topping. I went with the kurobuta pork sausage for both of my hot dogs, because there were posters all over the place about it being the best-seller. The kurobuta terimayo came with their terimayo sauce and seaweed, and the kurobuta okonomi came with the terimayo sauce, bonito flakes, and fried cabbage.
I totally get how some people will read those descriptions or look at these photos and be thoroughly disgusted, but you really can’t knock it until you try it. The kurobuta is juicy and big, and the terimayo is a delicious creation. So what about the seaweed and bonito flakes? I’m being 100% honest right now when I say that somehow it just works. Maybe it’s because the saltiness of both manages to blend well with the sweet sauce? I don’t know. What I do know is that there’s no way I could eat more than two of these hot dogs. Overall, having dinner at Japadog was just a very cool experience. It’s not everyday that someone puts two things together that you’ve never had before.
Now for the bad news. The reason I’m writing this entry today is because I just found out that Japadog is closing. Yeah, okay, maybe that reasoning doesn’t make sense, but the point is that Japadog is no more! While I don’t know if there are any plans of opening in a different location, there is some good news. You can still get these outrageous hotdogs in Canada. You know, if you ever happen to be in the area that is.
Kurobuta terimayo and kurobuta okonomi30 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003