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Douzo report

Had my first meal at Douzo this weekend - looking for a decent sushi place in Boston proper, somewhat less expensive than Oishii and O Ya. I have seen this place talked up on the boards so decided to give it a shot. Overall I was fairly disappointed in the quality of the fish and the execution of most of the sushi. This seems more of a place designed for people to look and feel fashionable but the sushi is very much sub-par - no better than, say, a decent neighborhood spot like Bluefin. The prices certainly aren't justified here.

This place relies very heavily on the gimmicky rolls with a zillion crazy ingredients. Way too much spicy mayo, cream cheese, and Kobe beef being thrown around here. Having lived in Japan, my tastes in sushi tend towards the more minimalist with one or two flavors dominating. Here you can get a roll with three kinds of fish, tobiko, cucumber, mayonnaise, ponzu sauce, avocado, and a jalapeno pepper slice on top (perhaps I am exaggerating but I might not be too far off the mark). The net result is that you can barely taste the fish, which is hardly worth tasting anyway (see below). The "torch" rolls (which I assume means the sushi is seared) takes away from the flavor even further.

The quality of the fish is nothing to write home about. Most of the nigiri were almost flavorless, everything was served at the wrong temperature (far too warm in my opinion), with too much wasabi underneath. None of the wonderful flavors of the fish came out. Given that most people are going to dunk their piece in a bath of soy sauce before eating it, I guess it doesn't matter here, but I was very disappointed in the toro - which was warm and the texture ruined by the overzealous sushi chef who mashed each piece down with their fingers to get it to adhere to the rice. At $8.50 a piece I'd like someone more experienced handling the toro, please.

While I'm on the topic I wonder what folks think of Osushi, just down the street? Same deal or worth checking out?

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  1. Okay, I went to Douzo and was not too impressed myself. But seriously, Bluefin? Either Douzo has gotten a lot worse, or Bluefin has gotten a *lot* better. But it does sound like your sushi was over-handled, or sitting around getting warm before it got to you (but it sounds like you were at the bar).

    I think the special rolls and stuff are what they're known for, so I guess you need to be looking for that kind of thing when you go there. I may have made the same mistake, ordering more traditional fare. But seriously, Bluefin??

    1. I have had many lunches there and have been very happy. For $15 you can get an amazing box lunch which includes sashimi, a great salad with miso dressing, a rice dish and some sort of traditional japanese dish (tonkatsu, etc...) Delish! Also, for 8.95 you can get the teriyaki salmon with salad and rice! Great price and very good. I love the place.

      1. I am a bit suprised that you are so disappointed with Douzo. I wouldn't say I love Douzo but I think their price is acceptable for the quality of the food and their prime location. I had the Tuna belly before. It was a little chewy but still ok. I think Douzo is a little better than Fugayu in Brookline.

        I haven't tried Osushi yet. I think I would rather save the money and go to Oishii.

        1. I haven't been to Osushi in awhile though I used to find it similar to Douzo. I go to Douzo regularly for my sushi fix but I almost always order the same thing every time I go (spicy tuna roll, salmon sashimi and either crazy maki or some other shrimp maki with crab on top) and I think they do these things well.

          1. i liked douzo quite alot when it first opened, and the executive chef has been feeding me elsewhere for many years. however, in the last few months, i think they've taken a serious slide downwards. i rarely ordered the designer makis, so can't really comment. but my last 5 or 6 visits were very disappointing. i agree everything was served too warm. with the exception of the unagi on my last visit. my plate took so long to prepare, the unagi was cold by the time i got it. ack.

            there was a very hands-on manager in the beginning who always made a point of saying hello when he saw me. which was 3 or 4 times a month, and we always talked about the business. i haven't seen him in a very long time and feel there must be a connection between his departure and the worsening quality of the food.

            4 Replies
            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Do you also think the opening of Oishii/o ya hurt them, or is this purely an internal matter?

              1. re: tatamagouche

                those 2 are looking to hit $100 pp check average. douzo is looking to hit $35 pp. apples and oranges. the place remains very busy, so i think it's something else.

                hey, aren't you out west yet? ;)

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Yeah, but that board can't keep up with my obsession...sigh...

              2. re: hotoynoodle

                The gentleman you are referring to is named Jack, and he is the owner. He is still much very the owner and has not left. He has taken a few trips this summer, but I have not been in there once when at least one of he, his wife or their GM was not working the front of the house.