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JAPADOG!

Stumbled onto this food item while glancing through the Vancouver Sun and finding out that the owner had dedicated a dog to his Olympic hopeful, a Japanese figure skater. Who's had 'em, how amazing are they and why do I want one sooooo much?

bourbonstjoe

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  1. Interesting. I haven't had this particular Olympic special.

    1. Does anyone know what the restaurant between the new Japadog (on Robson) and Falafel Maison is. I was across the street today and it was really busy but there was no name on it and I was curious but didn't have enough time to cross the street and inquire.

      2 Replies
        1. re: fmed

          Yes it's Kushi Box, an express version of Zakkushi's.

          A little expensive for the amount of the food you get, but it is very tasty. You get rice and a meat and depending on the combo, you get additional skewers,soup and/or salad. The combo's range from $6 to about $9.

      1. Adding a link to the story I think bourbon is referencing: http://www.canada.com/sports/2010wint...

        14 Replies
        1. re: grayelf

          That is indeed the story grayelf! I gather from what selena03 said above that Japadog the restaurant has finally opened then? Has anyone actually had a Japadog and what's their favorite?

          bourbonstjoe

          1. re: bourbonstjoe

            My favourite is the Oroshi dog (grated daikon on a bratwurst with a quick splash of a light soya sauce). They have new ones that I have not tried (I'm not in that part of town that often these days).

            1. re: bourbonstjoe

              Nope-it's not open yet but I have a feeling it will open in the next few days:) BTW thanks grayelf for letting me know about Kushi Box.

              1. re: selena03

                I had a couple in the Summer, I believe the Teryimayo and I really liked it. At first I thought it was a tad on the salty side, but after a few bites I was hooked. Don't go down that way too often, but if I do and they are open I'll definitely go back for another. A unique and delicious dog.

                1. re: selena03

                  Actually that was fmed and moyenchow -- I had to look it up myself as somehow I had missed this new incarnation of my favourite Japanese izakaya-ish resto :-). May have to drop by there on Sunday when we transit down to check out some of the Owelympic mayhem.

                  My fave J-dogs from the carts are okonomiyaki and okura.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Where is the okura dog found? I was at the Burrard/Pender location the other day and didn't see it listed. They do, however, have a special Aiko dog that is for some famous mogul skiier from Japan. Looks like Oroshi-dog (perhaps painstakingly shaped into mogul-like hills of grated radish). They also have a Kobe dog (which they'd sold out of so I didn't get to try) and some hot dog featuring kimchi and black sesame... as well as the usual suspects.

                    1. re: twinkienic

                      I'm pretty sure that each cart has a few dogs listed on the menu that are specific to that particular location twinkienic. There's a krokke dog (Which has potato on it, like french "croquette") though I'm not sure what location that ones available at.

                      bourbonstjoe

                      1. re: twinkienic

                        I had it in May 09 at the Pender location, which is also where I had the korokke dog with the potato that joe mentions. I do recall that there was a separate picture of it ie. it was not listed on the front of the cart, so maybe the mogul dog replaced it :-). I don't imagine they have a lot of wiggle room re storage for ingredients etc. The okra was like a mild relish on top.

                  2. re: bourbonstjoe

                    My favourite is the veg with fried onions and wasabi mayo...close second is the oroshi veg.

                    1. re: selena03

                      Even if I have to get the GF to get me a couple of them(my flight doesn't get into town till 9pm and dependent on the weather they might not even be open) before they close I'm definitely gonna have some when I get into town before my trip to NOLA. I'm thinking maybe a regular dog terimayo and the pork dog with the bonito flake and fried cabbage toppings or maybe the oroshi . Any particular wiener/topping combo's that stand out? BTW I'm a carnivore so veggi dog's not high on my list ;)

                      bourbonstjoe

                      1. re: bourbonstjoe

                        Almost anything with the kurobota dog is a winner for me but I think the okonomiyaki with it is the standard for me. Oh so much better than anything else quick in that neighbourhood before an early movie at the googleplex across the street :-).

                        1. re: bourbonstjoe

                          They have really extended their hours at the Burrard/Smithe location during Olympics. I went by late Thursday night and there was still a 5-10 person lineup around 1am. The staff were still cheerful as usual! Also walked by last night around 1:30am and they were just closing up.

                          1. re: twinkienic

                            Unfortunately I'm not going to be there until April 12th, so I'm sure they'll be back to regular hours by then. :(

                            Haxe a couple for me twinkienic!

                            bourbonstjoe

                  3. Omgoodness - my first Japadog was had this week. I wanted to try the Spicy Cheese Terimayo but it was sold out so I chose the Kurobuta Terimayo instead and added a bit of wasabi mayo. So juicy and flavourful. Can see why people love it so much. Attached a photo.

                     
                    42 Replies
                    1. re: foodkarma

                      How was the Kurobata? I've heard a few negative or at least questionable reviews of the pork weiner. Sounds good to me but have yet to try.

                      1. re: bourbonstjoe

                        I really liked it - I think the pork was probably a higher fat content because it was really juicy. But then again I haven't tried the dog with any other sausage - would love to try the fish dog too.

                        1. re: foodkarma

                          Fish dog? Do you mean the one with the fried cabbage bonito flakes on it? Or is there a new variety I'm not aware of? O.o

                          1. re: bourbonstjoe

                            Reportedly there is a Japadog with a fish base. I have never tried it as it does not appeal personally. I also think it has limited availability/is often sold out.

                            1. re: grayelf

                              Yes it's a fish sausage! There was a sign on the stand that advertised "Fish Sausage" made with mackerel, pollock, hoki, and other ground up fish. Looks really pink. I thought it may taste good with the wasabi mayo.

                              1. re: foodkarma

                                Which location was that at foodkarma? I'll be in Van next month :)

                                  1. re: foodkarma

                                    Sweet. Any 411 on the restaurant? The Japadog site still mentions that the hope to open mid-Februaury. Seeing as how it's March I thought I'd ask :)

                                    1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                      I've been wondering too. It was not open as of Feb 13, the last time I walked by. Such a shame they missed the Olympics but they were doing pretty well at their stands on Burrard last Thursday at 12:30 pm -- 60 people at the one across from theatre and 25 lined up at the Pender one :-).

                                      1. re: grayelf

                                        Sadly it's not close to being open. I walk by it everyday on my way to the bus. I had a peek at the inside last week and it's just an open space with with unfinished plywood. The furnishings and kitchen equipment are nowhere to be seen.

                                        But based on the outside, there may be an entrance to a sit down area and then a seperate take-out window.

                                        I'll let everybody know when it opens up.

                                        1. re: moyenchow

                                          Please do moyenchow, I won't be in your neck of the woods till April so hopefully something will have materialised by then :)

                                          If not well just keep me posted on the evolving flavors.

                                          Thanks.

                                          1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                            Japadog Update!

                                            Walked by the Robson location on my lunch and they have the walls up. On One wall, it was sheet metal with leaves, vines and trianges punched out of the metal. On the wall facing the street, it was drywall with the same punched out theme.

                                            My sister (she works for the city) told me a few weeks ago, that the owners had applied for the business license for the Robson location.

                                            So with the decor coming together and the business license in the process.....I think Japadog on Robson will be close to openning. Yay! Nothing like Japadogs during warm spring/summer days.

                                            Will be interested to see if they expand their menu offerings as the kitchen area seems to take up a lot of space.

                                            1. re: moyenchow

                                              The (confusing) Japadog website now says end of April for the Robson J-dog. It also says they are closed this weekend but I can't tell if that means all stands or ??

                                              Read for yourself here: http://www.japadog.com/

                                              FWIW their window had signs indicating they were indeed expanding the menu to include, among other things, fries which made me very happy :-). See this wide shot from Chowtimes last fall promising a Nov 2009 opening (sigh):

                                              http://chowtimes.com/2009/10/28/japadog/

                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                I walk past the Robson location pretty much on a daily basis and the renos don't look like they're that close to being finished. I'd estimate 3-4 weeks at least...which, going by their schedule, will mean mid/late May.

                                                While we were out in Coal Harbour last weekend, we also noticed that the location at the community centre seems to be gone now too.

                                                We walked to the original location, which can get really lined up (particularly when the person taking the orders has to switch back to grilling/serving and stop manning the till). Saw that there may be a new Kobe Beef dog that they're either already serving or will serve soon (I couldn't do the 45min wait). Didn't try the new edamame or ume dogs either.

                                                1. re: clutterer

                                                  Was everyone there today? LOL.

                                                   
                                                   
                                                  1. re: fmed

                                                    I can't believe this. So was I!

                                                    1. re: repartee

                                                      was on burrard today about 5 (ish) and neither cart was operational

                                                      1. re: vandan

                                                        Same thing on Thursday... carts closed when I walked by around 5ish

                                                        (edited to add... it's like we're stalking them ;)

                                                  2. re: clutterer

                                                    Japadog will have a new cart location at the beginning of May in front of Waterfront station. Not sure if this is the Coal Harbour cart that's just moved over.

                                                    Anyone want to try to guess an opening date for the Robson St shop? I say June 7.

                                                    1. re: Kentan

                                                      From the looks of the place - see pics I took Apr 16 (above) - it was about a month and a half away then. So June 7 sounds about right.

                                                      1. re: fmed

                                                        Okay I was off by a week - Japadog's Robson St shop opens Friday!
                                                        http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2009/11/ja...

                              2. re: bourbonstjoe

                                Walked by yesterday and the Japadog sign has been placed over the door. Staff were doing inventory inside.

                                Great to hear it's finally going to open on Friday! I know what I'm having for lunch that day!

                                1. re: moyenchow

                                  ooh nice.... ! good to hear. i'll be there with bells and whistles. anyone else tried their edaname dog? thought it was pretty good. tried it twice. the edaname gives it a nice texture. kurobata still has better flavor.

                                  wonder what else will be on the menu?

                            2. re: bourbonstjoe

                              I saw their menu board when I walked home from work. They are offering their hotdogs (teri mayo, meat lover & Others) + shaken fries + pop as combos.

                              IIRC, they are also offering something called Yakinniku Rice and a Dessert Dog. The picture of the Dessert Dog look yummy...chocolate covered what look like a hotdog bun with a white filling.

                              Can't wait for tomorrow! :D

                              1. re: moyenchow

                                SWEET! Missed Japadog completely on my way to/from New Orleans but the GF's celebrating the completion of her Masters degree next month. Japadog here I come!!! Keep us informed on the restaurant location :)

                                1. re: moyenchow

                                  Hmmm, could it be a hot dog bun with ice cream topped with chocolate sauce? I've been eating ice cream in a hamburger bun for the past while, inspired by an episode of Bizarre Foods in the Philippines where they serve ice cream in a bun. It would be nice to actually eat that outside of my house...

                                  1. re: moyenchow

                                    After 5 months of watching/stalking the location....I patiently waited in a 25 minute line-up to get my first of many Japadogs from the Japadog restaurant.

                                    I ordered the Okonomi Combo which consisted of the Okonomi Japadog (Kurobata hotdog with Benito flakes), seaweed shaken fries and a can of Coke

                                    The hotdog was yummy, just like the carts. No complaints.

                                    The fries on the other hand were not as good. They use shoestring fries and basically deep fry & drain them, throw them into a brown paper bag with the seasoning of your choice, shake everything together and serve them to you.

                                    The Fries were dry inside....exactly like if you let McDonalds fries sit too long
                                    after they've been deep fried. You get a choice of the following seasonings:
                                    -Seaweed
                                    -Teriyaki
                                    -Soya Sauce
                                    -Butter & Salt

                                    I was impressed that the bag the fries were in was not oily.

                                    I think maybe a thicker french fry may work better. It doesn't help they don't make the fries when they are order but are sitting in the bag under the heat lamp.

                                    They have 2 dessert dogs, one is a chocolate covered banana in a bun and other I think is ice cream in a bun.

                                    Definately, will try the dessert dogs on a later visit.

                                    Lots of Staff (1 cashier, 2 grillers, 1 french fry girl, 1 assembler, a float in the kitchen, a girl to take the orders and organise the line + the Boss) and everything was well organized and executed.

                                    Overall will definately return for the Japadogs and I may give the fries one more chance before writing them off.

                                    1. re: moyenchow

                                      Thanks for the report, moyen -- you get my vote for Best Early Adopter of 2010
                                      :-).

                                      Fries not made a la minute is a BIG problem for me, especially skinny ones that don't need to be double fried. I am sad as I thought the one thing that would make a Japadog better would be hot, fresh frites with it. I wonder what would happen if you asked for a plain version -- maybe they would have to fry them up on the spot if the others are pre-seasoned...

                                      1. re: grayelf

                                        Hmm...I wonder if I saw you there moyenchow! I had the Okonomi dog today as well and it was excellent. I'm dying to try the Negi Miso dog when it debuts.

                                        I had a look at the fries and they didn't look appetizing so I passed. I like what they're trying to do with the Japanese flavours on the fries though.

                                        Here are some photos I took of opening day - the line-up was about 15 minutes when I was there.

                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        1. re: Kentan

                                          The "age ice" dessert dog looks interesting. I believe it's a deep fried ice cream dog.

                                          1. re: el_lobo_solo

                                            "i believe it's a deep fried ice cream dog." That sound you hear is me running out the door with my sleeping bag to be the first person in line tomorrow :-).

                                            1. re: grayelf

                                              Yet more on Japadog!
                                              http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                                              I hadn't heard that the Coal Harbour Community Centre location will soon be serving okonomiyaki! Oh I hope they can make a good version. Pleasepleasepleaseplease...

                                              1. re: Kentan

                                                Thanks for the link, kentan -- I remember hearing about the okonomiyaki last spring and getting right excited but it never materialized to my knowledge (this article is just over a year old).

                                                1. re: grayelf

                                                  Oh crap you're right greyelf - I thought it was a review from today not a year ago. I'll have to quiz Mr. Tamura about the okonomiyaki...

                                          2. re: Kentan

                                            Hey Kentan,

                                            Based on your pics and the way the lineup looks I think I might have been there a bit earlier or later. They had people off to the side and allowed a few people to enter the restaurant when I was there.

                                            But when I was in the line-up I couldn't help but wonder if there were fellow chowhounds there with me.

                                            There were definately food bloggers there as they were talking photos with their SLRs.

                                            I'm also waiting to for their Negi Miso dog too! I walk by everyday so I'll let people know when the Negi Miso becomes available.

                                            1. re: moyenchow

                                              moyenchow, Japa-stalker, love it!

                                              1. re: moyenchow

                                                You're right moyenchow - I'm sure half their biz on opening day was food bloggers!

                                                Thanks for the negi miso updates - can't wait...

                                                1. re: Kentan

                                                  Haha. I'll wait until the blogger-rush has subsided a bit.

                                          3. re: moyenchow

                                            Japa-stalker reporting in ...... I think the Negi-Miso is now available!

                                            The "Coming Soon" sticker is gone now.

                                            1. re: moyenchow

                                              UPDATE: FALSE ALARM on the Negi-MIso.....the "coming soon" sticker re-appered over the Negi-Miso option today.

                                            2. re: moyenchow

                                              was there the first 3 days they were open fri sat and sun. went at 1.30, 5 and 7pm. didn't have to wait more than 20 minutes to order and get the food.

                                              tried the fries with butter and shoyu(not salt). likes the seasoning but not the fries. it wasn't as fluffy inside for thin cut fries.

                                              the dessert are choc dipped banana with a sugar coated hot dog bun. and with soft and creamy vanilla ice cream. bun was like a sweet soft pillow-y donut. I likes it. didnt see anyone ordering it.

                                              also tried the new dogs they have, including the rice one. better than the version at Rich Nite Market. the porn-esque love meat which was the their pork aribiki dog with meat sauce and shredded cheese that was butane flamed to melt the cheese. forgot what the other one was. oh yes the tonkatsu. the tonkatsu itself tasted just ok. But with the hotdog, sauce and slaw it was actually quite good.

                                              they were well staffed. struggled when I asked for my fries to be crispy. the usual friendly smile and service as you get at the stand. notice lotsa bun coming out inconsistent. a couple of mine was burnt on the bottom.

                                              At the end of the day, its a glorified hot dog. albeit a unique dog. surely something most on here could prepare at home on the BBQ just as well. glad to see the additions. makes it more interesting.

                                              1. re: betterthanbourdain

                                                I finally built up the courage (read: effort) to face the lunch crowd at the new Robson location today. Due to the lunch rush, everything was pretty much made on the spot. Had the tonkatsu, which I thought was pretty good, though not unlike any other tonkatsu I've ever had, albeit it was in a bun, swimming in sauce and mayo, and smothered to death with slaw. Tell 'em to take it easy on the sauce.

                                                The fries, as everyone else has pointed out, were whatev. Had the seaweed topping, which is novel for the first few minutes.

                                                Overall, it was a better than average (half) pork chop in a bun, though sauced to death, with a side of fries that my gut will be reeling from in a half hour or so. Not that I'll stop eating them, but that's another story.

                                                In terms of the wait time, alls I can say is don't go during the lunch hour. It's still as much of a clusterf@#$ that the carts are, and it doesn't help to have that many more office workers hold a place in line for three or four of their colleagues. One has to feel sorry for the adjacent places who have to put up with the line-up blocking their respective entrances.