The Place: Ceviche Dozo Sushi and Ceviche is on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard west of Interstate 95 and east of the turnpike in a nondescript strip mall. It is a minimalist space featuring one white wall and floor-to-ceiling chalkboards with the chef’s doodles and specials; there about 12 black wooden tables with retro-looking red, black and white chairs. It is casual but there is table service — you give your order to the chef, she cooks it and brings it to your table. Dozo means “you go first” or “go ahead” in Japanese and is a polite term.
The History: Chef Harumi Mattiacci literally runs the whole show here, even making the desserts. In Japan, restaurants are dominated by male chefs, but there is more freedom in the U.S. for chefs like Mattiacci. She learned to cook from her grandmother and mother. In high school she worked part time in a restaurant in Osaka where she is from. She met her Italian husband in Kyoto. He was majoring in Japanese language at the University of London and was sent to Japan for a year. She went to London to study English, became a head chef at a Japanese restaurant, married her husband and had a baby. Her husband got a scholarship at the University of Miami, where he did his MBA, and they moved to South Florida in 2013. Dozo opened last February.
The Food: Mostly Japanese, but there’s also ceviche and sushi burritos with sushi rice and tuna, fried chicken or vegetables rolled in a flour tortilla. Start with crispy tuna tataki, featuring panko-coated fried tuna slices with tartar sauce, pork gyoza with ponzu, or agedashi tofu with cubes of silken tofu dusted in potato starch and deep fried served in tsuyu broth (dashi with mirin and scallions). Fish ceviche is made with swai (Vietnamese catfish), and the mixed ceviche has squid rings, shrimp and swai in citrus juice with yucca fries and rocoto chile sauce. Mains include pan-fried yakisoba noodles with seafood and vegetables; don rice bowls with various toppings (try the poke with tuna and avocado or lomo with strips of skirt steak and onions); okonomiyaki savory pan cakes; chicken yakitori skewers with pineapple; or the volcano roll with kanikama and avocado with dynamite sauce. End with an avocado smoothie with a shot of espresso or green tea cheesecake with frozen whipped cream.
You Didn’t Know This: Kanikama is imitation crab made from a paste of Alaskan pollack bound with egg white, cornstarch and crab flavoring molded into sticks and steamed. It has a mild slightly sweet taste and is lower in fat and cholesterol than real crab (and considered kosher). Fish paste products have been in existence for centuries in Japan but have only been mass marketed here more recently for use in sushi.
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If You Go
The Place: Ceviche Dozo and Sushi
Address: 5715 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
Prices: Appetizers $1.99-$8.99, rolls $4.19-$7.49, ceviche $9.99-$11.99, entrees $4.99-$9.99
FYI: Premium junmai sake and beer available, lunch specials noon-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday