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The Early Word on Hojoko

Nancy and Tim Cushman's Japanese tavern Hojoko has been open for two months, after much hype over what to expect from the O Ya creators. There's been a good deal of online chatter about it already. Here's what people are saying so far.

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Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

The Atmosphere News: Loud, hipster vibes permeate early words on this izakaya, or Japanese tavern, found in Fenway's Verb Hotel, with a wild feeling complete with a Pac-Man table, Hello Kitty paraphernalia, and bumping music that some Yelpers say is too loud. Devra First of The Boston Globe says Hojoko rings true with the izakaya model, "where the food exists to support the alcohol, rather than vice versa."

The Beverage News: The alcohol options range from saki and tequila bombs to mai tais and daiquiris. If you're not the saki bomb type, do not despair. First says Hojoko's options taste "like real cocktails one might actually want to drink." One Yelper noted the drinks were "delicious and strong." Bonus: drinks may arrive in funky glasses, like this killer whale. Hojoko also has selections of wine, beer, and sake.

The Japanese Tapas News: Hojoko carries the wild ambiance into its food, with funky takes on sushi rolls and assorted rare menu items like calves brains and chicken tails. Yelpers commented on the size of the plates, noting the amount of food versus cost. A number also found the food too salty, including First, who said some menu items lacked "the finesse or refinement to balance them," and though the restaurant itself is a good time, she said the food is not "what one might expect from the team behind O Ya."

The Roll News: Sushi from Hojoko sounds promising, with diners cheering the spam roll and praising the sashimi, not to mention the Maine lobster roll — sushi roll, that is. And for a little American-style dining experience, there are two burgers on the menu: the Hojoko cheeseburger and the spicy tuna burger.


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