It's not uncommon to see diners lingering at The Dojo’s simple wooden tables after they're finished eating. In fact, the staff encourages them to take their time while enjoying their food and company. This casual, low-key ambiance, along with the communal bench-style seating and hanging paper lanterns, draws inspiration from the izakayas—pub-like eateries and sake bars—that line the streets of Japan. Remaining open late into the evening six nights a week, The Dojo keeps spirits high with drinks and a menu of classic Japanese comfort foods. Just shortly after opening, Eater Austin already honored the fledgling eatery by placing it on the September 2013 Heat Map of the city’s most buzz-worthy restaurants.
Executive Chef Moto Seto oversees the majority of the menu, staying true to the izakaya cuisine he remembered from growing up in Nagoya, Japan and working in Oaska eateries. Although Chef Moto eventually immigrated to the United States, he continued to cook in Japanese restaurants. He grew tired of the surplus of sushi and Japanese steak-house fare, however, and began longing for the authentic street foods of his home. At The Dojo, he recreates this classic comfort cuisine, filling the menu with dishes such as tempura-fried shrimp, grilled pork cheeks, and spicy edamame. The Dojo also remains true to its izakaya roots by featuring a broad selection of Japanese beers, sakes, shochus, and even Yamazaki Japanese whiskey.
Sweets are elevated to an art form at That Takes the Cake Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition. Bringing together expert bakers and sugar artists from across the country, the two-day event lets visitors stalk through an armada of colorful pastry masterpieces shaped like dragons, cheetahs, or cartoon characters. The competition breaks down its entrants into dozens of divisions and styles, all of which are judged according to creativity, theme, and artistry. A separate tasting competition includes entrants in the categories of time twisted cakes, pastries, canned fruits, cookies, and candies..
Admirers of the sucrose arts can also learn at the feet of celebrity bakers by purchasing one of several group lessons in subjects such as fondant inlay, figure modeling, and how best to conceal a hacksaw inside a bundt cake.
Usually seeing an ambulance at a tailgate is a bad sign?but not at a tailgate thrown by Horn-Ball Texas Tailgaters. That's because at the heart of every Horn-Ball tailgate?on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and North Congress Avenue?sits a burnt-orange ambulance plastered with the Longhorn logo. Established in 2001, Horn-Ball is no stranger to setting itself apart from other tailgates. Today, rain or shine, the group gathers for every UT home football game, offering its members nearly 3,000 square feet of cool, covered space, an open bar, and plenty of food so nobody has to fill their foam finger with guacamole. Activities and giveaways help fill the minutes before kickoff, at which point satellite TVs relay every big hit and touchdown happening inside Texas Memorial Stadium.
The home of SXSW, the ACL Festival, and the world's most urbane population of bats, Austin is more than the creative heart of Texas?it's a global focal point for artists. So it's no surprise that the City of the Violet Crown is home to a show that fashion news site Fashionista called "a fashion week to watch." True to form, Austin Fashion Week isn't the average celebration of blank-faced models, impossibly distant designers, and everything fierce. Instead, the emphasis is on individual personalities and the designers of tomorrow?even the ones that are sitting in the audience. A DIY aesthetic reigns too, from the local brands for sale at the event store Shop 787 to the always popular Mash Up Team competition.
A diverse, avant-garde lineup of contemporary musicians, dancers, actors, and visual artists descends upon Austin during the eighth annual Fusebox Festival, which celebrates innovative works of art with more than 50 events spread across two weeks of entertainment. This year, the celebration of creativity and inventiveness will unfurl at 15 different venues throughout the city, including the Festival Hub, where acts such as David Zambrano's Soul Project and Austin's own Foot Patrol are scheduled to astound eyes and ears with energetic, music-infused dance routines. In addition to its yearly collection of stage stars, the festival keeps creative gears turning with artist interviews, presentations, and culinary attractions, further creating an atmosphere where performers and audiences alike can brush elbows and settle the age-old debate of which came first—the artist or the egg?