DOSC – It’s All About Transparency

DOSC is a new restaurant on 104 Street. My friend Phil says the names sounds like a German heavy metal, punk rock band. If you say “DOSC” with the Teutonic force like the guy in the “how German sounds” video,  you have to admit, Phil’s got a point.

The word, DOSC, is an acronym for Drunken Ox at Night, Sober Cat in the Morning which was the original name until AGLC poopooed the use of “drunken”. You’d think with all the paintings and neon and images of cats and oxen in this nicely renovated historic space that something simpler and more direct would’ve been a more obvious name choice, like, say, The Ox and Cat? But no. DOSC, it is.

The restaurant, owned by Jake Lee (Seoul Fried Chicken), Issac Choi (Japonais and Dorinku) and consultant, Shangeeta Prasad, advertises itself as a cafe, a cocktail bar and a steakhouse.

“Our culinary team strive to be masters and want to be responsible for all parts of the process in getting your unmasked meal to your table.  We have our own in-house butchery and can offer the most mouth-watering flavours with dry aging our own beef. ” – from the website.

The “in-house butchery” is a bit of a stretch. It consists of a cooler room that houses packages of primal cuts delivered from distributors before being cut into menu portions. 

The “unmasked” aspect speaks to Lee’s commitment to food transparency—or what he’d like you to believe is a commitment. A promotional video released this summer starts with him revealing that headless, wingless, legless, genetically modified chickens are being grown “by a lot of companies” and ends with him lamenting the lack of food transparency and other interesting tidbits like what happens when companies don’t do what they say they’re going to do:

Not sure where he’s getting that information from because that motto belonged (up until 2011) to Tim Hortons, and that company is still very much in business.

Transparency is a pretty big deal because it creates trust between seller and buyer, and if people trust what you’re selling, they’ll keep buying.

You will definitely see sources named on DOSC’s menu—for some things, anyway. Currently, wagyu steaks from Brant Lake (Alberta), Snake River (Idaho), and the Iwate prefecture in Japan have their names listed on the menu; so, too, is Northern Gold (a brand of premium beef under the mother company JBS of Brooks, AB, and offered by Sysco), but that’s where the transparency in labelling ends. The origin of other cuts of beef, along with the chicken and the produce go unnamed, as does the source of wagyu in the “wagyu” burger which makes me wonder what wagyu, if any, is in that patty. It certainly didn’t look or taste like any wagyu burger I’ve had. And, on a number of visits, when I asked servers about the sourcing, I was given wrong information, if any at all.

Stills from the promotional video.

 

I know exactly how Jake Lee feels.

Below are some photos of the dishes I tried and a menu or two from past visits.  For more info on the food and my issues and experience with DOSC,  read my CBC article at this link.

DOSC breakfast
DOSC Lunch (July 2018) – Big prices for fatty brisket, chicken leg, and tomato fougasse salad. Items in dishes are smaller than they appear.
DOSC “Wagyu” Katsu burger, deconstructed.  So many wrongs…
DOSC Cocktails – for the most part, very drinkable.
Left: Oct 18 menu; Right: Oct 30 menu
Three starters: Front – Black Bean marinated tongue (an unfortunate drowning of and over-seasoned preparation of a beautiful cut of meat); Middle – Fried sweetbreads with chipotle aioli – a common preparation of the thymus gland, and done very well here; Rear – bone marrow: half of a 6-inch bone that yielded 1 tsp of marrow for $12. Regrettable.
A5 Miyazaki striploin. Exceptional.
A debatable 3 ounce serving of wagyu tartare in July (L) and a “4 ounce” serving in October (R). No flavour anywhere. That could explain the sharply flavoured accents and purees.
45 day dry-aged T-bone; butternut gnocchi and Brussels sprouts. Great choices on all three.

DOSC is at 10190 104 St, Edmonton. Phone  (780) 540-0606.