This is my favorite place to eat in the city right now, one of its most exciting restaurants. Having tasted shojin ryori—Japanese Buddhist cuisine, which is vegetarian—all over Japan, I can really appreciate chef Masato Nishihara’s unique approach. It’s cerebral and thought provoking but also incredibly fun and amazingly delicious. He uses classic Japanese dishes as a starting place—he’s skilled with the soba and udon—but he’s not afraid to break out of tradition. The food is beautiful and colorful, and I’m fascinated by where he finds flavor. Take a squash blossom dish I had there recently; I don’t usually like squash blossoms, but he made a sushi roll out of them with vinegar rice and served them with pickled cucumbers and high-quality red miso. It was so creative—hot and cool, crunchy and soft—and the elements made for the perfect combination. Another great thing about Kajitsu is that you eat so well and yet the food is light. You feel so good afterward. —David Chang, Momofuku, New York City
414 East 9th St.
New York, NY 10009
The Zen of Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine [Saveur]
Grant Achatz Finds Kajitsu’s Lotus-Root Gelee ‘Strikingly Inspiring’ [Grub Street New York]
A Temple for Devotion Cuisine [NY Times]