One of the fundamental ideas behind Japanese cuisine and food culture is the idea of respecting nature. Kajitsu was a truly Zen experience and I can hardly wait to tell you about it. Itadakimasu! (which literarly translates to "thank you earth for this food")
Chef Hirata took me for an amazing dinner at Kajitsu! I have been dying to try it since I discovered it almost 6 months and it was more special than I could have imagined. It's one of my favourite experiences so far in New York. The food is all vegetarian, and is based on an old style of Japanese cooking from Kyoto called Shojin-ryori. All the dishes were so unique, so delicate and so careful considered.
There are two options for their prix fixe menu, one a 4-course for $50 and the other a 8-course for $70. Of course we got the 8-course! The menu changes monthly to reflect the seasonal vegetables and the dishes we were served were chilled and incorporated a lot of asparagus, shiso and yuku, basically those things being some of my favourite tastes! This candied plum was soaked in a special sugar water for 2 days! The taste of all the food was remarkably strong for a vegan menu. The ingredients were used to their fullest potential. They served a homemade chilled soba with okra and shiso which was incredible. I was pretty much blown away over all. The ambiance is very simple and minimal and there's nothing fancy about the place. In typical Japanese style everything is intentional and nothing is wasted.
The sake was wonderful and they served the new flush of tea from Japan called Shincha. They are only serving this tea this month because of the season that doesn't last long. The first flush is bright green and there's nothing quite like it. I was just in Japan a month ago and in particular I was in Shizuoka where they produce some of the country's best green tea and it's even special to get Shincha there!
414 9th street (btwn 1st Ave + Ave A)