Serving shojin cuisine, ancient Japanese vegan fare consumed in Zen Buddhist monasteries, Kajitsu ("fine food") brings high-end vegan dishes to the heart of New York City's Murray Hill. We give you a glimpse of what this very unique eatery has to offer.
The Location: Quintessentially New York
Kajitsu is not easy to find. The dinner-only eatery shares a space with matcha tea haven Ippodo Tea and lunch-only, meat-centric restaurant Kokage. Although the latter and Kajitsu share the same owner, Shuichiro Kobori, Ippodo Tea is its own entity. Spend an entire day in the space and get a real feel for what Japanese foodie culture is like.
The Decor: Refreshingly Minimalist
Seeking to authentically represent his country's culture, Kobori seeks to keep the space's decor to minimalist standards. A carpenter from Kyoto made the ceiling, while the chopsticks, wood, and cedar were imported straight from Japan.
The Food: Anything But Simple
Although restricting the kitchen to only vegan ingredients may sound like, well, a recipe for dull dishes, Kajitsu proves just the opposite. With an ever-rotating seasonal menu, the chefs at this restaurant truly get creative with vegetables. Case in point: the seasonal assortment dish, pictured, with mountain yam, avocado, nama-fu, faca bean sushi, burdock root, carrot, yuba, celery, bamboo shoot, fiddlehead fern, konnyaku, tofu puree, beets, shiso, umeboshi, taranome, and hijiki.
The Process: Hassle-Free
Diners have only two options: a $55, four-course pre-fixe menu or a $95 eight-course pre-fixe option. Both can be paired with delicious sake. Our suggestion? The more food, the merrier, of course.