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Map & Directions 125 E. 39th St.
New York, NY 10016
  • Japanese, Vegan, Vegetarian
  • Tue-Sat 12pm-2pm, Tue-Sun 5:30pm-10pm
  • All Major Credit Cards
  • Prix Fixe
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • Beer/Wine
  • Accepted
  • Street


Village Voice's Description

Kajitsu's bare dining room in midtown may be one of the finest places in the city from which to witness the changing of the seasons. The intricate vegetarian fare is a far cry from the processed meats and faux cheeses that one might currently associate with the vegan lifestyle. Instead, Kajitsu serves food in Japan's tradition of
shojin-ryori, the vegetarian food which blossomed in Buddhist monasteries in the 13th century and laid the groundwork for extravagant, multi-coursed kaiseki, and modern Japanese haute cuisine. The kitchen knows how to coax a multitude of flavors and textures from the vegetable world, so prepare for piles of soba noodles, bubbling stews of tofu and slippery bits of chewy seaweed. The East 39th Street space is twice the size of the restaurant's former East Village digs, but the kitchen's humble persona -- despite its exquisite execution --
still remains intact. The room is quiet and full of sunlight, helping to draw attention to Ryota Ueshima's hyper-seasonal cuisine. Desserts draw on the elastic capabilities of rice flour and are best enjoyed with a steaming cup of bright green matcha tea. With your eyes closed and head bowed to the wafting steam, you might pray for another dinner reservation. --Tejal Rao

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Tips from foursquare

  • nymag on 07/15/10

    Chicago chef Grant Achatz ate here when he was in town for the Beard Awards and found a lotus root gelée he told us was “strikingly inspiring.”

  • nymag on 12/26/10

    Vegetables are the new meat at this elegant spot for shojin Buddhist cuisine like persimmon with sesame cream and fragrant rice balls called ohagi. Featured in Where to Eat 2011!

  • Serious Eats on 05/08/13

    Tasting menu based on the principles of Japanese Buddhist Shojin-ryori cuisine, one of the best vegetarian/vegan meals in town in a serene setting.

  • Kajitsu sells a few exclusive products from Kyoto including green tea and seasonal incense. You can also purchase a container of the mysterious house-made pickled kelp with sansho. - Inspector

  • momofuku on 01/31/12

    chef masato nishihara serves shojin temple food in an excellent and affordable prix-fixe style. we promise, you won’t miss the meat.

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