Cagen

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87 Very Good

Elegant, traditional open-kitchen Japanese dining from a Nobu vet.

414 E. 9th St., New York, NY, 10009

212-358-8800

http://cagenrestaurant.com

Reserve on OpenTable

Known For

The lowdown

Chef Toshio Tomita spent nearly two decades with the Nobu empire before branching out on his own in summer 2013, but you won’t find miso-glazed black cod or a scene-y vibe at this unassuming spot situated a few steps below street level. You’re coming to Cagen instead for a serious, nearly meditative experience with traditional kappo ryori–style dining, which means the best seats in the house are at the blond-wood chef’s counter, where you can get a front-row look at chef Tomita or one of his acolytes presiding over every course. Selections from the 18-course omakase menu are flown in from Japan each day, like a recent flash-fried soft-shell crab atop a delicate tangle of yuzu-pickled red onions or a firm grilled sea bream.

What you need to know

Recommended Dishes18-piece omakase.

DrinksSake/Soju, Beer and Wine

Noise LevelHushed