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Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

125 E. 39th St., New York, NY 10016 40.749667 -73.977705
nr. Lexington Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-228-4873 Send to Phone

  • Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi, Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Price Range: $$$

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  • Reader Rating:

    7 out of 10


    2 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Hannah Whitaker

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Official Website


Mon-Sat, noon-4:15pm and 5:30pm-10pm; Sun, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.


$55, $85

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Prix-Fixe


  • Beer and Wine Only


In the Shojin, or Japanese vegetarian kaiseki tradition, devised centuries ago by Buddhist monks, vegetables weren’t transformed to mimic meat, but celebrated in all their seasonal glory. And so it is at Kajitsu in the East Village space formerly occupied by Ebisu. Chef Masato Nishihara mastered his ancient craft at Kitcho in Kyoto, where he also studied the affiliated arts of the tea ceremony and flower arranging, and plans to expand his Shojin horizons here by incorporating American produce in his set menus ($50 and $70). They also feature soba, made daily, and fu, the protein-packing building block of Shojin cuisine made from gluten and rice flour. (Kajitsu’s owner is heir to a 250-year-old fu manufacturer that once supplied the imperial court.) The 28-seat restaurant evokes the ceremonial tea rooms its designer has built in Kyoto, with a long counter carved from a single slab of Japanese zelkova, just one of the various woods used for the custom furniture, and antique Japanese dishware that’s historically restored rather than replaced.

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