Mon-Fri, 11:30am-10:30pm; Sat, 11am-10:30pm; Sun, 11am-10pm
N, R at Prince St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Canal St. to Christopher St., Broadway to West St.
Japanese-based macrobiotic theory believes healthy, wholesome eating is therapeutic. Meat, dairy, and eggs, and even certain vegetables, are prohibited. It's not a versatile cuisine, but all those dark green vegetables, soy, beans, grains, and fish on the menu should leave you feeling fantastic. No matter if you think it's all a bunch of hooey, the Asian-influenced food at Souen stands on its own. A meaty seitan cutlet with a breadcrumb crust is crispy outside, chewy inside, and served with sweet, crimson beet sauce . Yuba, fine tofu-skin rolls, are served in a soup of light tamari and kombu broth with cabbage, carrots, and scallions. Simpler dishes may include salmon or wild black cod broiled or marinated in teriyaki-like sauce, or done Okabe-style, with a thick, sweet sesame paste. The whole grains, beans, steamed greens, and hijiki in the Macrobiotic Life platter are plain on their own, but easily enlivened by sweet carrot ginger dressing. The largely Birkenstock-clad crowd must feel comforted by the soft purple and yellow tone walls, the plants and humidity, and the simple wood tables that promote a zen-like, if slightly grungy, feel.Recommended Dishes
Seitan cutlet, $14; yuba in soup, $6.50; broiled fish with Okabe sauce, $14.75-$22.75