Kajitsu in the East Village
After living in Hell's Kitchen for two years, I made the leap and moved to East Village. Even though moving was a MAJOR pain in the a**, I'm excited to be checking out a new area of Manhattan. My office is in Midtown West, my former apartment was in Hell's Kitchen, and my boyfriend's apartment is in Herald Square, so I spent the majority of my time in midtown. Even though it will take me longer to get to work, I'm looking forward to exploring a new area.
To celebrate (barely) surviving the move to my new hood, my boyfriend took me out to a nice vegan dinner at Kajitsu. A really nice vegan dinner. Michelin star rated in fact. And it was very fitting for the occasion too, because Kajitsu means “fine day” or “day of celebration” in Japanese.
serves shojin cuisine, an ancient Japanese cuisine developed in Zen Buddhist monasteries. Following the Buddhist principle of not taking life, Shojin cuisine does not use meat or fish. Meals are prepared from fresh, in season vegetables, legumes, wild herbs, seeds and grains, chosen at the moment in the season that best reflects their flavor. At Kajitsu we make our delicious and wholesome dishes from high quality ingredients prepared with traditional Japanese culinary techniques.” They serve a four-course meal, “kaze
” and an eight-course meal, “hana” at Kajitsu. Kevin and I both had the hana because we were really hungry and wanted to try as many different things as possible.
Not only was the food unique and delicious, the earthware it was served on was also fitting. Even the wooden table we sat at had soft, smooth grooves, going along with the earth tone theme. As their website states, “In traditional Japanese cuisine the dishware is an integral part of the meal. The dishes used at Kajitsu were specially selected for this space, and include pieces created by master Japanese potters over 200 years ago as well as works by modern ceramic artists.” I agree that the choice in dishware added to the experience. The simplicity of the dishware and decor compliments the presentation of the food.
I had a great experience at Kajitsu. Kevin and I were able to walk in without a wait on a Wednesday night, but reservations are usually recommended. We left feeling really full, but it was a healthy full feeling. Since the food isn't fried and fatty, even if you stuff yourself, you won't have that bloated feeling. Our meal was expensive, but it is quality food.
Yes, I'm paying more to live in
an even tinier apartment, but with all the amazing bars and restaurants nearby I think I'm going to like living in the East Village.
To read the New York Times review of Kajitsu go here.