Cagen

Cagen

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.cagenrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 2123588800x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Tuesday - Sunday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from Cagen
Former Nobu Chef Toshio Tomita has opened his own Japanese restaurant in the East Village. Serving Kappo Ryori, or high end cuisine, the tasting menus feature freshly made soba noodles from hand-ground buckwheat, fresh sushi and sashimi, and more!

At Chef Tomita's counter, he only serves Cagen Omakase, a seven-course tasting menu also known as Chef's choice, starting at $120 per person.
**** Please note that counter reservations cannot be booked online, they can only be made by calling (212)358-8800.****
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
Cagen reviews from OpenTable diners
27 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelQuiet
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (21)special occasion (18)neighborhood gem (10)romantic (5)great for outdoor dining (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • True artisan at work
    SBFIVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The sushi here is amazing. The head chef and owner Toshio Tomita truly works hard to provide the best sushi experience. The seaweed is crisp and the rice is prepared in batches so that the rice is at the correct temperature, i.e. slightly warm. Tomita-sensei only selects fish that is in season and the quality is of the highest caliber in the city. All of the fish is sliced as per order and certain fish are sliced in 2-3 thin slices to ensure the proper consistency and bite. All sushi is prepared by Tomita-sensei and you will not have multiple people handling the fish. Tomita-sensei generally prepares his sushi to highlight the freshness and natural sweetness of the fish or shellfish but his homemade chimichurri sauce is very nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    One too many fried food on the omakase menu and not enough sashimi/sushi. Sushi Nakazawa at $25 more is a better bargain.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • small portion/over priced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We had three course omakase...the portion was tiny, and the food combination was not great. Also the service was not very high quality for such a pricy restaurant...disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect Omakase!
    NYwanderer
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    I enjoyed Chef's recommend dinner menu (Omakase) which is a state of arts of Japanese food, consists of 7 dishes from appetizer to desert, $120 per person, available at counter table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing!
    itgirlnycVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The omakase was delicious and features the freshly ingredients. The staff and chef Toshio Tomita explains each dish as they are served.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unbelievable Omakase!
    AsianMamaVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    We had the most amazing dinner at the sushi bar. Each of the seven courses was absolutely delicious and amazing. The blend of flavors that the chef selected were subtle and perfect. The sushi course far surpassed Sushi Nakagawa and Brushstroke with its simplicity, presentation and taste. The best thing about sitting at the sushi bar is that you get to watch Chef Tomita prepare many of the dishes. It was terrific and we'll definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Heavenly
    Penelope
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Welcoming restaurant with a warm wait staff. The food is delicately presented and fabulous. My goal in life is to return and sit at the counter.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, high price
    abc290VIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    I enjoyed my omakase meal at Cagen, but I don't think it's the best meal of its kind that you can get for that price. Some courses were very good, others were just fine. I hope the chef contines to refine the menu because I think Cagen has promise, but, for now, I think the cost of the meal sets a level of expectation that the restaurant doesn't quite meet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 19 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The following 28 reviews are from the Cagen reviews archive.
  • Fantastic fish
    Gigi
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Loved the $120 omakase at the counter. If you are going to go to Cagen, have to go all the way. The dining room itself needs a decorator. Tables are isolated and more appropriate to a cafeteria setting. But the counter is great and all the food preparations are superb, particularly the sashimi, sushi and the soft shell crab tempura. Wine and Sake are a little expensive. A different league than places like 15 East and on balance more interesting than Brushstroke.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sorely disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Owing to the glowing reviews (both from critics and diners) of Cagen so we gave it a try on a Saturday. The experience left a lot to be desired. We were seated promptly in a backroom, where the decor was beyond minimalist - I would call it sterile. Waitstaff was friendly, and heeding to all the reviews we read, we ordered the 7 course $120 omakase. Don't be mistaken - you won't be full when you are done, the portions are small, and though the quality of the fish was good, none of the elements that brought it together would make it worth the price. The chef's signature chimichuri sauce was lacking, the soba was bland, the tempura was a bit greasy, and the service was ridiculously slow. Our meal took 3 hours. Go to Neta or 15 East.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best omakase in NYC
    FanfarloVIP
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We had dinner at the counter, where Chef Tomita masters the japanese art of food. His ingredients, especially the fish were exceptional. Also magic was the grape tomato halve extra tasty. As the rest of the appetizers like the little paper with a twist-tie mini goat cheese and wasabi truffle. Chimichurri at Cagen, served with sashimi is made with jalapeno, shiso, ginger, yuzu... The only downside is the short and expensive wine list (given the quality of the whites) Check if they have BYOB policy or go with beer
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    Excellent restaurant to a potentially historical proportion
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Horrible Restaurant
    DTDiner
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    This restaurant does not have much going for it. The room feels unfinished. The prices are almost exactly twice as much as similar restaurants. The portions are ridiculously small. I had an event after and alloted 90 minute for dinner and we went over that time and we only ordered one thing and one drink. I can't think of a single reason to recommend this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A True Delight
    LaTableSir
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Cagen brings the best of Tokyo to the East Village. The service and setting are wonderful, but the focus is all on the amazing food. We did the full set course and loved the pacing and the variety. The dinner just kept getting better and better. The soba noodles are a highlight, as was the fried crab and flounder with salad, but the sushi pieces that concluded the meal absolutely blew us away. All in all, this was one of the finest meals I've ever had. A lovely experience!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food, great service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    We went on a Sunday evening and had one of the nicest Japanese meals I've ever had. The sushi and sashimi were creative and used a number of unusual, fresh, high-end ingredients. One standout was the soba course, with noodles that the chef had made from seeds right there at the sushi bar. The only odd thing about it was that we were literally the only people in the whole restaurant. Seems so strange for a well-reviewed and excellent place to be so empty. But if you're looking for a quiet restaurant, this is probably the quietest in New York!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    We went to Cagen yesterday and had an exquisite omakase at the bar. We started with some delicious Japanese creations. After some sashimi, tempura, soba and fish we had sushi. Every piece of sushi was a fantastic experience. We spent two hours and half eating the most delicious food. The whole experience is worth a lot. We highly recommend Cagen.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic soba, good fish
    noneVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    The omakase menu ($120) is expensive, but generous and veers away from traditional Japanese food to reflect the chef's training at Nobu. Standout courses were the most amazing soba noodles, made with buckwheat flour that the chef grinds himself on a stone prominently displayed at the sushi bar and served with an amazing bite of mackerel, incredibly succulent broiled halibut, and impeccable sushi, especially the hand rolls. A warm course of crab with mushrooms was under seasoned, but that was the only disappointment. Sashimi and the warm mixed hot d'oeuvres were very good, as one would expect at a quality sushi bar. The restaurant was empty and seemed a bit sad. The chef deserves better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Exceptional Dining Experience
    raeb
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    We had the tasting menu and it was excellent. It was the best Japanese dining experience I have had. The staff and chef/owner attended to our every need without a fuss. It was the type of service where you never know they're there and you want for nothing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Japanese.
    DizonVIP
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    Great food, great service. The kitchen food was perfect, but the sushi and sashimi is where he shines. I wish they offered a sushi omakase menu, but I guess that's now what this place is about.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food is 5 stars all the
    CharlesVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    The food is 5 stars all the way, the highest quality. The frozen sake was amazing and the king crab tempura insanely good. The service was very good. The only issue is the portions. After finishing the $120 Omakase, I was still hungry. I would say the amount of food served is 60-70% of what it should be. I would recommend for the quality, but if really hungry, be prepared to drop $200 per person.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • excellent food, excellent service
    ambivalistVIP
    Dined on 1/22/2014
    Everything was excellent, and some bites were OMG good. I only hit 5 stars when every bite is OMG good. I really like the way the menu is set up with seasonal menu plus add-ons, because you can have a great meal and try the things that most appeal to you without completely stuffing yourself with the entire omakase. The service was terrific. I had one of the best bites of uni of my life. Would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious and special
    DeliciousVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    The food at Cagen was incredibly delicious, if a bit pricey. We had an amazing experience eating the full Cagen Tasting Menu. Very attentive and knowledgable service. The atmosphere was a little cold feeling where we were sitting but it was nice and quiet so we could hear each other talk. This is definitely a special occasion hot spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect
    kwissVIP
    Dined on 12/23/2013
    One of the most sublime meals and the best restaurant experiences in memory. All the intimacy of a small place in Japan, with masterful and subtle creative touches to the classics. Everything done the hard way, down to grinding wasabi and cutting pickled ginger a little at a time as needed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • If you love Japanese food...
    love2eatVIP
    Dined on 12/12/2013
    Creative, delicious, beautiful food. We came back from a trip from Japan seeking a NYC Japanese restaurant that provided the nuance and execution of exceptional Japanese chefs. It does not get much better than Cagen. If your budget permits, go for the tasting menu- it is just plain amazing. For example: The 3 part soba noodle, soup with duck; exceptional sushi; jalepano infused dipping sauce; king crab small lightly fried rolls; dessert of frozen grapefruit, sorbet, with dash of wasabi.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Japanese dining experience
    Silverlakefoodlover
    Dined on 12/9/2013
    Outstanding meal. Carefully prepared, beautifully presented - will be a treat to repeat!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not worth the money
    alexthegreatVIP
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    Nice atmosphere, very good service, but while I appreciate the experience, the food selection is way too small and the portions are tiny even by Japanese measures. My wife called it "molecular kitchen". The grilled fish was literally 1 in. x 1/2 in. x 1/5 in. - it tasted fine, but I could have probably consumed 10x as much fish. The soba noodle soup too - I've had original soba noodles in Nagano, Japan, and the portion even in Japan was several times larger. Also, I wish some food for kids were available - my 8-year-old son left the restaurant hungry, and we had to stop by at Burger King to grab a sandwich on the way to the garage. Overall, for $600 for 5 people they should have served much more food. Not recommended.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Subtle Japanese cuisine at its best
    Food
    Dined on 11/29/2013
    Don't expect the flash and sizzle (food equivalent of sturm und drang?) and odd combinations of Nobu, Morimoto, et alia. Instead, great and elemental purity and integrity of ingredients, technique and presentation and a resonant, harmonious approach to the entire meal. Absolutely the best Japanese restaurant in NYC - all the competition notwithstanding. Besides that, some unusual and delicious types of fish (sourced direct from Japan) not previously encountered, incredible soba noodles made from buckwheat flour hand ground by the chef, and a special nori with a delicious, unique flavor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Transporting
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    One of the best dining experiences ever. Expensive, but save trip to Tokyo and the for restuarants you would have to visit to have sushi, sashimi, soba, and fusion. Will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply incredible
    UWSNativeVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    This small East Village Japanese restaurant is a welcome addition to New York. Sit at the bar an have the seven course tasting menu. It is worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful anniversary dinner
    mrMajesty
    Dined on 11/14/2013
    We passed on sitting at our own table in favor of sitting at the counter. The food was fantastic and watching the chef prepare everything was a real treat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing food
    levicivita
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    Went there for my wife's birthday. In short: the food is divine, the decor looks cheap and simple, service is great, and prices are very high. The bill for 2 was $500, granted we had pretty much everything. Good to check out once on a special occasion, but not a regular hangout.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable
    FoodE
    Dined on 9/26/2013
    Cagen exceeded all of our expectations. We sat at the bar and chose the more extensive omakase. Course after course was a revelation. ToshiO the chef was behind the counter and he explained every dish in detail. Truly a memorable night and can't wait to again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Super high quality food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    Authentic and extremely fres Japanese food. Great experience. Highly recommend sitting at the chef's counter to watch him in action.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new spot
    Eric
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    Located in the old Kajitsu location, Chef Tomita serves an amazing kappo ryori. They only just opened in July, so it's still pretty under the radar. I highly recommend you go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • excellent kaiseki cuisine
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    every bite was delicious and delicate. service was attentive and sweet. highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was good and creative. Cheff
    Obaasan
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    Food was good and creative. Cheff enjoyed himself a loot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.