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Kajitsu
Kajitsu

Kajitsu Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.kajitsunyc.com
  • Email: info@kajitsunyc.com
  • Phone: (212) 228-4873
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm (last order)
    (Closed on Mondays)

    Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:45am - 1:45pm (last order)
    (Closed on Sundays, Mondays & First day of the month)
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Vegetarian / Vegan
  • Executive Chef: Ryota Ueshima
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Counter Seating, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Please call the restaurant for a large party (up to 7 people)

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between Park and Lexington on 39th Street
  • Public Transit: Take the 4,5 or 6 trains to Grand central and walk 3 blocks south on lexington to 39th street.
  • Parking: No
A word from Kajitsu
Kajitsu serves Shojin cuisine--vegan Kaiseki, a traditional Japanese culinary practice that is the very origin of Japanese cuisine. All of our dishes are prepared from fresh, 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
Diner Reviews
  • "this restaurant serves chef and staff but not clients. Every move you made, whether it was to place your chop sticks on the left side of tray would be interrupted by a server who would place chop sticks on other side. The servers reached over you and were constantly hovering over you. It was really annoying. The chef wouldn't allow us to order from different price fixed menus...we were told that we all had to order the same thing. Each menu offered same items but more expensive one had additional items. 2 wanted more expensive option but they couldn't have it unless all 6 ordered the same so we opted for the smaller option. We weren't told this in advance of booking.Food was very overpriced for what it was & not that tasty.Horrible!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Did not expect vegan food to be so tasty and so much flavor..All of the ingredients were fresh and were purchased locally...the flavors of each ingredient were all in harmony when all put together...Service was excellent and attention to detail was impecable..."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Subtle, delicious, exciting, innovative…these just don't really do this experience justice. There was a set menu ($120) for the 5yr anniversary of the restaurant and every course brought a new experience and taste. It really did rate as one of the best dining experiences of my life so far! The sake pairing was delicious and the tea was beautiful."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Genuinely extraordinary in every aspect enriching the NYC restaurant repertoire by highest quality of dining. Although the philosophy and art of Kajitsu is a true Japanese tradition, it is certainly revolutionary for New Yorkers. The Kajitsu experience becomes more intense if one educates self about the restaurants vision and Zen, which simply requires visiting their website. Without describing all details of their expertise, it guarantees nothing but satisfaction. Kajitsu will be highly appreciated by any sophisticated restaurant critique."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We did the 2+ hour long tasting menu. One of the three best meals of my life. Completely warranted that this restaurant won a Michelin star. Totally transporting experience, felt like I was back in Japan. My wife has never been to Japan, but she felt transported as well. We sat chef side and watched all the preparations, which was really interesting. The service was some of the best we've ever had a restaurant."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "I organized a dinner for a group of co-workers here based on a recommendation received from a Japanese friend of mine. We all went with the Hana menu option. Only one member of our group was a vegetarian but the entire group loved the meal. Each course was delicious, beautifully presented and creative. The sake list is also excellent. All in all, highly recommended. It is rather expensive but definitely worth the cost."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Very good food. Waitresses are informative, friendly and warming."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "No wonder this place has a Michelin star (or two?). You are treated like royalty, but the staff is not pretentious, they are very friendly and smiley. The food is very carefully crafted piece by little piece and beautifully arranged in perfect plates. The menu was spring-themed. Delicious and amazing overall."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "The food was delicious and very well prepared with authentic subtle Japanese flavors. They have an excellent selection of fine cold sake. The staff was very attentive and helped to accommodate our schedule, as we ordered one of the longer prix fixe menus but we had only two hours before we had to leave to catch a show. I would highly recommend Kajitsu and I can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Excellent food, great service! The 8-course fills you up well"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "a rare and sensuous experience, but only for those that are into this specific type of cuisine. for all the senses, but if there is a meat lover they might not be thrilled....really transports one to Mt. Koya. thank you to all for the love and knowledge you put into this experience."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "Expensive but will still cost way less than airfare to Kyoto. The quality of our meal at Kajitsu was on par with Shojin Ryori we experienced in Kyoto. Though, Kyoto has a slight edge due to the lack of sand gardens, koi ponds, and wooden temples in Manhattan. We tried both menus, the 4 course Kaze and the extended Hana, which is an excellent strategy if you would like to share dishes unique to each menu. The sake pairing, ordered for the Hana, was unusual and thoughtful - highly recommended. Flavors are refined and understated, the essence of each ingredient is presented with restraint and elegance. This is not a dining experience for worshippers of wasabi, teriyaki sauce, or fusion ramen. You will find this cuisine boring and bland."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "Living in Japan for the past 40 years I am happy at long last to find a genuine Japanese restaurant, not one of those stupid copy cats with "california rolls" and other ketchup filled dishes… Really food ingredients, well cooked, presented in the Japanese delicate way, quiet - I hate those restaurants where you have to shout to be heard (perhaps). In a word, one of the very few civilized places in the Big Apple."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "My diet is termed "intentional"...that is, I eat fairly plant based and I think about where my food has come from and how it has been prepared. Kajitsu is conscious dining with a level of intention rarely found outside of a monastery - but there is nothing monastic about the food. The flavours are layered so that each ingredient can still be recognized and appreciated but flows perfectly with the dish. Presentation is outstanding and service is exceptional...attentive when necessary and invisible otherwise. We had a lovely conversation with the sous chef as we were dining at the bar. Come with your tastebuds awake and ready and you will be satisfied."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "The place is very cute in a minimalist way. Went on a date expecting great, healthy food. Unfortunately all 8 courses were rather bland and not particularly interesting. Presentation was nice but the food was run of the mill Japanese which you can get elsewhere for 10% of the price."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Every interaction with staff, every dish and glass, each serving and saki pairing was a delight. Not heavy, nor prissy, the food was delicious, fun and filling. Highly recommend for a food-centric dining experience. Lovely selection of saki and the seasonal emphasis in choice of ingredients was appreciated."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "Fabulously complex flavors like no other restaurant in NYC. Everything that you touch is immaculately crafted and appropriate to the dish."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "This was the most disappointing experience I have had in New York. I enjoyed Kajitsu when it was a two star downtown and I had fabulous meals there. This is the first time in their new mid-town location with a new chef. The food was awful! It was almost unrecognizable as Japanese food, poorly presented and tasteless. For example the mushrooms were roughly chopped and presented in a ponzo sauce that was burnt and clotted. The steamed rice in banana leaves had just been placed already cooked in the leaves. My wife and I complained immediately but received no adequate response. In fact we left half way through the meal, as it was inedible. However, even with these complaints we were charged fully their high price. Avoid at all costs."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "This was our first time at Kajitsu since it moved out of the East Village. Everything was as perfect as we remembered. The food was just incredible -- the textures and flavors were out of this world. We spent almost four hours in a food meditation, savoring each bite's uniqueness. We save this spot for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries), and will continue going. We're excited to try to the noodles downstairs and their new non-Shojin restaurant too."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "We got the 8 course tasting menu. Most of it was ok, but very few things were truly awe-inspiring. Some are also a bit 1. uninspired like the deep fried tofu balls or 2. horrible tasting, like for example the green soup in the end that tasted like soil."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "I must admit being a meat lover I was a bit nervous about going to a high class all vegetarian restaurant but I was pleasantly surprised! Most of the food items I had either never heard of before, or never seen prepared , or tasted this way. Everything is put together in a precision that only the Japanese seem to have mastered. Every course was delicious and at the end we were all truly satisfied! Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Every single item in each course was prepared with precision."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "The exceptional quality and wonderful taste sensations in every morsel and the artistic presentation of every course, along with the attentive and professional service, made our eight course meal sublime. The fact that it was a traditional Japanese healthy vegan feast was the proverbial "icing on the cake". From start to finish a truly memorable and outstanding dining experience. Not an inexpensive meal, (and one with the addition of fantastic sake pairings- an expensive meal) it was well worth it!"
    Dined on 1/8/2014
  • "We've been to Kajitsu 4 times now, and this was perhaps our best meal there (which is saying a lot)."
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "Kajitsu is the most innovative and yet most traditional Japanese restaurant I've found in the city. This was my second time dining there, and everything on the menu was different from the last time and just as good. The food feels clean and healthy for your body, and I felt satisfied (not regretful) after eating eight courses. The pacing is timed to perfection. I even love how the restaurant smells - just like Kyoto. I plan to return throughout the year so I can experience all the seasonal food. I especially recommend Kajitsu for their shougatsu food - the osechi box was phenomenal."
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "Being a vegan in NYC is a dream. There are many fine dining options in the city and f you are looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion you must try Kaijitsu. Go hungry as the Prix Fix is a lot of food."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "This restaurant is beautiful and tasty and special and unique, and I almost missed out! Open Table indicates that reservations are full when in fact they are not, so if you want to come here, CALL. I couldn't get a reservation for 7pm, so I came early at 6 to a empty restaurant that was still empty by 7pm. Makes no sense. This place is so wonderful that it's a shame they're losing any customers over a computer glitch."
    Dined on 12/17/2013
  • "Expensive, good, authentic Japanese food in small portions. We got many dishes and went home hungry. Very cold in the winter if sitting anywhere near the front door. They need a double door to keep the cold air out. We were seated by the bar which was very noisy. Service was slow from inattentive waitress with zero knowledge."
    Dined on 8/24/2013
  • "Had the 10 course tasting menu... Two out of ten courses were good, "Blanket of Snow" and the Mushroom Tempura. Most other courses were mediocre at best, and unappetizing at worst. The soba noodles in slimy foam were particularly gross. The potatoes au gratin tasted like it could have been served on an airplane. The atmosphere was bland and cafeteria-like, not particularly comfortable. The wait staff was friendly, but so overly attentive, it was unpleasant."
    Dined on 12/10/2013
  • "We really enjoyed our meal at Kajitsu, but it's kind of a strange experience. The food is vegan, as I'm sure you know, but was actually fairly rich and, at times, kind of heavy. I found the longer tasting menu to be too much food. And while the food was often very tasty, I found myself often thinking how interesting a dish was, rather than how fantastic it was. So all in all, quite good, but I don't see myself running back."
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "Disclaimer: I am not an expert on Japanese cuisines. This reflects my personal taste only. We went to Kajitsu for the novelty of it (Michelin-starred, vegetarian) and left feeling that we had probably experienced something special but not completely satisfying. The decor was plain, probably in keeping with the Buddhist spirit, felt more '70s America than traditional Japanese. The waitress was nice and knowledgeable. The food was elegantly presented, though not more so than in any other decent Japanese restaurant. Two or three dishes (out of nine) were really good and special; the rest were good but nothing out of ordinary. Overall, they use lots of mushrooms and pickled veggies but hardly any interesting use of other ingredients."
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "We had a fantastic meal at Kajitsu. It's expensive but it felt worth it both in term of the food, the service and the overall feeling. Every detail is done beautifully but it didn't feel fussy. And the fact that it is vegetarian made it even more wonderful."
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "Kajitzu was all that reviews made it out to be. A simple elegant room, beautiful attentive service, exquisite unique food beautifully presented on dishes made exclusively for the restaurant in Japan. It is costly, but well worth it."
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "There isn't stuff on the walls at Kajitsu, and no background music playing. The walls are neutral, and table settings simple. If someone brings in a shopping bag it is politely placed inside a neutral colored bag, presumably to hide the store's name and brand. My parter and I chose the eight course dinner, and I did a three-sake sampler. Each course was beautiful, and even as a long-time vegetarian, I ate things I'd never tried before. If you want loud or trendy, this isn't the spot. We loved having time and quiet to savor each dish, and each other's company. Amazing dining experience like nowhere else!"
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "I found this restaurant in the Michelin guide so had high expectations, and it didn't disappoint. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, even explaining the history and philosophy behind the cuisine. We enjoyed an 8 course menu with sake matches. Each course was beautifully presented, explained by the server, and wonderfully diverse in flavor and texture. The sake were equally as destinct and well matched and oh so good. Overall it was a dining experience I'll remember and my partner, being vegetarian, is over the moon. Michelin quality restaurant and all dishes vegetarian? Who would have thought..."
    Dined on 11/17/2013
  • "Kajitsu was one of my favorite restaurants. Located on the lower east side and seating not more than 20 people,the food was incredible as was the service. However, my most recent visit to their new location was very disappointing. It has moved to a much larger location midtown and one must go upstairs to be seated in a large,bare square room. The Hana tasting with sake pairing, now costs more than $150, while it used to be slightly over $100. Such a drastic increase is not justified by their new location only. As well, the empty table next to us, was being used to store food and other drinks, which was not very appealing. The food was good,but not as impressive as before,and definitely not worth their new prices. I am truly disappointed."
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "The small menu with sake pairing is a very nice way to discover the type of cuisine that they propose. It's already a lot of food and very different kinds of dishes. I was just a bit disappointed by the quality of the vegetables, which were not that tasty, but maybe it comes from the fact that we are in the US."
    Dined on 11/10/2013
  • "Kajitsu was an exquisite experience: the plain, stark room, wood tables, dark wood trays that the food was placed on, delicate water glasses and sake glasses, presentation of the food, and service. A number of the items in the vegetarian 8-course meal we had were new to us. They were all tasty and enjoyable, except for two items that I could have done without. The sake special (the less expensive one of the two specials offered) was the best sake I've ever had."
    Dined on 11/7/2013
  • "Superbly prepared food and extremely attentive service."
    Dined on 11/5/2013
  • "Lovely place. Simple decor to say the least. Food very creative. Sake pairing highly suggested. But be prepared to drop a lot of cash. The 8-course Hana with sake pairing and tip came to about $375 for two. This now ranks as the most expensive dinner I have ever had. Would I do it again? No, but no regrets having one nice experience. Reservations were easy, to make, by the way."
    Dined on 11/1/2013