Early Report: At NYC’s Kokage, a Vegan Temple Diversifies Its Diet

Kajitsu's refined, Buddhist-influenced vegan Japanese cuisine made true believers of Chowhounds from early on. After four years in the East Village, the restaurant moved uptown to Murray Hill earlier this year, and a month ago it set off in a new direction, opening an upscale lunch spot called Kokage with a menu that includes seafood and eggs.

The first 'hound dispatch brings good news: kosmose7 loved the $50 four-course lunch called Ichiju Sansai (pictured)—uni and yuba in thick, soy-based ankake sauce; fried red snapper with vegetables; akadashi miso soup with sakura-fu (wheat gluten); and pickled vegetables accompanied by rice. "Everything was tasty with those wonderfully subtle flavors that I used to experience at Kajitsu," he says, "plus seafood!" There are also à la carte choices for $18 to $25, including donburi (this month: uni and egg over rice with a side dish and miso soup); two noodle dishes with a side of sushi; a sushi course; and ochazuke. Kokage, which is on street level below Kajitsu's second-floor dining room, is open Monday to Saturday from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

As for Kajitsu's old space on Ninth Street, it will become a new Japanese restaurant called Cagen, where longtime Nobu chef Toshio Tomita will offer $85 and $120 tasting dinners.

Kokage [Murray Hill]
125 E. 39th Street (between Park and Lexington avenues), Manhattan
212-228-4873

Discuss: [Kajitsu's spin-off] Kokage is open!

Photo by Chowhound user kosmose7