EN Japanese Brasserie is a fun West Village spot with excellent, truly interesting Japanese cuisine and a wide variety of sake and shochu.
Highlights (of which there are many) include their freshly scooped tofu, which is made hourly, lobster with uni miso butter, a surprising dish of steamed root vegetables with a sweet and savory dipping sauce, and an eel rice casserole cooked for a half hour over a burner on your table. In addition to the large a la carte menu, there are three kaiseki tasting menus, of which one is entirely vegan (and excellent).
One of the most impressive dishes is seemingly one of the simplest; a modest bowl of fried rice filled with slivers of fresh garlic and topped with a generous pile of thinly sliced shiso. Shiso is Japan’s answer to basil; it has a fantastic herbaceous flavor that is hard to describe really has no substitute. The fresh garlic supplies any other seasoning it might need, and there is just the slightest hint of seaweed. It’s some of the best fried rice I’ve had anywhere.
EN Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street
Tel. (212) 647-9196