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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Japonais

111 E. 18th St. (Park Ave.) Send to Phone
212-260-2020
Asian mega-restaurant comes to Union Square.

Cuisine
Open
Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat.
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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Japonais, New York, NY

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Japonais Restaurant Review

: At 10,000 square feet and 291 seats, Japonais isn’t the biggest of the big box Asian restaurants in New York (Buddakan and Morimoto make up 27,000-square-feet of space), but this import from Chicago was designed by Jeffrey Beers and is one of the most elegant. Inside, the sweeping Union Square space playfully engages with classic Asian design from a previous era and gives it a modern language. There’s plenty of black lacquer to go around, but few actual hard surfaces. Even the ceiling is a sea of rippled, undulating wood. The menu is divided between a chef for sushi and a second for the warm dishes, which veer into French-Japanese fusion territory. Sashimi is clean and fresh, with fish that melts in your mouth. Notable among the cold appetizers is the eight samurai: A Murderers Row of eight different types of flavored seafood tartare, including bonito tuna, shrimp and curried scallops. Warm entrées are more lighthearted, especially Le Quack Japonais. A well-balanced cross between Peking duck and moo shu, it’s juicy sliced duck served with mango chutney, hoisin sauce and pancakes to wrap it all together. All of the dishes pair well with the strong saké list, and sharing is encouraged. Main dishes are enough to feed two diners, although all those small plates can create a big bill in a hurry. It’s a tiny flaw in what is otherwise a friendly, unpretentious Asian restaurant.
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