Kabocha Japanese Brasserie

Turning Japanese

Eating Directly from an Aquarium

0edc45de2ecd05cf7316e0c89a1a8671cb5816b87 PhotosKabocha Japanese Brasserie
Forget everything you know about shellfish towers.

Well, not everything. Remember the good things. The fresh lobster. The briny oysters. The scallops, the crab, the prawns. The way everyone looks at you when yours arrives.

Just forget the “tower” part, we guess. Now replace it with an aquarium. And add “edible coral.”

You’re now ready for Kabocha Japanese Brasserie, an innovative house of Japanese-inspired cuisine from the mind of Shin Thompson, slated to open as early as this week.

Thompson, whom you remember from Bonsoiree, figured it was time to shake up your Japanese standbys. You didn’t need another dragon roll. What you needed: steak with Japanese barbecue sauce, topped with ribbons of potatoes and served with ear-smoke-inducing Death Mustard. So he’s provided all of that.

The bar is big enough for popping in after work to knock back a Japanese dark porter. But the dining room is serious enough for back-slapping business dinners over thick pork chops, precisely tweezered hamachi and the aforementioned Shellfish Aquarium, a giant fish tank of seafood.

Really, though, this place is at its best when you’re on a date. It’s sexy, the booths are intimate, and if you want to just relax and let the chef send over 10 courses of whatever he feels like, there’s a private two-person kaiseki room.

So it’s no good if you’re on a three-person date.

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