310 South 4th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211
Cuisine: “Inauthentic Jewish and Japanese food”
Our Rating: ★★★★ Great
Cards: All major
Price: entrees $16-$22
Hours: Closed Monday, Tues and Wed 6pm – 10pm, Thurs – Sat 6pm – 11pm, Sunday 6pm – 10pm
Booze: Full bar
Subway: L Train to Bedford or Lorimer, G to Broadway
The Observer says:
“Everything on the menu that works—which isn’t everything on the menu—occupies that radiant third space, the overlap of the Star of David and the rising sun…Each success is a marriage between Japanese and Jewish cuisine, a negotiation between the minimalist approach of kaiseki, the scraping away of extraneous matter to expose the essence of an ingredient, and the Jewish approach to food, characterized by a scrappy hustling of byproducts, rootlessness and schmaltz. The best example is Shalom Japan’s matzo ball ramen ($16). Will I ever again drink matzo ball soup or slurp ramen without thinking of it? No, I won’t.”
Shalom Japan is the new Williamsburg restaurant from chefs Aaron Israel (Torrisi, Mile End) and Sawako Okochi (Annisa, The Good Fork). As the name implies, the menu has strong Japanese and Jewish influences, although it looks like Israel and Okochi are not going for novelty food here. On their website, the chefs describe the menu as “a playful and seasonal approach to New American cuisine, highlighting the chefs’ connections to their respective Jewish and Japanese roots.” The menu changes daily, but recently it included things like chickpea tofu with eggplant, tuna tataki with black tahini, lamb ribs with panko and caraway, pastrami-stuffed chicken, and chilled udon with pork and kale. Shareable plates are priced from $8 to $22, and the beverage list includes beer, wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks.
Time Out says:
Inspired by the cross-cultural fare they prepare at home, husband-and-wife team Aaron Israel (Torrisi Italian Specialties, Mile End Deli) and Sawako Okochi (Annisa, the Good Fork) turn out Japanese-Jewish dishes. At Shalom Japan, dine on plates like sake kasu challah with sake-raisin butter; chickpea tofu topped with sesame vinaigrette; and pastrami-and-cabbage-stuffed chicken. Drinks also span cultures, with beverage director Micaela Grossman (Torrisi Italian Specialties, Seersucker) curating sakes as well as Eastern European wines. Bamboo-topped tables salute the East, while a train station painting by Israel—a former art student—adds an urban spark.