Vegetarian Japanese At Mori

I probably walked past Mori, in Park Slope, a few times without taking any notice of it. There are lots of nearly identical sushi restaurants in the neighborhood, and I must have just lumped Mori into that category. But then my friends Matt and Phaedra started talking about how good the food was, and how great their selection of Japanese beer was. And then for a birthday dinner we all got together there, and I was amazed by what I found. Mori is no copycat restaurant, it’s serving modern, seasonal Japanese food (with a French twist).

The starters are packed with vegetarian and vegan options, and you could put together a meal with those alone. I started with Kyo-yasai Carrots “a la Vichy” – a red variety of carrot, glazed with a maple-miso sauce. The carrots were sweet and savory, cooked until just soft and topped with candied walnuts. I also tasted some great shishito peppers, and strips of excellent tempura sweet potato.

There’s only one vegetarian main dish, a Japanese-style risotto topped with roasted maitake mushrooms and cured egg yolk (this can be omitted upon request). The rice was creamy and flavorful on its own, but it really came alive with the provided toppings: puffed rice crackers for crunch, a yuzu-soy sauce for some acid, and some chives for freshness. It’s too bad I didn’t take notice of Mori sooner. I can’t imagine all of the good food I missed out on.

Mori — 351 5th Ave

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