If you don't get to EN Brasserie often enough because of the prices (raises hand), you may be happy to hear they're open for lunch. Lunch sets start at $12 for the Tonkatsu Sando, going up to $32 for the Washugyu Yaki Shabu, with everything from Miso Black Cod and Unadon in between. Not cheap, sure, but a far better deal than their dinner selection—or compared to similar establishments. I've been on a bento box lunch rampage recently, and between EN, Cha-An, and Takashimaya, EN easily offers both the best value and quality.
The Crispy Chicken set ($13) comes with a quartet of lightly battered and fried chicken pieces, gently spiced with coarse ground black pepper. It could have been a touch crispier, but that's a minor complaint. To accompany, hot rice and miso soup.
You also get a side of the house-made soft tofu (fresh every hour)—EN's specialty. It's worth visiting this restaurant just for tofu, if nothing else. Wari-joyu, a blend of fish broth with soy sauce, is gently poured over the tofu, a soft quivering custard. Nothing short of heaven.
To balance out the bento is a clean and crisp salad of mizuna and watercress with ponzu dressing, Japanese pickles, and the daily Chef selection of obanzai. On my particular Monday visit it was mix of Japanese mountain vegetables in spicy soy sauce.
My dining companion had the Tonkatsu Sando ($12), a small but fatty cut sandwiched between Japanese white bread, crusts removed. The sandwich comes with sides of yasai chips, a light Japanese-style potato salad, and the mizuna and watercress salad. A very fair deal for $12 anywhere, much less a high-end Japanese restaurant. I'll definitely be back to give their other lunch specials a whirl—I've got my eye out on the black miso cod and sushi and sashimi sets.
EN Japanese Brasserie
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