Going down a rabbit hole can be a real headache, but when it leads you to Rabbit House, a small and cozy Japanese speakeasy in LES, you won’t mind getting caught up in a meal of creative Japanese tapas.
The entrance to the restaurant is small and unassuming, so it’s very easy to miss it as you make your way down an obscure stretch of Forsyth St. But once you make your way to the bar, you’ll be rewarded with good music, a jazzy vibe, and, if you’re doing the omakase, a welcome oyster shot handed to you by Yoshiko Sakuma, who was trained in the kitchens of David Bouley and Jewel Bako. Preferably you’ll ask her for some nice, dry sake to pair it with.
It’s an intimate environment, so you might get lost in the conversations of your neighbors, who are most likely couples on dates. But you’ll snap out of it when eating the tuna tartare, and you’ll certainly be all ears for the chopped rabbit. There was one head scratching moment, specifically in reference to the course of a Japanese beef stew, pork and cheese, which seemed a bit random, but then they course-corrected with a lovely sake cod.
What’s nice about Rabbit House is that it’s a touch above a neighborhood establishment, so eating here feels unique, and booking a table is easy, not some impossible wrangle. Planning an evening here with a close friend or a loved one is certainly not a harebrained idea.
76 Forsyth St (between Hester and Grand St)
New York, NY 10002