Since the day it opened six years ago, the M.O. of Shalom Japan has been to bring together on one harmonious plate the comfort-food repertoires of two seemingly discordant cuisines: Ashkenazi Jewish and Japanese. The upshot: quirky but elegant dishes like matzoh-ball ramen, mochi blintzes, and okonomiyaki topped with corned lamb tongue and sauerkraut. Still, one might say that no Jewish-Japanese fusion joint is ever complete without a take on the pastrami sandwich, and now SJ’s married co-chefs, Aaron Israel and Sawako Okochi, have filled that gap. Inspired by a smoker their friend Patti Jackson gave them after she closed her restaurant Delaware and Hudson, the couple got to work and came up with the Wagyu Pastrami Sando — a minimalist mouthwaterer of hand-carved brisket on Japanese-style milk bread made with caraway seeds in the dough. The result is even better than it sounds: like Katz’s meets (a Tokyo) 7-Eleven, with a dill pickle on the side.
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On the menu at Shalom Japan, 310 S. 4th St., at Rodney St., Williamsburg; 718-388-4012; available Tuesday to Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and at brunch; $16
*This article appears in the July 22, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!