PARIS — The capital of foie gras is suddenly on a sushi roll with a rash of trendy Japanese eateries.
At Mood, a 10,000-square-foot spot located on the Champs-Elysées designed by Didier Gomez, the signature dishes are the Mood soup with prawns, vermicelli noodles, coconut milk and ginger and a Hong Kong-style lacquered pork served with mango. Various assortments of sushi are also available.
The 290-seat, three-level restaurant is contemporary with an Asian touch — and boasts a lounge where night owls can sip cocktails until 4 a.m.
Over at Wa in the first arrondissement, the sushi bar is the highlight. Sushi and sashimi are made there with eel, sea urchin, sea bass or mackerel and a separate kitchen prepares tasty Franco-Japanese dishes like fried foie gras with sushi rice and teriyaki sauce or duck breast with mango sauce.
Decorator Jean-Marie Noblet chose natural light and sheer curtains for daytime; for evenings, he went for Pop Art lighting.
A few blocks away, a tiny and elegant new Japanese eatery, Kaï, is a magnet for the fashion flock — Nicolas Ghesquière and Pierre Bergé are regulars — as well as Japanese gourmets.
For his 22-seat restaurant, owner Mister Kitada opted for simplicity and refinement. The flavorful, delicate food has a European touch, in the chawanmushi Kaï style with steamed foie gras or the grilled sea bass with sesame sauce.
One area remains French, though: Desserts are by pastry chef extraordinaire Pierre Hermé.