A new Japanese cuisine comes to San Francisco

It happens every year: holiday overindulgence, followed by NewYear's resolutions to eat more sensibly. There's no better place todo just that than Medicine New-Shojin Eat-station, an invitingrestaurant incongruously located at San Francisco's CrockerGalleria. Here, in an airy space full of blond wood, samplebeauti-fully crafted renditions of Japanese temple cuisine sounusual you'll want to stop and think about each dish, which isfitting considering the food's Buddhist origins. "Jade Nuggets,"tempura-fried shiso leaves that you dip in sea salt, taste like thesea. Sesame "Tofu," a savory sesame custard thickened with kudzuroot, is as innovative and delicious a trick as any you'd findturned by a top Bay Area chef. And given how labor-intensive everydish is, prices are surprisingly low.

INFO: Medicine New-Shojin Eat-station ($; 11:30- 8:30Mon-Fri, 11:30-4 Sat; 161 Sutter St., San Francisco; www.medicinerestaurant.com or 415/677-4405)

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