EN Japanese BrasserieEating on someone else’s dime has its privileges. It frees you up from the guilt associated with blowing a paycheck on uncooked sea creatures and booze. Combine that with knowing somebody who knows somebody at the joint in question makes that experience twice as awesome. Not only do you get the grub that you order (and the piles that everyone orders “for the table”); you get all this stuff you didn’t even think to order. Along with that comes the discounted private room, the doting service and the quick turn-around on the aforementioned alcoholic delights. Even if this place didn’t have the downtown location and trendy two-letter name, it would be cool. Housed in what must have been like a giraffe showroom or redwood plant store, EN has impossibly high ceilings and a great open feel that lends itself to the Japanese brasserie sharing thing. Granted, we were like fancy superstars and took over the two traditional Japanese private rooms in the back. It’s just as well, as we would have disturbed the other patrons with our drunken gobbling noises. The two things that stood out amongst the Roman orgy of delicacies were the fried chicken appetizer and my miso black cod in entree. Perhaps the food and experience were colored by the group frenzy (much in the way my opening night viewing of Phantom Menace was), and I will not witness the same epiphany on a second visit, but I gotta believe this place won’t change its spots to such an extent that I’ll want to cleave my texting thumbs from my body for shame. I do still want to blot that awful movie from my memory, though. [MF]