Here, we come to Japonais, the Chicago mega-import newly installed on East 18th street. The venue, formerly a bank, churns out food from two kitchens, one a sushi bar and the other a French/Japanese set up. So far, the better food is coming from the sushi bar--such as chef Jun Ichikawa's Kani Nigiri (2 pieces of spicy baked king crab).
Design is by Jeffrey Beers, who has turned in a concept that will, at least for now, secure Japonais' Nobu of Grammercy status. (Although, to be more precise, it's more a Nobu-meets-Matsuri sort of affair.) Owner and partners include Rick Wahlstedtk, Miae Lim, and Gene Kato.
Above is the sushi bar; ahead, The Kalina pulls back to reveal the dining room.