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Johnson Seafood & Steak

Ratings and reviews, location and contact.

Decent food. Masks not required for anyone anywhere in the building I saw, but I didn’t see if they were wearing them in the kitchen. Would prefer mask requirement because of the pandemic, but I know not requiring them makes my neighbors happy. Kitchen forgot... the sauce for one of our dishes. Non-alcoholic drinks aren’t listed on the menu, just a pet peeve of mine. Just average, good enough for if you need to get out of the house for a meal! More

Never had a bad meal here and the portions are very generous. Their new and improved bar area is great and their selection of beers is amazing.

BOGO day for Haddock on Monday, we lucked in. Driving by going to Maine. Great food! Great staff- Hope (that's our servers name, she is awesome! )

restaurant on johnson

The food was ok but couldn’t believe the prices. $35.00 for a chicken tender scallop combo. 4 tenders and 5 scallops on the plate and they no longer serve the homemade bread. Kiddie cones are over $5.00

Wow are the portions SMALL!!!! Showed up at 11 took about 30 minutes to get a tender pate with only one other party in the place. Now when she showed up to my table I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. 4 very small tenders... for $13 😳😳😳. Very very dry tenders this was crazy. I am so glad I checked this place out before taking my family. Listen to the others When they tell you small Portions. We pay the prices for places but this was not worth it. We are fans of tuckaway and they have the same prices and you get what you actaully pay for. Amazing good portions. Do not come here More

restaurant on johnson

for 18 years my wife and i have been going there ,now i tell my friends not to go ,last night my wife and son and daughter went there, our bill came to over $150 ..all that and the only thing we liked was the... french frys . i and my wife got the fried clam plate,it was nothing like the clam plates we used to get really bad,my son got the surf and turn ,steak which was well done instead of meduim rare,scallops he ate one and said to me ,these are really bad,my daughter got lucky ,her salmon was good ...in any case i paid over $150 for french frys and a slice of salmon,very bad that what used to be a great place has fallen so low,to make things worse i saw the bar and said i'd like a bloody mary ..i thought they cant screw that up,easy to make ,,was i ever wrong,it was that premade stuff you see in super markets ..very nasty ,i took 2 sips and pushed it aside.in any case we now know not to go there ever again . as i under stand it from a friends the place was sold a few years ago and to save money they cut costs by serving bad foods.i just regret throwing my money away like that.im sad the old owners are gone and with them the great food More

So disappointed to see the changes going on here. On the surface it looks great. A brewery, pizza, awesome bar, bakery. But dig further and you see the impact on quality and prices. I’ve been coming here for 12 years and always raved about Johnson’s.... Now the lobster pie has gone from $23.99 to $39.00. This is over the last four years. BUT the big complaint. You no longer get dinner rolls. Are you kidding me? Also the menus still says rolls come with meals...nope. False advertising and yet another example of deteriorating quality and value, once you get past the veneer More

Heard so much about this place. Disappointed at the least. Heard back in the day can't be beat. And heard went down hill. Had to see for myself. Don't waist your time. Bottom line

What a disappointment. My wife and I used to eat at the Northwood Johnsons all the time. But as long time staff started leaving we slowed our visits because quality slipped, cleanliness became an issue, and the flies were ridiculous. So after months of not... going, we decided tonight to try again... Why did we bother? My wife was served he wrong meal altogether, after a good serving of lip service from the waitress, she brought her what she ordered. Then we had to eat separately because they didn't want to take my meal back while they remade hers. The baked potatoes both had huge black rotten looking spots, They had no fresh potatoes to offer in their place. The waitress and hostess were both unapologetic and made no offer to make it right. Sorry to see an iconic place like this deteriorate to mediocrity. More

Maybe we hit a bad night, but most of the food was cold. Although the broiled scallops were excellent. Would definitely never return.

High prices, bad food. Never ever had a good experience here. Nothing under $11-12 to eat. Even sandwiches. The vibe and atmosphere is terrible. Go down the road to Cooper Hill. Don't waste your money here!

If you are passing thru Northwood, NH; This is a must stop! I've been stopping at this place for years on the way to the Seacoast. They have put in a great bar area with an amazing 40+ beers on tap. The food is delicious,... very reasonably priced and the portions are very large! The Ice Cream portions are humongous, so be prepared to take some home or get a few extra spoons! I have heard that the family is going to hopefully expand and perhaps start brewing their own craft beer! I hope this is true! Don't forget to grab some baked good on the way out to take a taste of NH home!! More

nice place to stop with your dog at outside picnic tables Ice cream only Seafood etc much to expensive for quality/ quantity given

We go to Johnson's a few times per year and tonight was delicious. Ordered the the haddock sandwich , sweet potatoes fries & cole slaw and every bite was fresh and delicious. Can't wait to go back again!

We were excited to go to Johnson's to celebrate a 60th birthday. Six adults and one 14 year old ordered meals. I started with the pork chops, but once they came out the first few bites were disappointing, over cooked, dry and tasteless. I asked... the waitress to take them back. I then ordered broiled scallops; three of the other people ordered seafood plates and the other two ordered chicken plates. Everyone who ate the seafood has been sick with stomach issues since. My mother who chose to go there for the fried scallops for her birthday has now been in the hospital for almost three days. Johnson's has been a family favorite of mine for as long as I can remember, I can assure you we will never go back. More

JOHNSON SEAFOOD & STEAK, Northwood - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Johnson's Restaurant

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Good for Kids

Attire Casual


Price Point $ $ - Cheap Eats (Under $10) $$ - Moderate ($11-$25) $$$ - Expensive ($25-$50) $$$$ - Very Pricey (Over $50)

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21 Things to Know Before You Go to Moscow

Jun 06 2018.

A primer on traveling well in Russia’s swaggering capital.

If you had visited in the last days of the Soviet Union, and then returned to live in the mid-90s, as I did, then you could be forgiven a bit of heartbreak for Moscow and the people who lived there. The radiant enthusiasms of perestroika were gone by 1995, murdered by crony capitalism or the disastrous Chechen wars or their shambolic boozehound of a president. Moscow had always been the epitome of Russia, but for a long period, that simply meant that the city was crueler, less equal, more chaotic and dangerous than it had been before.

All of that seems now a distant memory, as if scrubbed clean by one of those maniacal sidewalk-water-Zambonis that pressure-wash the sidewalks of the city center every night. Central Moscow now is repainted and so clean it can feel like Slavic Disneyland. It’s a perfect reflection of Putin himself: pinched, wealthy, disciplined. God help you if you’re an outspoken artist, a disgruntled activist, a run-of-the-mill fall-down drunk or some other kind of undesirable. Moscow has no place for you these days.

I have no nostalgia for the old chaos, though. Life in Moscow is easier these days, especially for visitors. The streets are safe at night. Russians are, despite what you might have heard, enthusiastic hosts. The grand buildings and bejeweled churches gleam everywhere. And thanks to a falling Ruble, prices are reasonable across the board. This is actually, despite all the geopolitical burbling, an excellent time to visit. — Nathan Thornburgh

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Save up for your Visa. The price of a Russian tourist visa keeps creeping up, and the requirements—like needing an official invitation from an approved organization —remind one just a bit of the Soviet days. If you stand in line at a consulate in the U.S., you can get a visa for US$123. If you use a passport service and need a quick turnaround and expedited visa, that can creep up to nearly US$500. It’s absurd. Although, importantly, it’s not nearly as egregious as what many have to go through to visit the U.S. Good news for World Cup ticket-holders: you can enter Russia without a visa if you have a Fan ID , which gets you free public transportation as well.

[Already been to Moscow? Here’s R&K’s guide to Saint Petersburg.]

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Don’t fear the Ruble. Moscow used to be expensive. Like, weird-expensive. Luanda -expensive. But with the Ruble being one of the first currencies to go down the slide that we’ll all be on soon enough, this is actually a great time to visit. A quality hotel in central Moscow can be yours for US$110/night or less (except during the World Cup of football, aka the Beautiful Gouge). Moscow is still a city where people spend to make a statement, so you may find yourself with a heavy dinner bill if you aren’t careful, but even the very highest-end restaurants like White Rabbit don’t cost what a pedestrian upscale meal in New York might.

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Download some Russian. Moscow is far more English-friendly than most places in Russia, but without at least some basic words and some translation firepower, you’ll struggle at times. Download Yandex Translate [ Apple // Android ], which works offline too and translates text from photos. (It has 94 languages so you can use it for future trips, too.) Here are the Russian words you really should know: выход (VY-khod) exit; вход (v-KHOD) entrance, ресторан (resto-RAHN) restaurant, туалет (tua-LYET) toilet, аптека (ap-TYEK-a) pharmacy. And, for good measure, something weird and local like ботва (baht-VA), which means the leaves and stalks of root vegetables or tubers, but is used as slang for nonsense or a trifling.

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Carry your passport. It’s unlikely that you’ll get stopped by police, who mostly seem to stand around waiting for opposition leader Alexei Navalny, but if you do, you’ll definitely want to have your passport on you. Take it with you at all times.

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Don’t drink the water. The water system here is better than in rickety Saint Petersburg, but bottled water is still king.

restaurant on johnson

Go small with cash. Carry a wad of cash, because not everywhere takes credit cards (and almost nowhere takes American Express). And as is true of Russia generally, make sure you get plenty of small bills (100₽ and 500₽ notes) and not just a lean stack of 5,000₽ notes that no one will want to break for you.

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Know your Rings . Russia’s eternally autocratic tendencies have deeply shaped Moscow. Moscow is the heart of Russia, and the Kremlin is the heart of Moscow, so the entire city spins out from the ancient fortress in a series of concentric rings. The first ring—the Boulevard Ring—is actually more of a horseshoe, but the Garden Ring after that and the Third Ring Road trace great looping circles around the capital. The Circle Line of the metro does the same underground slightly further out from the Kremlin than the Garden Ring.

For visitors, this means the sweet spot for accommodations is probably between the Boulevard and Garden Rings. Further in, and hotels get more expensive. Further out, and you’re going to be far from everything—Moscow is a big sprawl. If you are saving money by being a bit further out, just make sure you’ve got easy Metro access. Moscow traffic will break your spirit, no matter what ring you’re on.

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Git your Teremok. Moscow may be the city that went mad for McDonald ’s, but Russian fast-food chain Teremok delivers a real hit of flavor and sense of place for a reasonable price. We will always enjoy the ability to get a buttery blini with roe for under US$10, or even this thing , which they call an E-mail Blini and which comes with mushrooms and melty cheese, like all email should.

restaurant on johnson

Get that Rideshare. Moscow’s informal cab economy in the late Soviet days and throughout the 1990s was strong. Civilians of all kinds would cruise around in their personal cars and look for people flagging them down on the side of the road. For drivers, it was a way to make some much-needed cash. For riders, it was chaotic and sometimes tricky (you had to negotiate your fare and watch your back), but incredibly convenient. As ambivalent as we are about ridesharing around the world, it is a lifeline in Moscow. Thanks to the ubiquity of Uber and Yandex Taxi (which recently acquired Uber’s Russia business), the good old days are back: only now instead of waving a couple fingers toward passing cars, you just tap on your phone and a (licensed and registered) car will whisk you away. Prices are similar in both apps and low by European standards (a 15-minute ride can run $6 or less).

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Go underground. Moscow’s larger avenues and streets don’t have pedestrian crossings, so don’t keep walking, expecting to find one at the next corner. Instead, the city’s networks of underground passageways are how you navigate your way across the street. It can take a while to get your bearings underground and figure out which exit you need: some of the larger hubs are like underground cities and have a dozen or so. These passageways are also centers of commerce: you can buy clothes, groceries, get your watch repaired, etc.

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Make friends over meat pockets. Cheburek is a delightfully greasy oversized crescent of meat-filled pastry that the Tatar people brought to Moscow. Cheburek Friendship (Чебуречная  Дружба) is a somewhat oddly named purveyor of these delights. It’s a brilliantly humble place, with fluorescent lighting and communal sinks for washing your hands before and after. It’s just 40₽ (US$0.64) per cheburek. Also, you’ll want to get some vodka in you as soon as possible in Moscow, and you can definitely do that here: savvy (or just alcoholic) patrons chase each fatty bite with a swig of vodka followed by a gulp of Fanta. Our kind of place.

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Find Ivan and his offal. There are plenty of restaurateurs in Moscow, many of them slick operators with a consistent, glossy portfolio of market-tested dining concepts. Ivan Shishkin isn’t like that. He’s an old friend of Roads & Kingdoms and one of the true iconoclasts in Moscow’s dining scene. His two main restaurants are Delicatessen (a basement speakeasy with a nearly blasphemous food menu) and Youth Cafe (a restored bordello on Trubnaya with big, wild plates to choose from). For the quickest hit of Shishkin’s off-kilter genius, slink down the stairs at Delicatessen and order the fried calf brains in egg yolk sauce with pike roe, or get the caviar pizza or perhaps the horse tartare seared with a branding iron at your table. Eat, drink, and think: this is a man who embraces freedom wherever he can find it.

restaurant on johnson

Head for Food City. You might think that calling Food City (Фуд Сити) , an agriculture depot on the outskirts of Moscow, a “city” would be some kind of hyperbole. It is not. This is an entire cosmos (ok, that is hyperbole) of vendors and farmers and chefs and laborers and laypeople who all have roles to play in feeding a megacity. For any food obsessive, it’s well worth the 40-minute cab ride south to get there and walk the aisles of Moscow’s breadbasket. And because Central Asians dominate the labor of this industry, there is some of Russia’s best plov—inexpensive, fragrant rice steamed with spiced meats—and fresh flatbread served at stalls on the fringes of the market. Think of it as a Tsukijii Market for vegetables and Uzbek rice.

restaurant on johnson

Be caviar savvy. The ancient species of Caspian Sea sturgeon whose beloved roe has fed Tsars and peasants alike is endangered, and it’s illegal in Russia to poach or sell wild, black caviar. (Although this hasn’t stopped people from smuggling and poaching in all kinds of creative ways, including stashing 1,000 pounds of it in a coffin .) Most legal caviar in Russia comes from farmed Siberian sturgeon. You probably can’t know the source of every spoonful caviar you encounter, but if someone tries to sell you wild black caviar, it’s either illegal, not sturgeon, or a lie. If you want to drop some cash on excellent caviar and vodka in a restaurant, chef Ivan Shishkin recommends Beluga . If you want to score some top-end black gold and avoid the restaurant mark-up, try the Rybnaya Manufactura chain of seafood stores, or the admittedly pricier high-end grocers such as Eliseevskiy or the GUM shopping mall’s Gastronome No.1 , where you can taste before you buy. You can also order online at Osetr, and they’ll deliver to you anywhere in the city.

restaurant on johnson

Visit the Hotel Ukraine. Even if you’re not staying there. The hotel is now part of the Radisson chain, but they’ve left the original lettering intact from when it was the grand Hotel Ukraina, commissioned by Joseph Stalin and occupying the second-tallest of his gothic, Soviet power-showcase Seven Sisters skyscrapers. Come for the panoramic view from the very top of the hotel, reachable by separate elevator from the upper bar. Order a Moscow Mule—which was not invented in Moscow , by the way—at the terrace bar if you must, but this is a playground for karaoke-drunk oligarchs and cocktails are pricey. Whatever you do, don’t miss the diorama in the lobby—a 1:75 scale model of Moscow and the Kremlin complex, with a 5-minute audio spiel explaining what’s what. It’s a lot of fun, and a perfect introduction to Moscow’s heart. For an excellent view of the Kremlin, go to the roof restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel .

restaurant on johnson

Join the masses at the Kremlin. As the beating fortress heart of Moscow, and therefore, all of Russia, the Kremlin complex and Red Square has a staggering share of Eurasia’s prime real estate, treasures, and historical artefacts—including Lenin’s Mausoleum (or strictly speaking, Lenin’s embalmed corpse). It will be busy, especially from May to September, so plan your visit in advance and try to go early in the morning. The Kremlin Armoury has a limited number of tickets available each day, for example. Booking tickets through the official Kremlin website will enable you to skip the ticket lines. When planning, avoid Russian public holidays: the museums might be closed, or busy with locals.

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…then look beyond the Kremlin. There are world-class treasures and bling, naturally, but Moscow’s charms include dozens of obscure museums. There are scores of writers’ and poets’ houses (“ The Master and Margarita ” fans should check out the rival Mikhail Bulgakov House and state-run Bulgakov Museum , which are both in his former apartment building but don’t acknowledge each other); a vodka history museum; a museum dedicated to valenki (Russian felt boots); a gallery of working Soviet-era arcade games; an ice sculpture museum; and an opulent bunker built after the first round of nuclear tests. Note that some museums charge different prices for locals and foreigners.


But note that Monday is a day of rest… For Moscow’s museums, at least. Except for the Kremlin museums and St Basil’s Cathedral, it seems that Mondays are a universal day off for the keepers/houses of Moscow’s historic and cultural treasures.

RK-line-19 (1)

Go to GUM for food, not the Chanel. Moscow’s landmark posh department store dates back to the 18th century, and is a barometer of sorts for the city’s consumption power. Its stores were more bare in the Soviet era, but GUM now has a full stable of upmarket chains. The real charm here is its food store, Gastronome No.1, which stocks the international and hyper-local product you need, such as Soviet candy. Also, try a deeply nostalgic Soviet-era ice-cream cone at one of GUM’s kiosks, and, finally, spend 150₽ for a most luxurious restroom experience in the “Historic Toilets.”

restaurant on johnson

Tchotchke tip. If you must buy topless Putin calendars and nesting matryoshka dolls, then we recommend the little souvenir shop staffed by friendly Central Asian women on at Arbat 20, just between Dragon Tattoo and the Irish Pub. They have some schlock, of course, but a lot of high quality at decent prices—look for the matryoshki with traditional motifs of a farmwife holding a black chicken.


The Moscow Metro is your friend. Moscow traffic is some of the worst in Europe, if not the world. The Metro is cheap, fast, reliable, and gorgeous. It’s also not as complicated as it looks to a non-Cyrillic reader. Read our primer. Also, if you’re going traveling all over the city, you should get a refillable Troika card , good for all forms of transport: Metro, trams, buses, and suburban railways. (The card also comes in bracelet and key ring form for maximum convenience.) Now, go sort out your visa.

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A History of Moscow in 13 Dishes

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See if this restaurant delivers to you.

Best sellers, sizzling tandoori, sizzling kori kebab with sauce, dry shis kebab, chef specials, side orders, neem lunch special, beverages and juices, weekly specials (archived), spend $80, get $8, chicken with vegetables curry, vegetable samosa.

Vegetable Samosa

2 pieces. Chicken or beef.


Samosa Chaat

Vegetable samosa stuffed with tamarind, tomato, cucumber, cilantro and yogurt.

Samosa Chaat

Thin bean wafer. Gluten free.

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Chick peas sauteed with sauce.

Chana Bazi with Poori

Banana Pakora

Banana Pakora

Onion with chick peas flour and mixed vegetable fritters, gluten free. Vegan and gluten free.


Cheese Poori

Puffed bread with cheese.

Poori and Shrimp

Puffed bread with shrimps, sauteed in tomato sauce.

Assorted Appetizers

Samosa, papadum, banana pakora, piazi.

Assorted Appetizers

Coconut Poori

Spinach and lentil peas patties. Gluten free.


Kholicha Poori

Chicken liver puffed bread.

Ground beef or ground chicken and spices sausage.

Chicken Wings

Baked or fried.

Chicken Wings

Fish Shami Kebab

Fish Shami Kebab

Chili Paneer

Onion, green pepper and grilled paneer. Spicy.

Chili Paneer

Masala Fries

Crispy fries tossed in Indian spices.

Masala Fries

Mushroom Soup

Vegetable soup.

Savory liquid dish made with a variety of vegetables.

Mulligatawny Soup

Lentil base with lemon and tomato.

Mulligatawny Soup

Chicken Barley Soup

Chicken jalfrazie, beef jalfrazie, lamb jalfrazie, shrimp jalfrazie, scallop jalfrazie, mix du piazi jalfrazie.

Chicken, lamb and beef.

Mix Vegetables Jalfrazie

Vegan and gluten free.

Chicken Madras

Lamb madras, beef madras, mixed madras, mix seafood madras.

Crab, tilapia, scallop and shrimp.

Chicken Saag

Jumbo shrimp saag, fish fillet saag.

Salmon fillet.

Chicken Burger with Fries

Chicken Burger with Fries

Beef Burger with Fries

Vegetable burger with fries, scallop biryani, crab biryani.

Fresh crab meat.

Shrimp Biryani

Lobster biryani.

1/2 lb. of lobster tail meat.

Chicken Biryani

Beef biryani, lamb biryani.

Lamb  Biryani

Goat Biryani

On the bone.

Mixed Biryani

Chicken, lamb, beef and vegetables.

Vegetable Biryani

Mixed seafood biryani.

Shrimp, tilapia, crab and scallop.

Tikka Biryani

Beef, lamb or chicken.

Scallop Curry

Salmon curry, shrimp curry, shrimp with vegetables curry, lobster curry, chicken curry, mixed curry, mixed seafood curry.

Crab, tilapia, shrimp and scallop.

Aloo Bengan

Eggplant, potatoes and mild spices. Vegan and gluten free.

Gobi Aloo Matar

Potatoes, peas and cauliflower. Vegan and gluten free.

Gobi Aloo Matar

Malia Kuftha

Vegetable balls in a creamy herb sauce.

Chicken peas and diced potatoes cooked in popular north Indian style. Vegan and gluten free.

Saag Paneer

Cheese and spinach. Gluten free.

Saag Paneer

Mixed Vegetable Curry

Chick peas and spinach. Vegan and gluten free.

Chana Saag

Chana Masala

Chick peas, yogurt, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and herb. Gluten free.

Potatoes and spinach. Vegan and gluten free.

Mushroom Dansak

Fresh mushroom, spinach and lentils. Vegan and gluten free.

Paneer Makhani

Dhal makhani.

Lentils cooked with tomato, yogurt and sweet spices. Gluten free.

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Tofu cooked with spinach. Vegan and gluten free.

Chana Bhuna

Chick peas cooked with ginger and tomato. Vegan and gluten free.

Matar Paneer

Green peas and Indian cheese.

Scallop Kurma

Scallop Kurma

Shrimp Kurma

Lobster kurma, chicken kurma.

Chicken  Kurma

Mixed Vegetables Kurma

Gluten free.

Mixed Kurma

Mixed seafood kurma, chicken tikka kurma.

All white meat.

Chicken Tandoori

Chicken  Tandoori

Beef Tandoori

Lamb tandoori, shrimp tandoori.

Jumbo shrimps, baked and sauteed.

Shrimp  Tandoori

Mixed Tandoori

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Salmon  Tandoori

Lamb Kori Kebab

Beef kori kebab, chicken kori kebab.

White meat.

Mixed Kori Kebab

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Jumbo shrimps.

Chicken Masala

Sauteed dark meat.

Lamb Masala

Beef masala, chicken tikka masala.

Baked white meat chicken in tomato and yogurt sauce.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Mix Seafood Masala

Vegetable masala, paneer tikka masala.

Onion, green peppers and Indian cheese.

Shrimp Malai

Chicken malai, salmon malai, mixed malai.

Chicken, beef and lamb.

Scallop Malai

Mixed seafood malai.

Shrimp, scallop, tilapia and crab.

Chicken Tikka

Boneless white meat, baked and sauteed with onions, green peppers and tomatoes.

Chicken Dansak

Cooked with curry spices, lentil and spinach.

Bombay Chicken

Cornish hen stuffed with lamb, basmati rice and coconuts.

Butter Chicken

A little sweeter than tikka masala like butter chicken.

Bombay Kholicha

Chicken liver cooked dry with thin sliced of potatoes.

Kema Matar Aloo

Ground beef, peas and potatoes.

Jumbo Shrimp Bhuna

Jumbo shrimps cooked with special herbs.

Jumbo Shrimp Bhuna

Jumbo Shrimp with Spinach and Coconut Cream

Jumbo Shrimp with Spinach and Coconut Cream

Scallop and Jumbo Shrimp Kurma

Yogurt, sweet spices and cashew paste.

Lamb Rogan Josh

Succulent pieces in a garlic cardamum sauce.

Lamb Rogan Josh

Lamb Tikka Masala with Fresh Mint

Lamb Tikka Masala with Fresh Mint

Salmond Tandoori with Aloo Chaat Masala

Grilled salmon with seasoned potato and masala sauce.

Whole wheat or white flour. Cly oven baked.


Garlic Naan

Clay oven baked.

Garlic Naan

Raisin and Nuts Naan

Cheese naan, vegan and gluten free naan, chili cheese garlic naan.

Chili Cheese Garlic Naan

Indian flat bread, whole wheat or white flour.

Onion Paratha

Whole wheat or white flour.

Garlic Paratha

Mint paratha, aloo paratha.

Stuffed with potatoes.

Aloo Paratha

Kema Paratha

Stuffed with ground beef.

Muglai Paratha

Stuffed with eggs, ground meat, tomatoes and green peppers.

2 pieces. Puffed bread.


Sweet Mango Chutney

Hot mango pickle, hot lemon pickle.

8 oz. Cucumber with yogurt.

Sweet and Sour Tamarind Sauce

Hot mix pickles, green sauce, onion chutney, coconut rice.

Basmati rice cooked in coconut milk.

Sauteed Spinach

Eggplant bhartha.

Fire roasted and enhanced with onions and mild spices.

Sauteed Mixed Vegetables

French fries, chicken nuggets.

Choice of meat, seafood or vegetarian. Includes basmati or brown rice, 6 pieces vegetable cocktail samosas, naan and clove Indian ice tea (no substitution). Ask for mild, medium, hot or very hot. Vegetarian chana saag vegan, chana masala, vegetable curry vegan, mushroom saag vegan, malai kufta, kobi aloo motor vegan, chana bhuna vegan and vegetable kurma. Meat chicken or beef masala, makhani, saag, curry or kurma. Seafood salmon tandoori, shrimp kurma, shrimp saag, shrimp masala and shrimp du...

Neem Lunch Special

Rice pudding.

Deep fried cheese ball in sweet syrup.


Cheese ball with sweet rose water and milk sauce.


Mango Ice Cream

Pista kulfi ice cream, keylime pie.

Orange, lemon, kiwi, strawberry and fruit punch.

Canned Soda

1 liter soda, indian iced tea, iced spiced coffee, spiced coffee, masala chai.

Caffeine free.

Mango Juice

Cranberry juice, spring water.

16 oz. bottle.

San Pellegrino Mineral Water

Mango lassi.

Yogurt with mango drink.

Strawberry Lassi

Yogurt with strawberry drink.

Jumpo Shrimp with Pumpkin

Succulent jump shrimp cooked with fresh chopped pumpkin in a savory Indian sauce. Wine pairing: Pinot grigio.

Salmon Tandoori with Mashed Potatoes & Masala Sauce

Grilled Atlantic salmon accompanied with a side of seasoned mash potatoes and masala sauce. Wine pairing: Chardonnay.

Vegetable Tandoori with Roasted Cashew

Fresh assorted vegetables and cashew nuts seasoned and grilled served on sizzler. Wine pairing: Pinot grigio.

Lamb Tikka Masala with Mint

Succulent pieces of lamb cooked with fresh mint in a tomato and cream sauce. Wine pairing: Cabernet sauvignon.

Vegetable Thali (Dine In Only)

Choice of any two vegetarian entrees, naan, papadum, and rice. Wine pairing: White zinfandel.

Neem Indian Cuisine Menu Info

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Reviews for Neem Indian Cuisine

Here's what people are saying:

Mike schiff

Best Indian food

Very fast delivery the medium was very spicy be careful. Very good

The food tasted stale. My wife’s exact words, “mushrooms not cleaned, the rice smells like socks, the soup tastes like stale canned soup”. The fish also tasted stale. Don’t waste time here.


This is my favorite Indian restaurant in all of NYC. I love their food, flavors and portion. They're the best! Great service with takeout and eating in. It's my go to.

My go-to Indian restaurant!

Neem is our go-to Indian restaurant in the neighborhood. They're usually very good, but their samosas need some improvement.

Just warm and 30mins late. Oddly it also needed salt. Busy night but not ideal for a place around the corner.

Wow so much flavor and freshness! Ya si mee.

Did it again, disappointed again. It’s just for the lack of a decent Indian place uptown that I have this place one more try, and it was seriously so awful, now this is REALLY the last time.

Love the food

Food is great, just don’t tell me 20-30 minutes and then take an hour and a quarter.

Over an hour late food was cold

Excellent, flavorful, perfectly prepared and seasoned!

This is amazing Indian food. Stay in and order out. A neighborhood "must have"

This place needs to hire more delivery people especially on busy nights

first time and will be back! 👍🏼

Great food, service and staff.

Best Indian food.

Danielle Del

Food is great.

Absolutely love their lamb korma; it’s already very spicy which is good as so many places make it taste almost watery! Neem is a true gem in an area that doesn’t have the most Indian cuisine

We splurged and tried the mixed seafood kurma and mixed seafood masala—both were incredible! They had the perfect balance of fresh crab, shrimp, tilapia, and scallops were absolutely delicious. Our order arrived almost an hour after the estimated delivery time, and we take this to mean that Neem is thriving and getting lots of business, which is wonderful! However, more accurate estimates of arrival times would make us happier customers.

The food is fantastic. It’ll help you to know that mild means no spice (heat) at all.

It's a great restaurant. Very delicious and consistent

Wonderful local Indian restaurant!

excellent indian food!!

Food is always consistent and delicious. Was late arriving this time but is usually early

The Samosas were disappointing! They are small and have hardly any filling.

Excellent restaurant. One of my favorites

Best Indian food around

Portions could be bigger for the price. A lot of sauce, not enough meat in the stews. Small rice. Tooooo many condiments. No one needs that many chutneys. Otherwise decent flavor and good service

Left at our door as requested. Food was correct, very flavorful, and delicious

Delicious, fresh, quick

It's reliable, quick, and food good

The food was good but was delivered late, and we received someone else's order. I called the restaurant and was told the delivery person was on his way with our order, but it took 30 minutes for him to return with the correct food.

It's a great neighborhood enhancement. Food delicious, friendly service, delivered food prompt and yummy!

Q) Does Neem Indian Cuisine (3549 Johnson Ave) deliver?

Q) does neem indian cuisine (3549 johnson ave) offer contact-free delivery, q) is neem indian cuisine (3549 johnson ave) eligible for seamless+ free delivery, no javascript, no proble... well, actually.

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10 Shocking Takeaways From the New Report on Horses

A lengthy Grubstreet report details allegations that took place during Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson’s tenures at New York’s Mimi, Nashville’s Catbird Seat, and LA’s Horses

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Two cooks wearing chefs coats at Horses with an array of foods being prepped on the counter.

The Horses saga appears to have escalated this week, with an extensive report by Grubstreet providing comprehensive details of the strife between co-chef-owners Will Aghajanian and Liz Johnson. After more than a week of social media speculation and numerous articles based on Johnson and Will’s various court filings, including a divorce filing and multiple restraining order requests , this week’s investigation provides employee accounts of the co-chefs’ tenures at New York City’s Mimi, Nashville’s Catbird Seat, and Hollywood’s Horses.

Among the new revelations are an alleged half-admission from Aghajanian that he was behind the deaths of some of the couples’ cats, alleged statements from Aghajanian expressing empathy with Hitler, multiple accounts that Aghajanian had allegedly made racially derisive comments about Koreans, and allegations that Aghajanian had slept overnight at Horses. The reporting — which covers the ongoing divorce as well as Aghajanian’s lawsuit claiming Johnson is using a smear campaign to wrestle away his stake in the business — suggests that the instances of alleged animal abuse are just part of the problem. Here are the key takeaways from reporter Ezra Marcus’s Grubstreet piece:

Eater reached out to Horses for comment and was referred to this Instagram statement made last week.

Disclosure: Grubstreet is a media property of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media.

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On Nantucket, billionaire Charles Johnson brings fight against clam shack to court

But fellow billionaire businessman charles schwab has come out in favor of the restaurant.

The site of the proposed restaurant on Nantucket.

Despite community support, a clam shack overlooking the harbor on Nantucket that the owners hope to open this summer continues to face opposition from a group of wealthy residents, including billionaire Charles Johnson, who owns a seaside fishing cottage directly beside the proposed restaurant.

Johnson, 90, a former mutual fund executive and the principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, filed a lawsuit on May 12 in Nantucket Superior Court seeking to invalidate licenses the Straight Wharf Fish Market has received from local and state authorities.

Johnson and a cohort of his neighbors on the historic Old North Wharf have spoken out against the 62-seat restaurant publicly since March, saying it will be too noisy and cause too much congestion, but local boards have backed the plan.


Restaurateur Gabriel Frasca, who has partnered with Kevin Burleson on the project, said the lawsuit could delay their expected opening in early summer, prime days for a Nantucket restaurant, and that the deep-pocketed resistance has been draining.

“This is one of a number of headwinds we are fighting our way through. We remain hopeful we can open this season, but it is hard to continue to throw time and money at a project that we may have to stop at any moment,” Frasca, 49, wrote in an e-mail. He said it “seems pretty challenging at this point” to open in July.

Johnson’s lawsuit , the latest development in a clash that has drawn attention far beyond Nantucket, asks the court to overturn the state’s April 11 approval of the restaurant’s liquor license, which the town’s Select Board granted in March . The lawsuit is challenging both the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission’s approval of the license and the local licensing authority’s granting of said license.

His lawyer, Danielle deBenedictis, called the decision to approve the license improper because it “ignored traffic, noise, congestion, and parking problems” and disregarded the effect the restaurant would have “on the abutting residences and neighbors,” among other complaints.

Roughly 25 cabins line Old North Wharf near Nantucket’s ferry landing and bustling downtown, small properties that have become extremely valuable. The Johnson property , which his lawyer says would be just 18 inches from the clam shack, is 1,200 square feet and valued at nearly $6.5 million.

The new Straight Wharf Fish Market under construction on Nantucket. Charles and Ann Johnson‘s house with the white porches is the property to the right of the proposed new restaurant in the middle.

While Johnson has sued to halt the project, his neighbor, billionaire businessman Charles Schwab, has come out in favor of the restaurant, support that came as a pleasant surprise to Frasca and Burleson.

In March, deBenedictis had told the Select Board that in addition to Johnson, she also represented Schwab, 85, and several other wharf residents. But last month, Schwab said in a statement through his attorney that he never opposed the seafood restaurant and was never represented by deBenedictis.

Steven Cohen, an attorney for Schwab and his wife, Helen, on Nantucket matters, said by e-mail that deBenedictis “was never their attorney and was not authorized to make any statements or filings on their behalf.”

He added that the couple and others “were initially concerned when presented with certain information [about the project], but quickly adjusted their position when presented with corrected information, which happened before the public hearings.”

For her part, deBenedictis said she had no comment about the new lawsuit or her previous statement that she was representing the Schwabs. In April, deBenedictis told the Nantucket Current she had “recently been notified” by Johnson that the Schwabs “no longer want to join in our opposition.”

In an April 10 letter to the town and the state alcoholic beverages commission, Cohen wrote “the Schwabs and many neighbors at Old North Wharf were originally concerned when told that the Straight Wharf Fish Market would be nightclub with a bar, dancing, and live music. However, when a review of the permits showed this was not the case, the Schwabs decided to not oppose” the project.

“We all look forward to enjoying a fresh clam roll and cold soft-serve twist cone on the harbor,” he wrote.

Cohen said he also texted Frasca last month to let him know the Schwabs support his business endeavor.

“We all hope that you have a great 2023 season and many to come,” he wrote.

Frasca said the Schwabs have been “incredibly gracious” and that he and Burleson “appreciate the faith that they have shown in us.”

The owners have years of experience in the restaurant industry on the island. Plans call for 14 seats on a dock with a menu that will feature clam rolls, fish sandwiches, lobster rolls, and more modern offerings. They also hope to offer soft-serve ice cream in a nod to a former shop at the location.

Frasca said he was “a little surprised” when he found out about the lawsuit.

“That being said, given that the opposition of the few is continuing on many fronts, we should have assumed that they were likely to appeal this decision,” he said. Frasca said he expects Johnson’s lawsuit won’t be the last legal challenge the restaurant will face, describing the opposition as “NIMBY’ism.”

“Really I think Mr. Johnson just doesn’t want to own property next to a clam shack,” Frasca said. “And though I understand the sentiment, that isn’t a good reason to prohibit a properly zoned business from opening.”

Sarah Alger, a lawyer who represents the Old North Wharf Cooperative, said she believes its members are largely supportive of the lawsuit filed by Johnson.

The group has appealed the restaurant’s building permit “because they didn’t go through the major commercial development special permitting process through the planning board and we feel that they should have,” she said.

A hearing before the zoning board is scheduled for June, she said.

“I know there’s been kind of an effort to make this into kind of a David and Goliath story. I don’t really see that as being all that accurate,” Alger said. “You know, this whole folksy clam shack thing. It isn’t a clam shack. It’s a restaurant.”

Despite the opposition, Frasca and Burleson remain optimistic they will be able to open this summer. They expect to make 80 percent of overall revenue in July and August, Frasca said.

“Obviously, missing even a single day of those sales has an outsized impact on our ability to earn a profit,” Frasca said. “Given that most restaurants operate within a 10 percent profit margin (at best), it’s pretty easy to see what the effect of missing any part of peak season would be.”

Shannon Larson can be reached at sha[email protected] . Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98 .

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  • The Cat Who Could Kill Horses

Chef Liz Johnson accused her husband Will Aghajanian of killing their cat. That’s just one part of the story.

Portrait of Will Aghajanian at Horses before it opened in 2021.

This article was featured in One Great Story , New York ’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly.

Last Halloween, the L.A. restaurant Horses threw a party for its staff. After a while, some of the group piled into Ubers and headed to a bar, still in costume, for a nightcap. Will Aghajanian, the restaurant’s chef and co-founder, came along. And he was saying some unsettling things, according to one person who was there. Elizabeth Johnson, his wife and the restaurant’s other co-founder, had been coming into Horses less frequently, and the staff had gotten the impression that something was going on. Now, Aghajanian seemed to be revealing details to one of his employees who had worked with him on and off at a series of restaurants. “Liz thinks I killed the cat,” he said. “And so what if I did?” Gossip about Aghajanian’s comments spread slowly among the tight-knit staff. A few days later, “I was asked like, ‘Hey, do you know about this cat thing?’” says Krizia Villaflor, a chef at Horses who’d worked with the couple for more than six years at a series of restaurants. “I was like, ‘Oh, wow, he spilled the beans on himself.’”

Will Aghajanian, 31, and Liz Johnson, 32, opened Horses in 2021 in the former Ye Coach & Horses Space with an appealing Yves Klein–blue façade and a carefully maintained Old Hollywood tavern aesthetic, except with impressionistic paintings by Kacper Abolik on the walls. The celebrities came almost immediately, then so reliably that mentions of the restaurant began popping up on DeuxMoi. It soon became next to impossible to get a reservation, considering the celebrities, the people following the celebrities, and the actually excellent reviews. (“I don’t want to be that person who recommends the chicken,” wrote Tejal Rao in the New York Times, “especially not here, at a restaurant you’ll likely wait months or weeks to get into — a bit less, maybe, if you can maintain a healthy working relationship with Resy’s ‘notify’ button.”)

On November 1, Johnson filed for a restraining order against Aghajanian in Los Angeles County Superior Court. She accused Aghajanian of physically and emotionally abusing her for years and described the same cat killing he’d allegedly brought up at the party — in plain, grotesque detail. “I caught Will violently shaking the cat late at night, and he died the next day. Will put the dead cat in the trash, and insisted on keeping it in the house,” she wrote. She asked the court to ban Aghajanian from coming to work or the house they owned together in Los Angeles. “I was devastated that he killed our kitten and it made me incredibly fearful for my safety and the safety of our three dogs.” More disturbingly, she wrote that it wasn’t the first animal he’d abused. In fact, she claimed, the cat was one of “​​up to 14 animals that I know.”

Two months after Johnson filed her petition with the court, Aghajanian filed his own. He wasn’t the one who had abused their animals, he wrote: Johnson was. And Johnson wasn’t the abuse victim: He was. He feared for his life and the life of their current pets. “Liz has abused animals and our pets,” he wrote. “I am terrified that Liz will hurt or kill our pets. In Liz’s DVTRO” — domestic violence temporary restraining order — “she falsely accuses me of doing things she has done, or that she has threatened to do to me and my pets. While we were together, Liz told me that she grew up in a household where her father would catch live squirrels in a cage, and drown them in a trash can full of water — she bragged about this repeatedly.” (A source close to Johnson says this is untrue.)

He included screenshots of texts where she threatened to kill their dog Pancho and another, from 2018, where she wrote, “If I get famous will anyone ever find out about pancskes [ sic ] or the cats” — a reference to the deaths of a series of pet cats the couple adopted over the years. (“No,” he wrote back. “Love you.”)

The L.A. chef community, the New York chef community, a million group chats, and, eventually, Twitter and even DeuxMoi (a cat-killer chef — two cat-killer chefs? — at one of their favorite “must visit” restaurants?!) caught on to the story, and the L.A. Times published the first actual news story on the dual filings on May 17. I’ve spent the past two weeks talking to 22 servers, chefs, maître d’s, and restaurant owners who have worked with the couple over the past decade. Though Johnson’s and Aghajanian’s stories directly conflict, what has emerged is a picture of a disturbing relationship, during which more than one cat inexplicably died.

Aghajanian and Johnson met while working as interns at Noma in Copenhagen. By 2013, they were engaged and decided to move back to New York, where they worked their way through a series of restaurants — Aghajanian a few years at Per Se , Johnson at David Chang’s Má Pêche. In 2015, they took over the kitchen at a tiny French restaurant on Sullivan Street called Mimi . The following year, GQ named it one of the country’s best new restaurants and Johnson, who was the public face of the kitchen, was praised by the New York Times for her “clear and personal vision of French food as a celebration of appetite, an occasion to eat with joy and lust.” (Highlights included a whole duck set ablaze in the dining room and her showstopping lamb, “cooked until the fat melted into the soft pink flesh.”)

At first, says a source close to Mimi, Aghajanian “was very amiable.” But former employees say it didn’t take long before he was blowing up at co-workers over perceived slights. He seemed to be on an especially short fuse with his wife. He “really just verbally abused her,” says Adina Halpern, who worked as a sous-chef at the time. Once, she saw him burn Johnson with a pair of hot tongs. (In his filing, Aghajanian claimed Johnson actually burned him in the kitchen at Mimi: “Liz overcooked the chicken, became enraged at me as we talked about it, and put a metal spatula on the hot oily griddle, then pushed it against my forearm, severely burning it, and leaving a scar,” he wrote, attaching a photo of a scar on his arm. A close friend of his, who started working with him at Per Se, Samuel Burchett, says he saw the scar, too, and that it didn’t look like a cooking burn. “He told me that Liz got super-angry at him over some arbitrary thing,” then took a spoon, held it against a fryer, and burned him intentionally.)

Former Mimi employees say Aghajanian often seemed insulted that he was expected to prepare family meal for the staff, the standard at any buzzy Manhattan restaurant. Typically, family meal is something hearty and comforting that workers can eat before a busy service. Instead, Aghajanian often served disgusting dishes, says Halpern. She remembers a night when Aghajanian was cleaning monkfish liver: “He took all the worms from the monkfish liver and took sheep’s liver and put it through a grinder,” she says, then served that combination brusquely to the group. Another time he offered staff fish carcasses blended with water. Aghajanian denies serving fish worms in a staff meal. He says, “I would use trims of meat and fish because they were working with a tight budget and the staff at Mimi were never happy unless they had perfect cuts of meat.” Still, the staff often found the family meals so inedible that management would buy them pizza instead.

In general, Aghajanian’s approach to animals left some co-workers unsettled. On more than one occasion, he insisted on buying live turtles and butchering them himself. “We were watching him do it, and there was something kind of weird — a lack of empathy,” says one person who worked at the restaurant.

Then there was the situation with the cats. “There was one instance where I remember they came in to work and they were like, ‘We’re gonna get a cat,’” says someone who was working at the restaurant. Shortly after, the couple told people at the restaurant that the kitten had died: They shared that they believed it had eaten some kind of rat poison. Soon after, they adopted another cat. That one died too. So did a third one. There were no clear explanations for those deaths. “It was like they’d get a kitten and then like two weeks later that kitten would die. And then they adopted another kitten two weeks after that. And then that one died. And then after the third cat. We were kind of like, Why are all the cats dying? ” says someone who worked with the couple at the time. “Like, What’s going on? ”

“I remember telling them like, ‘This is getting weird,’” says another person who worked with them at the time. “And like, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t keep trying to get cats.’”

Only a year after starting at Mimi, sources close to the restaurant say, the couple became impossible to continue working with. Aghajanian got into an altercation with a bartender one day; that night, he dumped coffee grounds behind the bar and threw around menus, loose paper, and staplers. Eventually, Aghajanian and Johnson left; the reasons for their departure were kept under wraps by owners Louis Levy and Evan and Daniel Bennett. The two chefs moved to Los Angeles, where Johnson worked at the popular Freedman’s and Aghajanian worked at Vespertine . But soon after, a new opportunity came around: In early 2019, they started jobs at Nashville’s Michelin -starred tasting counter, the Catbird Seat .

At first, things at Catbird seemed to be going well, says David Maihle, a chef who joined the restaurant not long after the couple. A few months in, though, his co-workers noticed a dark edge to Aghajanian. Michael Kline, who worked as a dishwasher at Catbird at the time, says that once, “he came into the dish room. And it was just me and him. And the only words out of his mouth were, ‘I think Hitler had some pretty good ideas.’ And then he walked out.” Multiple people mentioned Aghajanian making racially derisive comments toward Korean people. Once, Villaflor, who went with the couple to Catbird, heard him saying, “Koreans are the dirty versions of Japanese people.” (Aghajanian denies both remarks. “I am Armenian,” he said. “In Armenia, my great-grandfather died in the genocide Hitler based his off of.” As far as his feelings toward Koreans, “I’ve said that I love Japanese food but prefer Korean food when I’m tipsy. It’s spicier.”)

In the kitchen, Aghajanian began to make his underlings uncomfortable with his approach to food-safety protocol. He told his chefs that the only allergies that exist are shellfish and nuts and insisted they ignore other allergies that customers mentioned. Maihle says he’d secretly buy gluten-free flour to make bread for customers with a gluten allergy, even though he’d been asked to use regular flour. Another time, Maihle says, a box of crabs arrived that had been improperly shipped. “The temperature of the box was 80 degrees,” Maihle says. “I was like, ‘Dude, we can’t serve these. They’re all dead. They’re all warm. Like, there’s bacteria on these. We’re just gonna take it off the menu for tonight.’” But Aghajanian insisted that the crabs could be served. When Maihle tried to object again, he says Aghajanian sent him home.

Another time, Aghajanian brought in a case of frozen white rabbit heads. “We’re gonna have a group project,” he told his staff, Maihle says. “‘We’re going to be cutting the ears off of these rabbit heads and stripping away the cartilage. And then we want to hack into their skulls and take their brains out without damaging them.’ After a while, I was like, Okay, I’m done with this. So I broke off from the project. And he said, ‘Okay. I just wanted to see how long everyone would do this for.’”

And again, there was a disappearing cat. In June 2019, according to multiple Catbird employees, Aghajanian and Johnson told colleagues they had adopted a new kitten. This seemed especially odd to Maihle, since Aghajanian had apparently expressed a general distaste for cats. “‘Cats suck,’” he told the chef once. “He was very open about that,” says Villaflor, noting that he expressed the sentiment on multiple occasions over the years. “He just didn’t like cats.”

Within weeks of Aghajanian and Johnson’s adopting the kitten, it was dead. Co-workers heard that they had left the three-week-old kitten alone in a bedroom with one of the couple’s dogs and when they came home it was having trouble breathing. Aghajanian denies that it was left alone — he says that Johnson was in the room and “wanted to introduce this very young kitten to our dog. This encounter apparently scared the kitten so much that it died.” Later at work, when a co-worker expressed sympathy, Aghajanian seemed cold. “It’s fine, cats just die,” he allegedly responded.

Aghajanian often berated his wife at work, according to multiple sources. “I heard Will verbally assault Liz,” says Kline, “calling her a ‘cunt,’ or saying ‘You’re a piece of shit, you’re worthless.’” According to Villaflor, “during service, he would come up to her, whisper things like, ‘This isn’t your restaurant.’ Or, ‘I created this.’ Or, ‘You’re nothing, you can’t cook.’ Or, ‘You’re being a bitch. Everybody hates you.’” Several people say that Johnson would insult Aghajanian and yell at him. This includes his close friend Burchett, who says he never saw any of the behavior others ascribed to Aghajanian — the abuse, the rabbit heads, the racism. “You don’t spend your life working for the greatest chefs in the world quite literally, from René [Redzepi], to [Eric] Ziebold, Eli Kaimeh, Thomas Keller, the list goes on and on and on, and behave in that sort of fashion. It goes against the indoctrination that is instilled in you when you enter into those sorts of temples of gastronomy,” he says.

Eventually, once again, several chefs brought their complaints —  that the couple were often fighting in the kitchen and that Aghajanian was emotionally abusive to Johnson and employees — to the restaurants owners, Benjamin and Max Goldberg. The brothers changed the locks, told the couple to meet them outside the restaurant, had them hand over their kitchen tools, and fired them on the spot. (“The Catbird Seat has zero-tolerance for any misconduct and takes immediate action if violations occur,” a spokesperson for the restaurant’s owners wrote in a statement.)

Portrait of Liz Johnson and Will Aghajanian at Horses in 2021.

In 2021, Johnson and Aghajanian moved to Los Angeles, where they started Horses. The restaurant was an instant hit, capitalizing on the post-COVID desire for restaurants that were approachable and felt like a party. And the relationship between the couple seemed marginally better, according to people who worked with them, compared to the out-in-the-open screaming matches elsewhere. This might have had something to do with the fact that things were going extremely well for them: They were in talks to open both a Chinese restaurant near Horses and a restaurant in New York to be called Froggy’s.

The success also meant an increasing amount of pressure. The couple was trying to open two new restaurants on opposite sides of the country while managing operations at Horses. In April, the New York Times revealed that Thomas Carter, who had left Estela following harassment accusations, would be involved in Froggy’s. Then, on August 25, Eater published a story revealing that the disgraced owner of the Spotted Pig, Ken Friedman, had been a silent partner in the founding of Horses (though they have denied Friedman had any involvement). “There was a little bit of unraveling going on,” Villaflor says.

Then came the series of events that brought everything to a head. In September, a friend gave the couple the kitten Johnson would later say Aghajanian shook to death. Around that time, she began to appear less often in the kitchen — the staff didn’t know why or where she was. Until that Halloween party. Johnson didn’t go, but Aghajanian did. He told that employee that he thought Johnson believed he’d killed their cat — then allegedly elaborated further on the situation. “He explained that he and his wife had a series of cats in New York and Los Angeles that would just randomly die and that he thought his wife suspected him of killing them,” the employee says. “So I asked, ‘Well, what did happen to your cat?’ He said ‘I don’t know. The dogs were fighting with it, and bit it, and it just died.’ So I jokingly said, ‘Well, you killed the cat, right? Like, to put it out of its misery?’ And he said, “Well, like, yeah, I squeezed it until it stopped breathing.’

The next day, the employee saw Aghajanian in the locker room at the restaurant. Once again, she says, he started confiding in her. “He was saying things like, ‘I don’t know when Liz is gonna come back. I don’t know what’s going on. I think she thinks that I killed the cat.’ And I was like, ‘But you did kill the cat.’ And he was like, ‘No, I didn’t.’ I remember turning around and looking at him and saying, ‘You told me yesterday that you killed the cat. Did you forget that? You told me that.’ And he said, ‘Okay, yeah, I killed the cat. So what? She shouldn’t leave me just because I killed the cat.’” The employee recounted this conversation to three co-workers within days. (“I did not squeeze the cat until it stopped breathing, nor did I claim that I had,” says Aghajanian in response to this.)

After Johnson’s restraining order was filed, it became   difficult for Aghajanian to work at the restaurant — they were meant to maintain a ten-foot distance. So she sat the staff down and told them her side of the story without going into too much detail — just that she felt she’d been abused in the relationship. There were tears all around, a source close to Johnson said. Soon after, Aghajanian appeared at Horses. The prep staff were getting ready for dinner, and Aghajanian tried to start cooking as usual. The staff walked out as a show of support for Johnson. “None of the food was prepped, so they couldn’t open in time,” the source said. “Horses had to close for that night.” Stephen Light, the main investor behind Horses, called Aghajanian and told him that if the staff wasn’t going to work with him, he’d need to take a leave.

Aghajanian continued to make unannounced appearances around the restaurant over the next few weeks, sometimes even sleeping in the staff lockers overnight, says Villaflor. “We’re just like, ‘Well, he’s technically still on payroll, so we can’t really call the police.” Once, a staffer found him hiding in a dumpster near the restaurant and snapped a photo.

Since the story leaked out, Aghajanian has focused on making the case that he is not a cat killer and that Johnson manufactured the whole story in an attempt to smear his reputation . He’s hired a publicist, who told me his side of the story. “Their dog bit the cat’s head and was not taken to the vet because the next day its head looked better. Another day or two after that, Liz woke up at 3 a.m. and screeched that she thought the kitten was dead. Will picked it up and checked it and it was alive. They went back to sleep. In the morning, Liz woke Will up and shouted again that she thought the cat was dead. Will picked it up again, cradled it, shook it a little, and said something like, ‘C’mon buddy, are you okay?’ but it was in fact, by then, dead. He put it in the trash because it would attract coyotes if it was put outside, and if it was buried outside, their dogs would smell it and dig it up. It was disposed of once trash-pickup day arrived, a day or two later.” On May 19th, he filed a lawsuit against Johnson alleging breach of fiduciary duty and other charges related to their partnership in Horses — and included texts Johnson sent him days after the cat died. “I’m sad about kitten,” she wrote in one, time-stamped October 12, a week after she alleged that he killed it. “Should have taken him to the vet.” She also suggested getting a new dog.

Johnson sticks by the story she wrote in her filing. It reads: “the kitten would not go near Will after a couple days — Will said he didn’t like him and started calling him ‘Coyote Bait,’ said, ‘We were going to feed him to the coyotes.’ One day, I was in the shower when I heard a very loud yelp and came out to find the kitten with huge lacerations and an abscess on its head. Will claimed the dog attacked him, and I believed Will, but Will forbade me from taking him to the vet. I was suspicious, so I asked Will to stay away from him.” A few days later, she wrote, she came home to find her husband shaking the cat, which died the next day. “I was the victim of psychological and mental abuse, so I believed Will when he denied killing these animals. He would insist I was crazy for questioning him and tell me to keep quiet. I now realize Will was torturing and killing these animals.”  

Neither Johnson nor Aghajanian were willing to talk to me, but both responded through representatives. Aghajanian denies most everything his former colleagues said about him — expressing distaste for cats in the first place and burning, hurting, or verbally abusing Johnson. He emphatically denies serving improperly shipped crabs and ignoring customer allergies and says that while he did have staff prepare rabbit heads (“because he believes in sustainability”), he didn’t do it as an exercise to make staff uncomfortable. And he says he never slept overnight at Horses or hid in a dumpster. Meanwhile, Johnson wasn’t willing to elaborate on what happened to the other 13 animals she claimed in her filing he’d tortured. I was not able to confirm that the couple ever had anything close to 14 pets die over the course of their relationship. In fact, the number of cats that died under the couple’s care remains somewhat of a mystery. According to Aghajanian, “slightly more than two cats died” at Mimi and “a total of two cats that Will and Liz had died within a five-year period, one in 2017 in Nashville, the other in 2022 in Los Angeles.”

Now, Johnson seems to be trying to position herself as the solo face of Horses, though Aghajanian is still technically on the payroll. She texted the restaurant’s press representative to suggest they go “full court press on Liz Johnson” —  including booking an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon ; the host enjoyed Horses when he dined there, she wrote in a text message. “I just need to get myself in front of the public and show that I’m a real, likable, normal person.” In a statement to New York, Johnson’s attorney wrote: “It is and has always been Liz’s  intention to maintain the privacy of this extremely personal situation. Unfortunately, what we are now witnessing publicly play out reflects what she alleges Mr. Aghajanian has done behind closed doors for years: attempt to exercise control over her through shame, humiliation, and confusion.”

Meanwhile, Aghajanian is in Thailand. Recently, according to Burchett, the two were talking on the phone. “And he was sitting there and he said, ‘Oh, look, a stray cat came up and just sat in my lap,’” Burchett recalls. “And we had a chuckle about it. And he’s like, ‘I’m sitting here petting a stray cat while all of this is going on.’”

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Married Couple Behind the L.A. Restaurant Horses Trade Allegations of Violence

The high-profile chefs behind the celebrity magnet and several other restaurants have leveled troubling accusations at each other, including abuse and animal torture.

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A woman and a man, both in the white chef uniforms, pose against a door.

By Julia Moskin

The chefs Liz Johnson and Will Aghajanian, partners in business and marriage, have attracted nationwide attention and a celebrity following for their informal, sophisticated cuisine at the Catbird Seat in Nashville, Mimi in New York City and Horses in Los Angeles.

But that notice has spilled over into notoriety this week as sensational and intensely personal allegations lifted from public documents began to make the rounds on the internet. Ms. Johnson has accused Mr. Aghajanian of assaulting her, visiting prostitutes and torturing a number of pet kittens to death. He has accused her of threatening to kill him and deliberately burning him with kitchen implements.

In November, in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Ms. Johnson requested and was granted a temporary restraining order against her husband, ordering him to stay 10 feet away from her at work and 100 yards away from her and their three dogs at all other times.

In January, Mr. Aghajanian responded with a similar request as part of a divorce filing, saying that Ms. Johnson had verbally and physically abused him for years, both at home and in their restaurants. In that filing, he stated that the couple no longer lived together and asked for sole custody of the dogs. A judge denied his request for a restraining order “for lack of sufficient showing of good cause.”

In the documents, Ms. Johnson said the staff of the restaurant walked out in November, in protest of her husband’s presence in the kitchen; he said she had incited the walkout as part of a calculated plan to remove him from the business.

Since opening in October 2021, Horses has pulled neck-and-neck with Los Angeles celebrity haunts like the Polo Lounge and Jon & Vinny’s, with its vintage vibe and a cool-kids clientele that has included Will Ferrell, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson. It has appeared on multiple Best New Restaurant lists and received rave reviews ; last year, The Times called it “that rare animal in Los Angeles: a hot reservation with serious cooking behind the scenes.” (It later came to light that the disgraced restaurateur Ken Friedman was involved in the restaurant.)

After The Los Angeles Times broke the news of the court dispute on Wednesday, a statement was posted on the restaurant’s Instagram account, stating that Mr. Aghajanian had left the restaurant last November, and that Ms. Johnson was guiding the restaurant “to continuously make Horses what she had always intended it to be — A place of joy and celebration.”

Mr. Aghajanian denied the allegations and in a written statement said, “I have not and have never abused animals, nor my wife.” Ms. Johnson said she stood by her accusations.

The couple met in 2011 as interns at Noma, the influential Copenhagen restaurant that plans to close in 2024 . Since 2015, they have led — and suddenly left — several kitchens, including those at Mimi, the Catbird Seat , and Freedman’s, a modern Jewish deli in Los Angeles, where Ms. Johnson was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2018. (The owners of Mimi and the Catbird Seat did not immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment.)

Last fall, Ms. Johnson announced that she would open a new restaurant in Manhattan, in the West Village space that housed Chumley’s , one of the few Prohibition-era speakeasies to survive into the 21st century until it closed in 2020. The future of that project is unclear, but Thomas Carter, who was a consultant on the opening, said Thursday that he was no longer involved. (Mr. Carter faced numerous allegations of abusive workplace behavior in 2018, as a partner in Estela and other Manhattan restaurants with the chef Ignacio Mattos.)

Mr. Friedman did not respond to a request to confirm his involvement in Horses. He co-owned restaurants in New York City and Los Angeles until the New York State attorney general, Letitia James, found that he had subjected 11 employees at the Spotted Pig in Greenwich Village to sexual harassment, retaliation or discrimination. The restaurant closed in January 2020.

Follow  New York Times Cooking on Instagram ,  Facebook ,  YouTube , TikTok  and  Pinterest .  Get regular updates from New York Times Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice .

An earlier version of this article misstated the number of Spotted Pig employees who were sexually harassed by the principal owner, Ken Friedman, according to the New York State attorney general, Letitia James. Not all 11 employees whom Ms. James cited in her investigation accused Mr. Friedman of sexual harassment; some accused him of retaliation or discrimination.

How we handle corrections

Julia Moskin, a Food reporter since 2004, writes about the restaurant industry, culinary trends and home cooking. She was part of the New York Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on workplace sexual harassment. @ juliamoskin • Facebook


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