The fashionable Yabani, another of the Bernard Khoury designed restaurants in Beirut, can be found parallel to Monnot Street and close to its bars and clubs, but you won’t readily see it because it’s underground. A circular Japanese restaurant, Yabani is designed around its massive central lift shaft and has skylights that look up to street level above, making it surprisingly bright.
We liked the booths located in a crescent around the central sushi bar that wraps around the lift shaft, but it does get loud as sound from surrounding speakers travels easily around the space. The food is straightforward sushi and sashimi, mixed in with some more inventive creations and good ceviche dishes, all served with great attention to detail by Philippino staff dressed in traditional Japanese outfits. Reservations essential.