15 east (very mini review)
took a chance on 15 east last night, the new sushi restaurant in the old tocqueville space, and i'm still undecided on whether i'll return.
first the positives: the room is gorgeous. the sushi bar is in its own stark white room and the tables are in a room painted dark gray. this makes a very cool contrast when you walk in. the tables are solid wood, but maybe a little too big. for food, the sushi itself was delicious, rice nicely vinegared. they grate fresh wasabi for you at your table (a la the guacamole at rosa mexicano or something) and they pour their own soy sauce for you whenever you need it refilled. the chu toro was unbelievably buttery and the yellow clam was spectacular. oh, the hitarano (?) nest ginger beer was amazing.
now the negatives: first, this place is wildly expensive, borderline overpriced. $12 for miso soup? come on! i've never seen that before. the sushi/sashimi omakase which comes with maybe 8-10 pieces of sashimi, a miso soup, and 10 pieces or so of sushi is $75. i shared this with my fiance. we also had 3 additional sushi pieces. pieces will run anywhere between $5 and $12 or so. the real problem is the selection. there are only about 4 or so appetizers, no edamame or anything to snack on while you wait, and you will wait. we sat for about 20 minutes before anyone came over and then another 30 or so before our sashimi arrived. needless to say, service needs improving.
for two people, eating maybe 20 or so pieces of sushi and sashimi, two miso soups (included), 2 rolls (chu toro and yellowtail - note there are no rolls listed on the menu but they will make them for you), a beer and a tea, it came to about $75 pp without tax or tip, which would mean that 3 pieces of sushi, two rolls and a beer cost $75. that's a little ridiculous. i've eaten a lot better for a lot less at yasuda, which i would go to before returning here again. if i do return, it will be to sit at the sushi bar, which has 12 seats (6 of which are left unreserved) and looked very cool.
I went there last night, and it was very delicious! I am Japanese, and of course I have eaten so much Japanese food, and I think this place is one of my favorite Sushi places including yasuda.
Price is expensive, and we ended up paying 400 for 2 people... I wish it will be much affordable, so that I could go every week..
You mention Yasuda so I note that you wouldn't expect rolls or edamame or that sort of thing there either. The fact that 15 East has a more Edo-oriented agenda is appealing to me, although I agree that Yasuda is surprisingly inexpensive, and it would take a very strong argument to persuade me to go somewhere else in New York. My one visit to Kurumasushi cost me $88 for 8 pieces of sashimi (two of which I didn't order but ate them politely when they appeared as what I thought must be a generous gift) and a tea.
i've actually had spectacular rolls at yasuda (and there is a whole section of the sushi menu dedicated to them). i didnt necessarily need edamame, but i could have used something cooked as appetizer. i think 3 out of the 4 appetizers were raw squid-related (or the $12 miso soup). as for the bill, the total was $150 without tip. $75 was the omakase. the only additional items we ordered were 1 piece chu toro, 1 piece hamachi, 1 piece ebi, 1 chu toro roll and 1 yellowtail, and a tea and a beer. that means for 3 pieces, 2 rolls, 1 tea and one beer, it came to $75. i didnt understand it either.
for my money, i'll stick with yasuda.
Thanks for the early report, it sounds promising. I'm very interested in 15 East and look forward to checking it out. I'd read that they were opening for sushi only in the beginning - with larger menu items to come - so it sounds like that is still the case.
The sushi chef being from Jewel Bako, I wouldn't really expect rolls or edamame. Good to hear that the quality of fish & rice struck you as top notch. $75 for the amount of food you listed in omakase - "8-10 pieces of sashimi, a miso soup, and 10 pieces or so of sushi" - sounds pretty good and in the range of Yasuda. I'm not sure I understand the math on this though: "3 pieces of sushi, two rolls and a beer cost $75"? seems like you had a lot more food than that?