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15 East - my new favorite Sushi restaurant (now with 3 kinds of Uni!)

Ok so I have not been to Masa yet... But I did have a meal at the chef's table at 15 East. My husband and I chose this place based on comments made by a chowhound user named "Lau" who also has a website where he writes food reviews called Lauhound.com. I must say that his recommendation and comments regarding this place (and many others on his website) were spot on. Tonight the chef, I think his name was Masato, let us try four different types of tuna, 3 different types of uni, including one type from Maine that was super briny and nothing like regular uni I've had from Japan (sooo good!). His house special is the anago, which I thought was just as good as the one I had at Yasuda a while ago. I had 16 pieces while my husband had about 18. Plus two appetizers that the chef chose for us. Plus a carafe of sake and one more glass at the end to complement the desert (it was so dark it looked like sherry). The desert was comped thanks to Masato. Bill came out to $376. I thought it would be much more expensive given the caliber of the food, but as it turned out the actual omakase (not including the extra pieces we had) was only something like $55 per person.

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15 East
15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

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  1. Glad you enjoyed it!
    Welcome to the club. Here was my review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/775009

    I've found that the bill is always less than I would have thought given the quality of the food, but I don't really think the $55 really applies to the chef's counter omakase. Maybe the minimum?

    Which types of uni did he have? I've seen him with Hokkaido, East and West coast, and one time, uni from Chile

    1. 3 type of uni! OK, I gotta go!

      1. 15 East is an excellent sushi restaurant and definitely in my top tier for sushi restaurants in the city and Masato is an extremely nice guy and easy to have a conversation with

        glad you enjoyed!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lau

          Chef Masato recently had two types of uni from Japan in addition to the Santa Barbara and Maine...Hokkaido and another place that I forgot. Amazing stuff.

          The Maine uni is kept soaking in Maine seawater to keep it fresh. I think that adds a lot to the briny taste. just delicious.

          1. re: Yaxpac

            yah i love the briny taste of seawater with uni. if you've ever had it like fresh out of the shell at a good place, its amazing

        2. The night I was there he served one kind from Japan, one from California, and one from Maine, just like someone mentioned earlier. I'm not sure if he changes this month to month, but what my husband and I had was delicious. The first two types (Japanese and Californian) were served sushi style, but the Maine uni was served in a little bowl. The chef said it doesn't taste so good if you do sushi with it, so we ate it on it's own. It was fine with me, I could have had another bowl altogether! Definitely saltier than the other two types, but worth it if you like uni and want to try something new.

          5 Replies
          1. re: citykid426

            he usually serves one piece like that and he usually has two or maybe three types of uni. It's usually one from santa barbara (santa barbara is always my favorite uni as its creamier) and one from japan (still good, but less creamy and a stronger flavor)

            1. re: citykid426

              Oh I almost forgot! Masato gave us the "fish and chip" toward the end of the meal, which was the skeleton of some little fish he smoked that day. It was delish. It reminded me of a really salty potato chip.

              1. re: citykid426

                were the bones fried? how did he prepare the bones?

                1. re: Lau

                  I think they were either fried or smoked. He sprinkled salt on top. I can ask the next time I go, which will probably be soon...

                  1. re: citykid426

                    yah usually they fry the bones, its really good if you do it right

            2. Thought you guys would be interested...

              I mentioned to Masato that I had great sushi in Tsukiji, and he happily provided me with a list of his top restaurants in Tokyo. The list ranged from sushi to soba. I have since lost the list, but I'm sure someone else could post it or I'll ask for it again next time I go.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ssl5b

                excellent...i'll ask Masato-san for the list next time i go...my meal there last week was wonderful...

                1. re: Simon

                  I believe Cheeryvisage posted his list recently on this board. Usually the fried bones are from aji, sometimes you can get flounder or fluke done that way and eat the fins like chips. As far as uni, I believe 15 East had uni from Tokyo, Hokkaido and from Kyushu. island, My friend from Nagasaki, says the uni from Iki island is the best in Japan. The water is cold. I think that is the same as the Kyushu uni.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    lol, I'm a her. But here's the link to the list again so people can find it easier in the future: http://flic.kr/p/aTrt56

                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                      The two most highly regarded types of uni in Japan are bafun and murasaki uni- both caught around Japan, but the most prized being from Hokkaido and northern part of Honshu. The water is REALLY cold up there and the kelp, which the uni feed on, is very rich. It's out of season there now, so restaurants may be getting them from Kyushu. I have never heard of uni from Tokyo. Iki is well known for shochu- especially mugi!

                2. considering going to lunch here soon with my pregnant wife. how are the cooked items?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: uncledunkel

                    15 East is not a place for cooked items. If you want good cooked Japanese dishes go to Kyo Ya

                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                      I find their cooked food quite good, although I have only sampled a few like their hamo in summer, gomadofu, soba tofu, chawan mushi, really good kakiage.