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15 East without Masa or Ushiwakamaru?

s
sweatshorts Jul 18, 2013 03:47 PM

Which should I do? (On the waitlist for Ichimura, went to Yasuda recently.)

  1. f
    foodwhisperer Jul 18, 2013 04:39 PM

    Ushi definitely over 15 East without Masa. Perhaps consider Kura, or Blue Ribbon Izakaya, kanoyama, or walk-in at Ichimura, good chance you'll get in.

    20 Replies
    1. re: foodwhisperer
      s
      sweatshorts Jul 18, 2013 05:05 PM

      I went to Kura a couple weeks ago and wasn't that impressed. Is Blue Ribbon's omakase any good?

      1. re: sweatshorts
        l
        lexismore Jul 19, 2013 05:27 AM

        I agree with you on Kura.

        Have you tried Sushi Dojo?

        1. re: lexismore
          s
          sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 06:42 AM

          I haven't, but from what I've read it doesn't really appeal to me. I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to sushi. Have you been? Is it any good?

          1. re: sweatshorts
            r
            Rich D. Jul 19, 2013 06:47 AM

            Sushi Dojo is fantastic. If you sit in front of David, it is a very traditional authentic experience (even if he isn't Japanese himself!).

            Another itamae at Sushi Dojo, Makoto (forgive me if I've misspelled his name), appears to depart from traditional nigiri by using yuzu, ponzu and other ingredients to add some seasoning and extra flavor to his fish. But the omakase before him is also highly recommendable.

            1. re: Rich D.
              s
              sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 06:59 AM

              Thanks for the info. What did you end up paying?

              1. re: sweatshorts
                r
                Rich D. Jul 19, 2013 07:14 AM

                The experiences in front of David and Makoto were very different, but the price points were similar -- approximately 100 dollars per head (there four of us on each trip) for the food. After some, but not a lot of sake and a beer or two, the bill came to approximately 150 per person.

                Unlike some places that I've been to, conveying what you want your budget to be for the omakase itself was easy and succinct. I believe the omakase begins at $80 per person pre-tip/tax, and you can specify that. However, on both occasions I asked that the food cost around $100 per person because we were hungry (and because I decided--based on absolutely no info--that I would get more exotic fish that way). On each trip, this included two or three cooked dishes, a series of sashimi plates, umpteen nigiri pieces, and a hand roll to finish.

              2. re: Rich D.
                s
                sockster Jul 19, 2013 07:22 AM

                Second Sushi Dojo- Was there last night for my second time. Was absolutely fantastic. David does wonders with fish, and Max pours incredible Sake tastings!!

                1. re: sockster
                  s
                  sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 07:29 AM

                  What has the bill been per person?

                  1. re: sweatshorts
                    s
                    sockster Jul 19, 2013 07:43 AM

                    Including a lot of sake about $150pp- That's with many, many courses of fish!

                    1. re: sockster
                      s
                      sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 08:14 AM

                      Thanks sockster.

                      1. re: sweatshorts
                        s
                        sockster Jul 19, 2013 08:19 AM

                        Anytime! You can definitely eat here for less though...we just went crazy last night. Also, if like uni...the uni we had last night was some of the greatest uni I've ever had!!!

                        1. re: sockster
                          s
                          sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 08:21 AM

                          $150 pp is totally reasonable for omakase + sake, I think. I'm calling about a reservation as soon as they open.

                  2. re: sockster
                    strangemd Jul 19, 2013 08:46 AM

                    +1 on Sushi Dojo. I've been there 3 times so far, each time with David and have been very happy. Spending about $150pp for omakase with some drinking.
                    I assume Masa is just on vacation or not available at 15E? Anything else would be too terrible to contemplate.

                    1. re: strangemd
                      s
                      sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 08:54 AM

                      I would guess vacation as well. When I called two weeks ago to make the reservation they informed me he wouldn't be there.

                      1. re: sweatshorts
                        f
                        fooder Jul 19, 2013 09:55 AM

                        When I went earlier this month, he said vacation, to Japan and somewhere else. I think he's back by the 23rd, if I remember correctly what they told me.

                        1. re: fooder
                          strangemd Jul 19, 2013 12:04 PM

                          Thanks for the reassurance! I hope he has a great time, and I know when to make my next reservation. ;-)

                      2. re: strangemd
                        f
                        foodwhisperer Jul 19, 2013 04:04 PM

                        Masa is heavily involved with the new restaurant at Union Square in the hotel

                  3. re: sweatshorts
                    l
                    lexismore Jul 19, 2013 08:09 AM

                    I've been twice, going for a third time tomorrow.

                    I can't speak to the other chefs, but David's sushi is traditional, and very good. He's also very engaging - I have more fun with him than any itamae in the city.

                    Whether or not you go this time, definitely worth checking out.

                    As for price - an omakase made up of 20ish pieces of sushi and a few kitchen dishes (including an amazing poached octopus - similar to what 15 East serves, although I prefer Dojo's) ran about 130 for food.

                    1. re: lexismore
                      s
                      sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 08:14 AM

                      Thanks for the info. I think I'll try and see if we can get in tomorrow.

                2. re: sweatshorts
                  f
                  foodwhisperer Jul 19, 2013 04:03 PM

                  Blue Ribbons omakase is excellent, if you are at the sushi bar. If you are at a table it is not at all similar.
                  Sorry you didn't like Kura. Dojo is good, but since they are new, the selection is limited, but I like the people and the fish quality is good. You do not have to sit in front of David at Dojo, his assistant, who has I think her name is Hiromi has more experience than David and has great skills. You can't go wrong with either and the kitchen food i.e. tempura is excellent.
                  Azabu is good, if you have Tirado-san serving you. Winter is better when they have warm animo and warm shirako

              3. s
                Shirang Jul 18, 2013 05:58 PM

                Maybe Azabu?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Shirang
                  s
                  sweatshorts Jul 18, 2013 08:20 PM

                  I've never been. Is it good?

                  1. re: sweatshorts
                    s
                    Shirang Jul 19, 2013 07:13 AM

                    its very good if you sit in front of Terado san, its more traditional than 15 East.

                    1. re: Shirang
                      s
                      sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 07:19 AM

                      Thanks. I'll call and see if they have any openings. Sadly, this is for three people tomorrow night so I don't like my luck.

                2. s
                  sam1 Jul 18, 2013 08:09 PM

                  im of the belief that ushiwakamaru is on the decline. service has changed, fish quality has declined, size of the pieces are smaller, and the crowd is a lot less sophisticated than in years past.

                  until i hear otherwise, im taking a break.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sam1
                    s
                    sweatshorts Jul 18, 2013 08:21 PM

                    Thanks for your input!

                  2. u
                    UES Mayor Jul 19, 2013 04:35 AM

                    Just had a fantastic omakase at Ushiwakamaru-btw did you know that at 11pm it turns into a ramen place?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: UES Mayor
                      s
                      sweatshorts Jul 19, 2013 05:10 AM

                      I did not know that. Is that a new development?

                    2. black_lab Nov 29, 2013 07:03 AM

                      Is there a specific day when Chef Masa is typically not at 15 East during the week?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: black_lab
                        f
                        foodwhisperer Nov 29, 2013 08:05 AM

                        He is off Sunday ( they are closed Sunday) and he is off on Monday. Also of course he takes vacations.

                        1. re: foodwhisperer
                          l
                          lexismore Nov 30, 2013 09:53 AM

                          Also, if you request Masa when making the reservation, they will tell you if he's not going to be there.

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