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Dec 1, 2013 03:19 PM

Omakase at bar...with a ten year old

I have a great ten year old in my life that is more adventurous and curious about food than most adults. He has eaten rolls and nigiri salmon, yellow tail, ebi and tuna with me. He is patient, beautifully mannered, well-traveled, just a cool, handsome kid.

I've told him when school lets out he and I would go for proper sushi. I am thinking a weeknight first dinner seating at the bar of 15 East. I know he'd enjoy seeing the picture of the cross section of the tuna, and having Masa explain the cuts. And I know he'd try anything. (I don't care if they charge full adult price; it's fair, as he will be occupying a seat at the bar. And this kid can eat.)

Is 15 East a good choice for this? Is there another (high-end) interactive chef who would be appropriate for this? In no way, am I expecting to disrupt service, btw. No more than an inquisitive adult guest at the bar would.

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  1. Take him to your favorite sushi place

    1. Great idea! There are several others I would consider. My faves include Kyo Ya (although child as well as adult can't actually see chef cutting fish because counter blocks view), Ushiwakamaru, Sushi Zen-this I would do because child would see full view and experience proper sushi bar prep etc. Hirohisa-a bit more "grown up dishes"-sushi as well as cooked dishes, Brushstroke-same comments as Hirohisa and Sassabune-which is extremeley good in very minamilist space.

      1. The most fun, interactive sushi chefs I've had the pleasure of eating with in NYC are Masa at 15 East and David at Sushi Dojo.

        Dojo tends to be less formal and more fun than 15 East. I'm not sure how a kid would do with the party-ish drinking vibe, but that tends to kick into gear the later the night gets, so you might do well with an early seating.

        Also, if you do go to 15 East with a kid, you might consider lunch - the restaurant (and Masa) are usually less busy at that time.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lexismore

          Masa is at the bar during lunch? I didn't realize that. Thank you. That will sway me toward lunch then.

          1. re: thegforceny

            He is often, but not always. When I go at lunch, I just specify that I want to reserve with him - they'll tell you if he's not around that day.

            1. re: thegforceny

              I am a big fan of 15 East. However, I don't think your 10 year old will necessarily appreciate it. As far as seeing a picture of a cross section of tuna, well you can google that. It also doesn't mean Masa is going to give your 10 year old, his undivided attention. He as a full sushi bar to deal with. Lunch might be a better time to go, as it is not as busy , but the selection isn't as good.
              Recently I went to Kanoyama with an adventurous 11 year old. It was an amazing experience. The dishes are works of art. The assortment of Japanese fish is the largest in the city. The sushi chef /owner Nobu-san is a wonderful person and likes children Note: Nobu-san only is the chef in the omakase room ( back room),,,this is totally different than the bigger room sushi bar. There are many great dishes that aren't necessarily sushi. He has live shrimp , live lobster, scallop etc to amuse the patrons. They taste good too.
              That would be my recommendation over 15 East.
              Another suggestion would be Blue Ribbon Izakaya at the sushi bar. The sushi bar is usually not full, the chefs are great. The fish is great and they would surely give the 10 year old an amazing experience.

          2. I've seen toddlers around the age of 2-3 at the counter at 15 East, but usually at the earlier seatings.

            1. I think Sushi Dojo would be good for this. The head sushi chef is very engaging and I think would enjoy teaching a curious 10 year old.

              The sushi itself is very good and fairly priced for the quality. Had the best piece of mirugai in my life there including many time in the Pacific North West