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Yasuda v 15 East v Ichimura

Trying to decide on a good sushi meal in the next month.
We have narrowed it down to Yasuda, 15 East, and Ichimura.
We have visited Yasuda twice, we loved it both times but felt our second visit (after Yasuda left) wasn't quite as good (a little heavy handed with the wasabi). Though still amazing sushi.
15 East was also excellent. The downside there was that we went at lunch and it felt a little overly formal (we were alone at the corner of the bar) and we did not get to meet Masa because he didn't work that day.
We have never been to Ichimura but of course have heard all the great feedback. The only downside there is that it is only open for dinner and we were thinking of doing a lunch. Also, we do enjoy talking to the sushi chef but hear Ichimura is very soft spoken.

So now we are trying to decide between a lunch at Yasuda, a lunch I dinner at 15 East with Masa, or a Ichimura dinner.

What do you recommend?

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  1. If you had lunch at Yasuda and enjoyed it, I would stick with Yasuda. 15 East is my favorite sushi restaurant, but lunch is not even close to the same experience as dinner. Even the assortment of fish is much limited durning lunch.
    Ichimura is soft spoken but he is a nice guy and will certainly speak to you. Don't expect a long heavy conversation, the guy concentrates on making the sushi.
    15 East for dinner would be my choice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodwhisperer

      So how about just from a purely sushi perspective? Still 15 East at dinner?
      Or ichimura or Yasuda?

      1. re: Heeney

        Purely sushi perspective: 15E, dinner at the sushi bar, but must be with Masa. Ichimura second. Yasuda without Yasuda distant third. Would probably put Nakazawa in there as tied for second, but in my experience, not as good as 15E with Masa.

        1. re: strangemd

          Yes. We would have to be with Masa at 15E.
          We have also thought about Nakazawa but are planning for a backup since it's hot right now.

      2. I'd say 15 East with Masa for sure.

        9 Replies
        1. re: lexismore

          Ok. So if we did lunch at 15E with Masa instead of dinner, how much are we sacrificing for that?

          1. re: Heeney

            I'm not sure exactly which menu items foodwhisperer is referring to with lunch vs dinner.

            I've had lunch with Masa many times. I tend to just go for sushi, and I haven't found it lacking at all - usually have 15-20 different pieces, with an offer to continue, so there's certainly a decent amount of variety at lunch. I have seen people do a full omakase at lunch as well, with kitchen dishes and sashimi.

            There was one time where Masa was marinating some Ikura from Japan that he said wouldn't be ready until dinner time. I suppose there could be other things like that.

            1. re: lexismore

              I dont even think he works lunch much recently. A few times I have walked by and seen his assistants serving customers.

              1. re: Shirang

                He's off Mondays, and there are some other days (it varies which) that he doesn't work lunch.

                But I have lunch with him next Friday, so I sure hope he's working.

                Just request Masa when you make the reservation.

            2. re: Heeney

              Lunch with Masa is OK. Not even close to dinner. Less variety, more rushed. Masa may not even serve you. He is busy thinking about dinner and preparation. Dinner is his main "act"

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                Interesting, that hasn't been my experience at all. I've had lunch with Masa many times. He served me. It wasn't rushed. There was a lot of variety. It was great.

                I'm not saying dinner isn't also great, but lunch with Masa is one of my all-time favorite sushi experiences.

                1. re: lexismore

                  Even Masa apologized to me for lack of assortment and lack of normal attention during lunch. That being said, I've only gone there once for lunch, so maybe it was that day. But he did kinda say lunch isn't the same as dinner.

            3. re: lexismore

              As an update - had a great lunch with Masa today. He had a number of less-common things, like mantis shrimp and baby sea eels.

              He did say he is now only doing lunch service on Fridays. It's a recent change, and he seemed very happy about it.

              1. re: lexismore

                Only on Fridays.
                Ok. That is very helpful. Thanks so much!

            4. So just a quick update:
              We scored a reservation at Nakazawa so given how hard that was it trumped all the others for a dinner.

              However, we still want to do a lunch at either 15 East or Yasuda earlier that week.
              The downside is that we can't do it on Friday. And I guess that is the only lunch that Masa works now?

              So I guess its either lunch at 15E without Masa or lunch at Yasuda with Mitsu.

              What would you suggest?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Heeney

                I'd definitely do Yasuda over 15 East without Masa.

                I see in your original post you said you found Yasuda too heavy-handed with the wasabi. Was that with Mitsu? I don't know him, so can't comment. I will say, I've had very good experiences with Tatsu at Yasuda.

                1. re: lexismore

                  It was neither actually. They sat us down at the far left which I think is where the chef with least tenure is traditionally set up. Our time with Yasuda himself was wonderful.
                  This may be why. I made a lunch res with Mitsu.

                  1. re: lexismore

                    Quick update:
                    Had sushi at Yasuda today with Mitsu and it was great. That last time must have been a fluke due to the sushi chef. But Mitsu's was excellent. Every bit as good as Yasudas if not better.
                    It was actually a great experience because Yasuda never seemed into "omakase". It was always a set from the menu and then every time asking "how about...?" And us always saying yes.
                    with mitsu we just asked for omakase and he asked what we don't like. After we said nothing he just went to town with a pageant of good stuff. We lost count but it felt close to 20. After the toro roll I wasn't sure if he was just going till we said uncle but we said we were ready to wrap up.
                    Superb sushi as we always remembered.
                    Wonder if he actually does have a pre-planned stopping point and we jumped the gun?
                    Oh well.