Posted by: Hungry Korean | April 21, 2011

15 East

I have been dying to try 15 East as long as I can remember. Don’t really have a great excuse as to why I haven’t been but last night after an appointment, Cookie Monster suggested we try and walk in for dinner.  The main dining hall was not crowded at all and we were able to sit down without a wait at 7:45pm.

The restaurant is alot smaller than I expected it to be but the prices were just as expensive as I anticipated them to be.  One reason I’ve wanted to try 15 East is that this Japanese restaurant offers fusion Japanese – not just pure sushi and traditional Japanese food.  The appetizers are divided into raw and cooked and the main courses into sushi and cooked entrees. Everything looked divine. How to decide….

Cookie Monster started with the yellowtail sashimi three ways: kampachi, shimeji, hamachi

Each mound of fresh fish came with it’s unique dipping sauces.  Each one had a different fat content and texture and tasted amazing! I was very excited for the rest of the meal.

I sort of wanted the kumamoto oysters but since Cookie Monster doesn’t eat oysters, I chose the sashimi and tartare of bluefin tuna: akami sashimi, toro tartare and caviar sauce

Omygoodness. Hands down best tuna tartare I have EVER had. The toro tartare at the base was silky smooth and so delicious. The slices of sashimi on top is marinated bluefin tuna and had the most wonderful essence of soy to it. I have never had such wonderful flavors come out of tuna tartare before and I was surprised how good it could be. The sprig you see sticking out is scallion.  This tartare was phenom.

For a hot appetizer, Cookie Monster got the simmered berkshire pork belly with potato puree and perched on top is a deep fried pepper leaf:

Two small, fatty, tender pieces of pork belly had us eating slowly so we could enjoy our respective portions.  I have to say I was really sad the portion was that small. Each bite was about the size of a matchbook and teeny. The flavors, however, were amazing.

For my hot appetizer I got the deep fried soft shell crab served with basil butter and lotus root:

Cookie Monster’s first remark was how delicious the marinated tomatoes decorating the plate were. I was busy attacking the meaty pieces of crab.  The crab meat was flaky and the flavors of crab were luckily not lost to the frying. The batter was a light coating and rendered the crab legs deliciously crunchy.  It was excellent.

For main, Cookie Monster selected various pieces of sushi while I went with the 10 pieces of chef’s omakase:

Don’t you love that plate?  Every piece was amazingly fresh and not overwhelmed by a huge mound of rice underneath. I did notice that the rice at Yasuda is MUCH better however.  Once again, there were some sushi that was prepared with a twist and I could appreciate that.  Cookie Monster even asked the waiter to bring me a piece of Santa Barbara uni sushi knowing how much I love uni! (that’s love!)

Our meal was excellent. The sushi was fresh and the plates were inventive. I would definitely come back. We loved everything we ordered.   The prices are quite steep so that would be a hinderance from allowing me from coming as often as I’d like.  If you want pure sushi unadulterated, Yasuda is where you want to go, if you want creative and delicious Japanese cuisine AND sushi, 15 East is where it’s at.

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

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