Last night my soulmate/friend Julie took me to dinner at 15 East. It was unbelievable. It’s not like everyone hasn’t already raved about this Michelin star recipient, but lets just say I didn’t expect to go to bed dreaming of sushi and wake up having to share the perfection that was my 15 East experience.
First, and actually most importantly, the service is second to none. We interacted with at least five different members of the staff and each was more helpful, thoughtful and knowledgeable than the last. But the absolute highlight of the night was Chef Masa.
Since we were sitting at the sushi bar and participating in the Omakase (chef’s choice), we watched him prepare every single piece of sashimi and nigiri we ate and got an interesting and helpful answer to all of our questions. He is charming, funny and obviously a master at his craft. Watching him slice the fish was a revelation in and of itself.
Onto the food — it was as close to perfection as I’ve ever experienced with sushi. Every single piece of fish was fresh, tender and beautifully cut. They were all handled with perfect care and each piece of nigiri was sitting on a ball of rice so warm, sweet and balanced that it almost stole the show.We started off with octopus that had been massaged for thirty minutes and then poached in sake and water for 30 minutes (oh how I wish I were that octopus). It was meltingly tender and was followed by Santa Barbara uni that was so fresh and sweet that it actually shocked me. I had been text-flirting with a cute boy when the uni came out, but the combination of uni and flirtation became so overwhelming and I had to retire my phone for the rest of the night.
I won’t list every piece of fish we had since there were so many and in my euphoric haze I didn’t think to write them down. The most notable where a monkfish liver so unctuous it gave foie gras a fair run for its money, golden eye snapper lightly touched by a torch, miniscule white shrimp from the Sea of Japan and otoro that brought a tiny tear to my eye.
15 East is one of those amazing restaurants that exceeds the insanely high expectations created by all of its awards, reviews and critical acclaim.
Last night was a culinary revelation.