Perennially on the hunt for authentic sushi downtown, I had heard from several sources that 15 East is good, so I decided to check it out. Our seats were also the farthest from Executive Sushi Chef Masato Shimizu, and I was concerned that he would not be serving us, which would have defeated the purpose of sitting at the bar in the first place. However, the service that night was correct, and everyone seated at the sushi bar is in Chef Shimizu’s care, while the other two sushi chefs tend to the main dining room.*
The 10-piece sushi omakase ($55) was well worth the price, with each piece individually and uniquely seasoned by the chef. From the Japanese red snapper to needlefish, chutoro (semi-fatty tuna) and anago (sea eel), each was delicious, but like the sushi at nearby Soto, it was dainty and not too filling.
I will return for the delicious sushi, but my strategy might be to start off with drinks and snacks elsewhere before heading over to Chef Shimizu’s bar for the omakase. That could help make 15 East a part of my regular repertoire.
*Correction: Even if seated at the sushi bar, there is no guarantee that Chef Shimizu will serve you.