Mon-Sat, noon-2pm and 6pm-10:30pm; Sun, closed
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
With its modest size and stark décor, 15 East feels like that rare and exotic thing: a traditional Japanese-run restaurant. The proprietor, Marco Moreira, owner of the nearby Tocqueville, had the good sense to hire Masato Shimizu, a talented young sushi chef who formerly worked at Jewel Bako. Shimizu is a purist who cures his own gari (ginger) and produces high-class, no-frills sushi in the classic style. There are no tricked-out maki rolls on his menu, and no newfangled sushi items containing seared foie gras or Kobe beef. You can get seven varieties of silver fish on the à la carte menu, however, and an impeccable example of sayori (needlefish) with scallion. The anago (poached sea eel) is another specialty, and if you’re feeling flush, order the $80 “tuna flight,” consisting of five different cuts and grades of fresh bluefin, which the gregarious Shimizu will illustrate for you with a special tuna chart.Prix-Fixe
Omakase, $65-$110; seven-course tasting menu, $140+