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Welcome to Cardinal Directions - a catalog of my favorite food & travels to help you navigate New York & beyond.  



Sushi date night

Sushi date night

I'd heard a lot about the omakase at 15 East, and I'd also walked by the restaurant at least a dozen times. So this past weekend, I decided to finally pay the spot a visit. Tucked away on a small side street next to Union Square, the front of the restaurant is simple and unadorned save for the '15 EAST' printed across the awning in plain sans serif font. 

Inside you'd never know that the hustle & bustle of union square is just a few feet away. The interior is simple, modern & elegant and the wait staff all seem to float about with a peaceful tranquility. 

While I had originally been curious about the omakase, a quick peek at the menu immediately centered my attention on several of the entrees & appetizers - so we made a small detour. 

We started with the slow-poached octopus, a dish which embodies the clean simplicity of the restaurant itself. The ocotopus is served plain, with salt as the only adornment. Lucky for you, it doesn't need any. The slow poaching has left the octopus juicy and tender, and imbued with a gentle umami flavor that slowly spreads through your mouth with every bite.  

If you've read my post about Karasu, you know about my obsession with karaage. So when I saw they had a soft-shell crab rendition of it, I was dead set on ordering it. I've only ever had chicken karaage, and the crab lent an entirely new feel & finish to the dish. Fresher than its chicken counterparts, but with a satisfying crisp at the end of every bite. 

For our actual entrees we split the diver scallops and the lobster & uni risotto. 

I love scallops, but they're tricky - cook them just a little too long and the texture can turn rubbery. Not to worry - the chefs at 15 East nail this dish. The scallops are served in a light cabbage broth alongside potato puree & foie gras. The richness of the foie gras complements the buttery smooth texture of these scallops. 

The risotto was equally divine. The uni & lobster bring an even deeper richness to the already creamy complexion of risotto. Meanwhile the pickled wasabi and a handful of capers lend a touch of freshness & acidity to the dish.  

Last but not least, the dessert here was perfection. We ordered the green tea crème brulee, and while the combination might sound a bit unusual, the sweetness of crème brulee was the perfect offset for the slightly bitter green tea.

And then after your actual dessert, they finish you off with beautiful green tea macarons. What more could a girl ask for.  

If you're looking for a special occassion spot, with a low-key ambiance - make sure you check out this union square gem. 


(Menu | Reservations)

Llama, llama, llama

Llama, llama, llama

Healthy-ish: Breakfast

Healthy-ish: Breakfast