15 East Restaurant

Uni lovers rejoice. It’s hard for a delicacy that requires as much acquired taste as raw sea urchin to find as much love as it does on the 15 East Restaurant menu.

Anny and I somehow always gravitate back to sushi in our culinary adventures, and our latest spot showed special affection for this earthy orange delight. I had it oozing in my risotto and Anny had them spread in a “flight” — a trio caught from different corners of the world.

But non-uni lovers can also rejoice. 15 East has more than its fair share of top-quality catches, offering a tuna flight on its daily menu and an omakase for those interested in experiencing variety.

My tuna tartare appetizer was rich and carefully composed from the same cut of the fish. It’s not often you see the same deep crimson color and silky texture so consistently throughout a tartare serving.

What I appreciated most about this menu is the even split of hot and cold dishes, of items from the raw bar and cooked entrees from the kitchen. Many Japanese restaurants specialize in one or the other, but this place puts equal care into each.

But. This isn’t to say you won’t have to pay up for the quality. Uni is universally pricier than your core sashimi selections. But I’d have to say 15 puts an above-average price tag on dishes with below-average serving sizes.

Anywhere else, this place would be in the top rung of Japanese dining. But on a island that’s become scene to some of the best sushi and unique sushi offerings in the world, you’ll want to leave 15 as a choice of convenience — if you’re in the mood for Japanese and happen to be in Union Square or the southern end of 5th Ave.


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