Day 28: Tasting Menu at 15 East

Random Observation/Comment #315: Every meal is an adventure. Sometimes you have quick walks in the park, and others you have tickets for an around-the-world 3 month vacation.  Similar for the meals, I wish those tickets weren’t so damned expensive…

Birthday Dinner!
Birthday Dinner!

As seen in my previous entries about foodtography, favorite foods in NYC, foods from around the world, ramen reviews, foodspotting, and yelp reviews, it should not be a surprise that I absolutely love food.  Without table tennis, I’d probably be huge.

The Challenge:
Eat an Omakase (Japanese tasting menu) and write a review about it.

The Reason:
I have had many pre-fixe tasting menus at restaurants in the past and they were all unbelievable. I think my favorite is still the 16 course meal at Megu downtown.  The adventure with that meal stays with me to this day.  I’ll eat Kobe Beef sashimi all day… Let me stop before I get too hungry writing this.

Anyway, I added this as a part of my celebration in doing this epic 30 day challenge.  While I was scheduling everything, I purposefully added fun and enjoyable things throughout the challenge that would keep this as a fun adventure.  This is one of those things.  For the most part, I’ve kept my challenges rather frugal.  Drawing self-portraits, connecting with communities, taking photos, and writing blog entries are relatively low cost.  This one, however, will be my one big spend.

The Result:
I chose 15 East from a recommendation (which is how I like to go through restaurants). I wanted a Japanese Fusion restaurant with a reasonable price and warm atmosphere.  After doing some review searching, asking around, and visiting the restaurant last week for a drink, I decided this was the right choice for my Omakase.

Verdict: Wow. Exquisite. I rather show you the pictures of each dish rather than write my synopsis:

$120 tasting menu for 6 courses
$120 tasting menu for 6 courses
palette cleanser tofu with wasabi
palette cleanser tofu with wasabi
overflowing sake glass of hakkaisan. floral aroma and extremely smooth
overflowing sake glass of hakkaisan. floral aroma and extremely smooth
1st course: from bottom counter-clockwise around: octopus, cod, salmon roe, monk fish liver. Octopus was my favorite because of the tenderness. Salmon roe was actually not too salty. Tasted fresh beyond belief
1st course: from bottom counter-clockwise around: octopus, cod, salmon roe, monk fish liver. Octopus was my favorite because of the tenderness. Salmon roe was actually not too salty. Tasted fresh beyond belief
2nd course: tofu with fois gras, mushrooms, and a whole bunch of stuff that made this incredible
2nd course: tofu with fois gras, mushrooms, and a whole bunch of stuff that made this incredible
3rd course: sashimi omakase: yellowtail, mackrel, fatty tuna, salmon, prawn, white fish, white tuna. There was something incredible about the fatty tuna that just made my mouth water and my tastebuds dance with happiness
3rd course: sashimi omakase: yellowtail, mackrel, fatty tuna, salmon, prawn, white fish, white tuna. There was something incredible about the fatty tuna that just made my mouth water and my tastebuds dance with happiness
4th course: eaten from right to left; roasted mackrel, fried soft shell prawn head, tofu with uni and eggplant
4th course: eaten from right to left; roasted mackrel, fried soft shell prawn head, tofu with uni and eggplant
palette cleanser mandarin sorbet
palette cleanser mandarin sorbet
5th course: sushi omakase: from top left to bottom right: medium fatty tuna, yellow tail, Alaskan salmon, winter special white fish, mackrel wrapped with mint leaf, scallop, yellowtail sushi roll, eel. Salmon had a lingering taste of the sweet river at the very end that makes me wonder how they could possibly make something so delicious
5th course: sushi omakase: from top left to bottom right: medium fatty tuna, yellow tail, Alaskan salmon, winter special white fish, mackrel wrapped with mint leaf, scallop, yellowtail sushi roll, eel. Salmon had a lingering taste of the sweet river at the very end that makes me wonder how they could possibly make something so delicious
birthday dessert! 6th course: flourless chocolate cake, soba ice cream, persimmons, fried rice pudding, other ice cream
birthday dessert! 6th course: flourless chocolate cake, soba ice cream, persimmons, fried rice pudding, other ice cream

As usual, I have written a yelp review about it: http://www.yelp.com/biz/15-east-new-york#hrid:7uHD24qdu611om4rHCHbBg

The Conclusion:
Similar to the Brandy Library tasting, this was unbelievable.  The art and story behind the meal is truly magnificent.  I wish I could afford this more often, but like with all things, food needs the bitter and the sweet.  Without the quick ramen packet noodles in hot and sour soup bought from the Chinese restaurant down the street or the $1 slice of pizza to get some food in my stomach before pounding $3 PBRs at Welcome to the Johnson, the 7 course meals would not be as amazing.  The contrast of these states of being is what brings happiness.  There can be no Ying without the Yang.

~See Lemons Stuffed

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