Lunch for One: Sake Miso Cod at 15 East
Nick wrote about the excellent lunch deal at 15 East last May, and since then I've been going at least once a month. It's one of the best quiet bargains in the city, where you can easily walk in during lunch hours. Grab a seat the bar and go for the prix-fixe with options that change daily.
If anything, the $29 three-course deal has improved since last year; the quality of the dishes is the same, but the quantity has increased noticeably. On my last visit, instead of salad and tofu counting as the first two courses, one of those acts as the first course. Go with the housemade tofu, still warm and silky; it's almost as good as EN Brasserie's. Grated ginger, scallions, and warm shoyu broth are served on the side. Next up is the Sake Miso Black Cod, positively buttery but with firm flakes, a fresh twist on the common dish of plain miso black cod. The cod is accompanied by a single sweet shrimp, marinated in soy. Much of the flavor is in the grilled shell, and I eat it all—it's the only way to go.
And because this lunch is such a bargain, your final course is a plate of sushi—nearly as many pieces as the $28 lunch omakase. I haven't had the same assortment twice; you can expect to find hamachi roll present, and with it, perhaps Botanebi, sweet shrimp, fluke, Kampachi, and Tai, the Japanese snapper. One might argue that $29 doesn't bring you far when it comes to quality Japanese food and sushi, but visit 15 East for lunch and you'll see otherwise.
About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan writes A Passion For Food, where she chronicles her eats and travels adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond. She firmly believes that there is always room for dessert.