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“Stealth 'Ice Surcharge' Left Bitter Taste”
Review of 15 East Restaurant

15 East Restaurant
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Ranked #2,214 of 14,429 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$50 - US$50
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Flatiron District
Cross street: 5th Avenue
Transit: L, N, Q, R, W, 4, 5 & 6 trains to Union Square - 14th Street and F & V trains to 6th Avenue.
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Ordering your whiskey “on the rocks” instead of “neat” triggers an undisclosed $3 surcharge here. Asked about the disconnect between our bill’s $21 per drink and the $18 shown on the drinks list, our server told us it’s “restaurant policy” to tack on an extra $3 if you order your drink with ice.

Note to restaurant: a better practice would be to disclose the extra charge on the drinks list, or (better still) eliminate this nickel-and-diming altogether. This was our fourth visit to 15 East in recent months – the restaurant’s interior is stunning and we enjoy the cuisine – but the experience left us with a bad feeling, even though our server did remove the surcharge when we balked.

Note to airline industry: why not consider a beverage-cart “ice supplement” as the next logical step in the passenger-convenience à-la-carte pricing model?

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1  Thank villagesq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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90 - 94 of 159 reviews

Reviewed 9 February 2014

First time to 15 East for someone who really enjoys quality sushi. The service is excellent, but the environment is very uncomfortable for cramped seating. I find Gari to have only a slight edge in quality and freshness, but much more enjoyable for not having to nearly sit on my neighbor's lap. Remove a few tables at 15 East and the entire experience would change. In case you're wondering, I'm a normal sized guy, 6 feet and 180 pounds. With all the choices of good sushi in Manhattan, I would not return.

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1  Thank samuel g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2014

A unique restaurant on 15th street. Reserve a table in advance. Great sushi, rolls. Freshest seafood. Tuna is awesome.

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Thank Vladimir M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2014

Our waiter, Omar, beautifully helped us navigate the menu. The Kumamoto oysters were delicious and a must if you like oysters. The 4 types of yellowtail appetizer each had a unique dipping sauce. After reading reviews that omakase is the way to go, we went with the sushi omakase. It was a really nice variety of fish, and the salmon, scallop and uni (California) was my favorite.

The only negative was that the restaurant is small, and the table of 12 guys next to us were so loud that my friend and I had a hard time hearing each other.

Thank Ihearttravel100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2014

I don't know, maybe there were some really wide people that night at the sushi bar, but I felt squeezed and not as comfortable. The sushi bar is fairly good size and about 10 seats. But my experience was not too comfortable, unfortunately.

So I finally was able to try this place. Reservations are definitely recommended as I tried several times late at night without one and was turned back. This place is extremely busy due to the popularity, food, pricing, and most importantly, location - right at the heart of Union Square where other chic restaurants are located.

Usually the sushi bar is way better than the dining room, but I must say it is the reverse here. The dining room is quite fancy and cozy, however, to truly really enjoy omakase, you really have to head to the bar.

All the omakase dinners seem to be served by the head sushi chef, Chef Shimizu. I recognized him instantly from the picture on his website as he nods to me that he is ready to serve my dinner, piece by piece. I ordered the slightly less expensive sushi omakase, but figure around a hundred bucks more or less for your omakase dinner, which seems reasonable for such a restaurant with high ratings and accolades.

Unfortunately, the trend for high-end sushi seems to be heading the stratosphere with places the Nakasawa and the way overpriced, Masa.

Service overall was prompt and courteous. The chef is like most sushi chefs and will announce the piece before serving. I never really understand what they are saying either because of the accent or in this case, the chef is very soft-spoken. There seems to be a lot of regulars that frequent the place and probably why it's so busy all the time.

Each piece of sushi was divine and melts in your mouth. The uni roll which seems quite popular here, is very generous with its overflowing uni on the top. The toro is excellent but not the best I ever tasted. I definitely tried the unagi and octopus as I read from the Times article that they are considered the best along with their rice. While I agree on the octopus and rice somewhat, I believe the best unagi is at Masa. Just prepare to spend a small fortune on the omakase at Masa. The octopus is definitely the best I ever tasted. It was so tender I did not really have to chew.

Overall, I would come back again but the thick crowd is a turn-off. I like to eat my sushi in peace and quiet and not have to listen to annoying yuppies yap. There are many great sushi places that are much quieter later in the evening like Soto (Best Uni), Ushiwakamaru (Best Toro), and Seki (Best selection, and probably the best meal you can get at 2am in the morning!). In all, the food was amazing, but I taken a star away because of the crowd.

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Thank Max D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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