Nothing compares to the satisfaction of unearthing a ridiculously mind-blowing omakase that you legitimately can’t stop thinking about for days – or even weeks – afterwards. 15 East is one such place and a couple Fridays ago, I discovered another A+ gem: KURA.
My childhood friend H.H. aka Samosas & Sunshine was in town from D.C. and specifically on a sushi omakase mission. Having never done one before, she was especially curious to try and compare two different types – one more high-end and well-known, and the other, a hidden gem at a serious value (read: cheap but good). For the latter, I brought her to my favorite go-to steal in the city aka Sushi Yasaka, and for the first, we agreed upon Kura – which has been on my bucket list for ages and after what was a mind-blowing and highly-entertaining feast, is now getting what’s only the second 5-star rating on this blog. One word to sum it up: WOW.
Kura is omakase only, and we were treated to prime seats smack in the center of the chic and well-lit 12-seater sushi bar in front of the fantastically eccentric, heartwarmingly jolly, and undeniably talented Chef Ishizuka. We went with the priciest $135/pp sushi omakase that included 3 starter dishes, 15 pieces of sushi, and a soup (other options included 12 pieces at $85 and 15 pieces at $105).
As with any omakase, I was most excited for the uni (duh). Thankfully, Chef Ishizuka served up two different types, one from Santa Barbara and one from Hokkaido. The Santa Barbara sea urchin was thick and creamy with the perfect hint of ocean sweetness, while the Hokkaido was clean and smooth with a light briny punch. H.H. loved both pieces too.
Out of all the courses however – even the perfect pieces of uni – H.H. and I both agreed that the big winner of the night aka the mouthwatering bite we cannot stop daydreaming about days and days after the fact was…the torched otoro. Holy crap. This fattiest tuna was so ridiculously juicy and buttery smooth with the perfect hint of smokiness, I’m pretty sure our eyes rolled into the back of our heads midway through. (Not surprisingly, we ordered another piece each after the omakase ended because we couldn’t. get. enough.)
Other delicious snaps from dinner:
Kura – Pros:
- Chef Ishizuka! Have I emphasized that enough? His endearing personality truly was the perfect cherry on top of an already fantastic meal. The sushi bar had the most intimate, convivial, and relaxed atmosphere, where we chit-chatted and joked around with him during every course.
- Overall quality. From the multiple courses of sweet and creamy uni to the unforgettable torched fattiest tuna to the charred golden eye snapper, there were so many pieces that completely blew us away and had us lingering for more. And with the most premium option set at $135 and other more affordable options priced below that, the cost is pretty reasonable. (That said, with two bottles of sake, our total for two came to just under $400…so, kind of a splurge but 1000% worth it.)
Kura – Cons:
- Honestly – none! Sure, a few dishes were just okay (there was a squid appetizer I didn’t get a good picture of and the mushroom miso soup was fine), but overall, it was a flawless evening and I am already DYING to go back.
Rating [out of 5]: ★★★★★
Address: 130 St Marks Place, New York, NY