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bad news: no omakase yet (maybe later this week?), as they just opened.

(also, no liquor license so BYO for now. not that that it's bad news - just and fyi.)

 

good news: inventive (as advertised) and very good. more sushi of gari than yasuda style-wise.

 

our companions were more focused on the social aspects than the food so some of the elements or dishes were not given proper attention perhaps. in lieu of an omakase, the chef made our menu (not in order):

 

live lobster sashimi - we started with this stunningly presented (in the shell) dish - sweet maine lobster marinated with truffle soy sauce (very subtle) topped with yuzu kimizu sauce and osetra. wonderful texture, very sensuous. delicious

 

tempura was next - shrimp, asparagus, kabocha, shiitake, shiso, lotus root - very good

 

chyutoro tartare - with avocado, caviar and sesame ponzu - very good

 

kampachi tartare - with wasabi tobiko, pine nuts and soy foam - also delicious. the foam was ticker than most foams out there (on its way to mousse?) and formed in a quenelle. very tasty on its own

 

minute steamed tai - japanese sea bream with ginger scallion oil -this was good but we didn't fight over it

 

stripe jack carpaccio with truffle ginger soy - good but there was an odd mealy-ness or perhaps it was a touch too truffled? it needed something sharper, more citrusy, i thought

 

geoduck clam salad - the clam marinated in ginger sesame sauce, salad of radish sprouts, mizuna and cucumber - nice kick from the sprouts. liked it a lot, it was refreshing after all the earlier dishes, readying us for more

 

anago uni - broiled eel with pureed uni and shiitake sauce - another great dish - intense flavors

 

broiled lobster with mango and portobello, topped with pank crust - a little creamy, rich and sweet. not for me

 

a couple of sushi pieces to finish - excellent uni and a good needlefish (alas, Masa's better at 15 East, where i fell in love with it)

 

(i think we went to p*ong after that)

 

the presentation and plates/dishes were gorgeous, it's always such a pleasure to enjoy the way the dish looks and then taste it. beautiful carafes for sake and cut glass sake cups.

 

i think there are about 10 seats at the bar. very solicitous and attentive service. well paced meal

 

the room is very bright. white walls, pale blond wood. the tables are actually quite cozy looking.

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bad news: no omakase yet (maybe later this week?), as they just opened. (also, no liquor license so BYO for now. not that that it's bad news - just and fyi.)   good news: inventive (as advertised)

yum. and yes, such beautifully presented dishes. they are the art in this clean, bright white space. it was a bit on the warmer side last nite, not the temp for eating raw fish but they were very accommodating in adjusting the air. the service is nothing less than gracious, polite and very sweet. add a nice wine list and very nice sake list and it's a lovely evening.

 

we had the aji tataki - beautiful horse mackerel w/ ginger shoots, shiso etc, shiro ebi tartare - very sweet white shrimp w/ yuzu, mullet roe in a shiitake ginger broth, uni ika.... - that santa barbara uni wrapped in thinly sliced squid and shiso w/ a quail egg in a tosa soy reduction, (i actually tipped the serving bowl into my mouth lest i miss a drop) takiawase - braised matsutake with abalone and jap turnip, steamed lobster w uni mousse in a lotus root wrap w smoked uni and caviar - wow! a deep fried shiso wrapped scallop and fluke in a dashi broth and something else that i can't remember. two bottles of sake - one sakori (?) and one okanyama (?) i am totally bastardizing the names but they were delicious as was every single thing we ate.

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don't kno the price point but will venture to say that i think soto is the place for cooked and assembled dishes but 15 east might still be best for actual sushi/sashimi.....just my opinion. not that it's not great!

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don't kno the price point but will venture to say that i think soto is the place for cooked and assembled dishes but 15 east might still be best for actual sushi/sashimi.....just my opinion. not that it's not great!

 

This, in my opinion is a false impression. It's not either/or. Soto's sushi is exceptional.

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don't kno the price point but will venture to say that i think soto is the place for cooked and assembled dishes but 15 east might still be best for actual sushi/sashimi.....just my opinion. not that it's not great!

 

This, in my opinion is a false impression. It's not either/or. Soto's sushi is exceptional.

 

With respect to quality, where does Soto's sushi and sashimi stand vs. Kuruma and Masa?

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We gotta get you to Kanoyama soon...

 

i have been - a couple times, tho not since it first opened. guess it's high time to get back there. almost went last wknd but went to hasaki on ninth st instead and after all these years - still great!

 

and a kind of response to ned, the sushi is great - as i said or meant to say. and it's probably not a big difference....but i would just be more likely to go to 15 east for straight sushi and at soto i'd be more inclined to get everythimg else.....including assembled plates which obviously include delicious raw fish.

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Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to get to Sasabune. Masa, I've only been once and it was pretty mind-blowing especially because we were sitting right in front of him and all alone at the restaurant. Pretty awesome setting. All that chutoro and caviar and elvers . . . He was a very good host. I think it's pretty hard to parse when the fish is so good but also you are sitting inside a sculpture and the guy is soo famous and you know what the bill is even though I paid a week in advance so I wouldn't stress out about it during the meal.

 

Soto is pretty intense about the quality of his fish. I'm not going to presume (although I guess I already have) to be qualified to talk about fish quality because I'll just embarass myself. I've been working late these days and at least one night a week I end up in front of Soto. I've eaten all of the frilly things on the menu both from the bar and from the kitchen. At this point when I get there I just want to eat some sushi and drink a gallon or two of my new favorite beer Echigu which I've only ever seen at Soto's. It's an awesomely good beer and from a bottle no less. My sister and I polished off about six of them last night. I digress. Lately it's been about Soto's sushi. Mostly ika with a special salt and yuzu zest, scottish salmon, uni (his uni-as far as I know, uni is all about procurement but still-is consistently stunning), and toro. Following that, a smattering of pieces from small japanese fishes. At the moment I don't have the impression that Soto has quite as many different fish as, for example Ushi (I love Ushi). . . I imagine that will change as time wears on.

 

I think some chefs get wild and creative because of a lack of the fundamentals. Soto makes creative food but I feel that his sushi, made conservatively is of a very high quality. Yasuda only makes conservative sushi. Seki is more creative. Masa is pretty conservative. In some cases there is an either/or. With Soto I feel I can get both.

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and a kind of response to ned, the sushi is great - as i said or meant to say. and it's probably not a big difference....but i would just be more likely to go to 15 east for straight sushi and at soto i'd be more inclined to get everythimg else.....including assembled plates which obviously include delicious raw fish.

i think i know what you mean -i'd do the same thing. people tend to order what they like best at certain places and it's hard to forgo your favorites to try something different sometimes. doesn't mean the quality is not up to par - just that there are certain favorite dishes one doesn't want to miss...there is only so much one can eat

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Masa, I've only been once and it was pretty mind-blowing especially because we were sitting right in front of him and all alone at the restaurant.

 

There's a surprise. ;)

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and a kind of response to ned, the sushi is great - as i said or meant to say. and it's probably not a big difference....but i would just be more likely to go to 15 east for straight sushi and at soto i'd be more inclined to get everythimg else.....including assembled plates which obviously include delicious raw fish.

i think i know what you mean -i'd do the same thing. people tend to order what they like best at certain places and it's hard to forgo your favorites to try something different sometimes. doesn't mean the quality is not up to par - just that there are certain favorite dishes one doesn't want to miss...there is only so much one can eat

 

 

Although I think there are those places which specialize in composed sushi, and when that's done well, I like to eat that stuff in those places. And then there is the more traditional type of meal, which I also love - but I like to do those two things on different occasions, if that makes sense. Sounds like Soto is in the first category.

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