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Nug, you tried to order a bowl of plain rice and they refused to serve it to you?

Yup. They said they only had sushi rice (I'm assuming they meant already mixed with vinegar for the nigiri) and wouldn't have rice before 9 pm. It was weird.

 

That said, the service on both visits was very attentive and solicitous. Lots of plate changing and hot towels and sake pouring.

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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)

  • 3 months later...

finally went back last week. the service is less polished than it was at opening time. feels pretty grab-and-go dinner-wise, not lovely and special like 15 East.. lots of lovely uni though but , what a cliche, after $300 husband wanted pizza.

 

very good uni & yuba and shiro ebi tartar, excellen uni wrapped in squid and shiso with quail egg (easily the best dish of the meal). also good barely-steamed sea bream and scallop/fluke/shiso agedashi. pretty good sushi, fantastic plain uni finale.

 

 

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  • 10 months later...

Finally went here. As uni is one of my favorite foods in the world, I should have gone sooner. The uni dishes -- uni tempora, and the uni/squid/quail egg dish that was as easily the best part of my meal as it was of nux's (see post immediately above) -- were stunning. Most of the cold prepared dishes (as Wilfrid noted, from the sushi bar -- but not sushi) were very good. Most of the prepared hot dishes (from the kitchen) were good. The sushi was above-average, but not anything approaching Yasuda quality.

 

I ordered the omakase. You can either set a budget, or tell them you'll eat till you want to stop. I chose the latter option. The food bill came to about $160 for a very large number of dishes (I wasn't counting). One problem is that communication with the heavily-accented wait staff wasn't easy, so I wasn't always sure what I was eating. (That's more of a problem in writing the meal up than it is in eating it, of course.)

 

Other than the spectacular uni/squid/quail egg dish, the standout was -- believe it or not -- the miso soup. I don't know what made it lightyears better than any other I've had, but there it is. It was creamy, for one thing. But the flavor was laser-sharp. It's always a great surprise when you get a really excellent version of something you always assumed couldn't be better than ordinary.

 

Thing is, as excellent as a few dishes were and as good as the average was, I didn't find the food here as stunningly lovely as at, say, Kyo Ya. Nor the experience, really. (Service was slightly rough.) I wouldn't recommend avoiding Soto -- not at all -- but I wouldn't put it at the top of any list, either.

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Yeah, it's funny. I went there after being closed out of the totally slammed new Joseph Leonard (Gabe Stulman, to his credit, was incredibly apologetic about it -- although I'm sure that inside he's jubilant), with too-long waits for bar seats at the first two other places in the area that came to mind, Babbo and Blue Hill.

 

Then, I suddenly remembered that Soto exists, too.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm pretty sure I've been to Soto as much as anyone (I love uni, it's a short walk from my house and I'd probably list it in my top 10), but I have to admit I am somewhat surprised it's a 2 star Michelin restaurant now. There are several dishes I crave here and return regularly for, but it's a bit odd that so many people still come here for sushi vs. kitchen entrees.

 

In the end, good job by them.

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I'm pretty sure I've been to Soto as much as anyone (I love uni, it's a short walk from my house and I'd probably list it in my top 10), but I have to admit I am somewhat surprised it's a 2 star Michelin restaurant now. There are several dishes I crave here and return regularly for, but it's a bit odd that so many people still come here for sushi vs. kitchen entrees.

 

In the end, good job by them.

I pretty much agree with you across the board (also we must live near one another). The 2 is surprising.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 10 months later...

Because I trust you folks more than Chowhound:

 

Will be going to Per Se for lunch on a Friday and looking at sushi as a light later evening dinner.

 

Anyone been to Soto recently? Thoughts on it compared to other sushi stops in the city like 15-East, Kyo Ya, Yasuda, Gari, Brushstroke (likely not as it is tasting only)? Overall the uni dishes interest me most, though simply finding some high quality seasonal fish would also be nice.

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Because I trust you folks more than Chowhound:

 

Will be going to Per Se for lunch on a Friday and looking at sushi as a light later evening dinner.

 

Anyone been to Soto recently? Thoughts on it compared to other sushi stops in the city like 15-East, Kyo Ya, Yasuda, Gari, Brushstroke (likely not as it is tasting only)? Overall the uni dishes interest me most, though simply finding some high quality seasonal fish would also be nice.

 

go to 15 east or yasuda instead, that is, if you're mainly interested in the sushi component of the meal.

 

i was not super impressed with the uni at soto actually, although the lobster, lotus root, uni dish is nice, very delicate.

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I see I wrote this up above, but Soto is not a place for sushi IMO. It is a place for composed dishes from the kitchen and sushi bar, beautiful ones at that. I also think these dishes are best shared so you can try more of them. I do think the "soto=uni" thing is a bit overblown, they do other things very well here as well. Just not sushi :-)

 

Agree with Bonner, if you want to be in this area specifically for eating the best sushi, do Ushiwakamaru. 15 East is going to have a much more polished dining experience, which for a single visit from out of town might actually make it the better choice for you. You'll be able to get good sushi and other good dishes as well, like the Soba and Homemade Tofu etc..., and a more Western style of service. But I'll take the fish and rice component from the counter at Yasuda or Ushiwakamaru over 15 East any day, even if they've got a very basic aesthetic by comparison.

 

Kyo Ya is good, but not sure it's a light bite.

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