Sushi Master Masato Shimizu is Leaving 15 East

If you’ve never been to 15 East (a well-acclaimed sushi spot in Union Square), then you might not know why people care that Masato Shimizu is leaving. Masato happens to be the sushi master who, after working under Rikio Kugo at Sukeroku in Tokyo for 7 years, moved to NYC, worked at Jewel Bako in the East Village, and then ended up collaborating with the owners of 15 East as their head sushi chef.

Despite his obvious talent (can you spell M-I-C-H-E-L-I-N?), and the amazing freshness of the ingredients, it’s his demeanor that will be missed most. Masato firmly believes in encouraging customers at the sushi bar to ask questions, explain the ingredients, his technique, etc. His passion and knowledge would come out with every Omakase dinner he would orchestrate and it’s that that will be missed (and why food sites, like us, are reporting on it).

The chef is planning to move to Bangkok with his wife in July but, don’t fret too much about 15 East’s outstanding reputation and menu, as he will still remain a partner in the restaurant –it just won’t quite be the same experience at that sushi bar…

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