New York’s Masa & the only 3 Michelin Star sushi in the States

New York’s Masa is the only sushi restaurant in the US with 3 Michelin Stars and ranked #94 on the San Pellegrino 2015 World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The only other sushi restaurants with 3 Michelin Stars are in Japan. 

With this accolade, I had very high expectations for Masa.  I actually dined by myself because my buddy backed out.  Oh well!  There were no pictures allowed. Fine. No pictures. SYKE!  Actually, I tried many times to take pictures but they’re pretty on top of that like Donald Trump is on top of groping women. Definitely picture nazis.

Anyway, I’ve been to Urasawa in LA and Urasawa was Masa’s apprentice. I asked Urasawa what his favorite sushi restaurant was and he said Masa with a smirk.  I chuckled at his loyalty cause I personally would have said McDonald’s Fish Filet sandwich.

Now, the food. The omakase started with a few appetizers to warm things up. The courses were really salty.  The saltiness was expected with dishes that included Miso and Caviar.  I was really surprised how salty the caviar was and it made me suspect the caviar wasn’t fresh.  I usually enjoy salty foods with a little alcohol and I should have ordered sake with my meal.

Masa NYC
One of the chefs looking all creepy

However, I decided not to because I was at Le Bernardin for lunch that day and my dining schedule included the rest of NYC’s Michelin 3 star restaurants. In other words, I was being cheap and trying to save a few bucks, which was a bad idea.  As I reached in my pocket to grab my phone for picture, the hostess comes up behind me and says “No pictures, sir.”

The next section of the omakase consisted of very earthy courses to symbolize Spring and it happened to be April 2nd when I ate here.  The courses were very good in texture and colorful in presentation. The crab was very sweet and the texture was very delicate.  Masa laughed at me when I was unable to eat the head.  Sorry, Chef. My ex-girlfriends had the same complaints.

After the Seaweed soup, I reached in my pocket to pretend to take a picture of the tree.  The host comes by and says “Sir.  No picture.”  This time I tried to say I was taking a picture of the tree behind the sushi bar.  The hostess replied, “You could do that after the meal.”   I don’t think he bought it.

The 3rd leg of the omakase was the nigiri.  It included mackerel, tuna, and a lot of typical fishes on every omakase menu.  I have to say the Mackerel and the Uni were my favorites.  The Mackerel was fresh and without the fishy scent.  It was definitely prepared very well. The Uni was buttery, creamy and exceptional.

This time as I reached in my pocket to look at my phone.  I see the hostess coming and I simply said to him, “I know.  No pictures.  Just checking the time.”

Overall, I definitely enjoyed my dining experience at Masa. However, I was a bit disappointed because of my own high expectations after dining at Urasawa.  I expected Masa to blow Urasawa out of the water but it didn’t. I personally enjoyed the flavors and dishes at Urasawa more than Masa.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.  For the simple fact, I got to experience Masa and decide for myself whether the hype was true or not.

Would I be back?  Absolutely.  I want to know what it’s like to dine at Masa without dining at Le Bernardin for lunch in the same day.

The man himself

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  • 9/10
    Service - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Presentation - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Flavors - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Decor - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Ambiance - 8.5/10
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