Answers from Our Experts (1)
At Masa, you’re sure to taste some of the freshest fish you’ve ever had. The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant is the renowned sushi hotspot from chef Masa Takayama. But while you’re planning an excursion to the New York restaurant, consider these five things you need to know:
1. Don’t just show up. Masa requires reservations, having just 26 seats in the whole place and serving lunch and dinner during only a four-hour time period. To make a reservation, call the restaurant on Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. or Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. If you’d like to cancel your reservation or reduce your party size, be sure to give at least 48 hours’ notice to avoid being charged a hefty $200 per person.
2. Expect the cost of your meal to correlate with the service and caliber of food. The dinner menu costs $450 to $600 per person depending on the season, and that doesn’t include tax, tip or beverages. If you get the least expensive menu, be prepared to pay at least $600 per person without alcohol. But for that price, you get 26 courses of fresh fish, the finest toro, truffles and caviar, and a chance to interact with world-class sushi chefs.
3. The best seats in the house are at the sushi bar. You can request to sit in one of the 10 oversized leather chairs at the pristine hinoki wood table, which shines almost white under the lighting. You can watch the sushi chefs prepare food and ask questions about the dishes—sometimes you’re even served sushi courses right out of the chef’s hand!
4. This New York restaurant doesn’t have a menu; it instead offers a pre-set 26 courses, starting with five appetizers like hot pots, seaweed and clam salad and toro tartare and caviar. That’s followed by green tea and sushi featuring a variety of 15 to 20 types of fresh seafood flown in daily from Japan — you’ll see everything from tuna and sea bream to eel and sea urchin. A few courses include delicious rice balls topped with truffles, a digestion-aiding buckwheat tea and a grapefruit granite that caps off the meal on a light, refreshing note. If you’re still hankering for more, you can ask the chef to repeat any course.
5. Get the sake — the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant’s forte and a Japanese favorite. The list changes seasonally, but features six varieties, plus a private label, that showcases a variety of flavors and brewing techniques. Some sakes are light and fragrant while others are fruity and refined. We love the nigori sake, an unfiltered, milky-white beverage with a sweet, fruity flavor.