Answers from Our Experts (1)
Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Masa, a New York hot spot in the Time Warner Center from renowned Japanese chef Masa Takayama, specializes in sushi and fresh seafood; the pescatarian’s paradise isn’t the best place for vegetarians or vegans to dine. Masa’s 26-course, pre-set menu costs $450 to $600 a person, depending on the season, which is a lot to pay if you can’t enjoy the exotic fish that makes it so pricey.
The dining and kitchen staff will try their best to accommodate dietary restrictions, but only a few courses don’t include meat as a main ingredient. The rice topped with white winter truffles is delicious, creamy and rich, and the grapefruit granite dessert course is light and refreshing. A sweet corn and summer truffle appetizer includes flash-fried kernels like tempura, and a lotus-root-and-picked-plum course rounds out the sushi dishes.
The New York sushi restaurant serves green and soba cha tea, and you can choose from a large selection of sake, wine and specialty cocktails featuring Asian ingredients such as Japanese shiso leaf, lemongrass, muddled ginger and yuzu juice.
The neighboring, more casual Bar Masa serves lunch, dinner and take-out, and likely has more to suit vegetarians and vegans. Bar Masa offers a variety of cold and warm salads, such as a chilled miso Nasu eggplant, sweet tomato, tofu and avocado, spicy cucumber tataki, and a soba, spaghetti squash and mizuna salad dressed with nuts and goma sauce.
A few vegetable-based soups, such as the sweet corn puree with soy or a spicy tomato and cucumber concoction, can fill you up if you don’t dig fish. And of course, grilled vegetables such as Maitake mushroom with summer truffle or baby Shishito pepper, give you even more options. You can also order one of seven vegetable sushi rolls, including a soba roll with crispy soba seeds, creamy miso tofu with avocado or a sweet ume shiso with lotus wrap. Consider Bar Masa a good compromise if you’re looking to dine at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant with a party that includes vegetarians.