As for Japanese food, 15 East, soft-opening tomorrow, is about to give you both (no, not soap and a wheel).
15 East is two sleek, sparse rooms—a contemporary dining room and a 9-seat sushi bar—each hosting a different chef. Marco Moreira (Tocqueville), whose mantra is "no fusion, no confusion," takes on the dining room with a modern Japanese menu including dishes like Tea Smoked Magret Duck with persimmon and Japanese Wagyu Beef with mustard grain.
The sushi bar is run by chef Masato Shimizu of Jewel Bako and is rooted in ancient methods he learned during a 7-year apprenticeship in Tokyo. Try the Tuna Omakase, with sashimi cut in hatches to better soak up his secret seasoned sauce. You can get anything on the menu in either room, and we suggest washing it all down with a beer mixed with Japanese vinegar (all the rage in Japan)—the vinegar gives it a sweet bite, the kind you may have been looking for all your life.
Since half the restaurant is set aside for walk-ins, 15 East becomes the perfect sushi go-to when you're stuck in the Union Square area, a lost soul without a reservation.
A scary situation that can only be cured with some tako yawarakini, stat.