After almost a decade as the face of modern Japanese restaurant 15 East (15 East 15th Street, 212-647-0015), sushi master Masato Shimizu is leaving his post, reps confirm. Known for his friendly demeanor and steadfast devotion to the craft, Shimizu trained in Tokyo for eight years before moving to New York, where he made a name for himself at Jewel Bako in the East Village after a short stint on Long Island. At 15 East, he and owners Marco Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzky constructed a polished downtown shrine to marine life known for its fastidiously sourced and -handled ingredients, which landed it a spot on our list of 99 Essential Downtown Restaurants.
In July, he’ll relocate to Bangkok with his wife, but remain a partner in the restaurant. Better make those reservations soon.