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Masa - Chef Masa Takayama's $595 Prix-Fixe Omakase at Time-Warner Center Not Including Beverages or Tax, but Including Gratuity

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6 hours ago, TrelayneNYC said:

And was it worth it to him?

I'd say "Keeping current with the world's top restaurants is worth it to him." He's on that private wine list I run, and has enough money where he won't even notice this is gone, so who can say if it's worth it for him? This is all I know (please don't judge - he is upper-upper class (though you'd never know it) - I stayed with him in London in 2003, and boy do I have some stories to tell you.) Anyway, his note to my list members:


I used to go more frequently to NY, but except for an exceptional work trip in 2014 and my friend's 50th in the same year, In recent times I am down to once a year. This is the seventh consecutive year I have been to NY for a Madeira tasting and seeing friends. 

I arrived this afternoon. I travelled BA First Class at a quarter of the regular price. There were only five people in first. Service was excellent and food was surprisingly ok, but the disturbing thing was the worst cleaning taint on glassware I have ever encountered. It trashed all the wines. 

Anyway, back in NY it was good to meet up briefly this evening and drop off my wines for Friday's dnner. Then on to Masa. What a consistent and great restaurant this is. The world's "#1", 11MP is a comparative shithole based on last year's experience.

I am surprised that others here haven't tried Masa. Admittedly not inexpensive (my bill tonight was $1180 for one) but in relative terms much better than nearly all bottles of wine.


And then this note the next day, this (so you can see - when he's in New York, he's always in search of the best food and wine in the world - with him, that's pretty much just assumed. He's probably a top-5-most-knowledgeable Madeira collector in the world. - when I visited him, he had about seven bottles open for me to taste (blind, of course) and to comment on, most of it vintage Madeira from the early-late 1800s.


Le Bernardin today for a light lunch was good, the best meal I have ever had there. I think the trick is to choose the more spicy options. If I choose eg the tuna tartar as did the couple at the neighbouring table it would have been overshadowed by the two previous nights' excesses. 

Tender octopus was still octopus (ie limited) but was lifted nicely with a spicy yuzu broth. Then crusted snapper was good with a yellow balsamic ancho chilli sauce with spiced cucumber. A fine light "exotic fruit" dessert finished the meal. I shouldn't have drunk anything after last night's indulgence, but tried Krug GC by the glass. This was edition 159, Krug ID 215040: essentially 2003 base bottled in 2015. It showed well, but the nose was a little mute ... it was very fresh and may develop and open as this is a fresh recent release. If I recall correctly there is a very high percentage of non base wine in this, 50% going back to 1988.


He's not trophy collecting; he's a passionate lover of food and wine - like me, except exponentially wealthier. He is an outstanding human being and a dear friend, even if I don't know him "in person" all that well.

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I hadn't been to Masa before because:

(1) I could never afford that kind of meal until my move to San Francisco; and

(2) since its rating dropped, I figured that it might not be worth it for the amount of money spent, so automatically removed it from consideration.

But seeing your post might make me rethink.

That being said, a visit won't be forthcoming when we return to NYC in May as we've already made plans for other venues.

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Every time I tell my cousin about the delicious sushi I am eating in DC, he responds that Masa would blow anything in DC out of the water. He says he'll take me the next time I am up in NYC but never remind him of his offer because of the price. Instead, we have gone to Batard, Mission Chinese, the Dutch, Parm, and a number of very good but less expensive restaurants. Maybe next time I will take him up on his offer. 

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