521 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Dining date: 7/30/14
Q Sushi opened in November of last year, just off downtown’s corner of 7th & Grand, home to other popular spots Bottega Louie, Sugarfish and Mo-Chica. Its opening was right on the heels of the downtown location of Zo, creating a formidable twosome in downtown’s high-end sushi scene.
Q is known for its omakase-only menu (begins at $165) and edomae-style of sushi. Chef Hiroyuki Naruke maintained a sushi bar in Tokyo’s Roppongi district for years before moving to LA with the assistance (and persuasion) of some of his loyal customers, who also happened to be LA-based attorneys.
The meal began with a number of small fish dishes.
Flounder ponzu, scallion
Loved the delicate flounder accented by bright ponzu and scallion accompaniments.
Swordfish onion sauce
I’m not sure I’ve had raw swordfish before; this was meaty, rich and tender with a deep onion sauce. Very nice.
Japanese Snapper black sesame
Black sesame provided a strong earthy flavor to these slightly chewier slices of fish.
Seared Toro shishito pepper paste
Toro was as rich and luscious as expected with a little bit of heat accent from the shishito pepper paste.
Jellyfish cucumber, mushroom, sesame
Strips of jellyfish had a great snap with various other textures of thinly sliced cucumber and mushroom. A sesame-based sauce brought it all together; another hit.
With the completion of the small plates the meal progressed into course-after-course of sushi. House-pickled (of course) ginger signaled the beginning of this phase of the meal.
Lean Bluefin Tuna
Squid scallop sauce
Egg baby shrimp
Upon completion of the regular omakase, the chef offered to serve a second-helping of any favorites. There were also a couple other ‘off-menu’ items available, all a la carte and market-priced. We tried a few.
Baby Gizzard Shad (Shinko); Adult Gizzard Shad (Kohada)
Sea Urchin marinated one month in miso
Q Sushi presented a very strong meal. I really enjoyed the smaller plates; they were unique and clearly carefully thought-out and executed. The swordfish with onion sauce and jellyfish stood out. Sushi, as expected, was another strong point. The fishes were full-flavored, marinated and quick-cured where applicable to bring out the fish’s flavor; some of my favorites were the barracuda, octopus, and sea urchin. The egg (tamago) was more shrimp than egg, blending a strong shellfish flavor into the moist, custard-y cake. The shinko was a treat too, currently in season, displaying the oily fish nicely. Lastly, the sea urchin, marinated in miso for a month, was something unique. The dish was very sweet, with clear sea urchin flavor, though in a very different way from fresh urchin; it wasn’t as bright and clean, but more developed with a lot of nuanced flavors. I would return to Q and, for what it’s worth, I did like this meal more my one at Zo downtown.