Q Sushi (Los Angeles, CA) [3]

Q Sushi
521 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Dining date: 1/9/16

Exterior

This was my third time dining at Q. I visited twice when the restaurant opened in 2014 but didn’t get a chance in 2015. Both of my first two meals were great and I was looking forward to seeing if this third meal would still live up to expectations. Pricing for a meal here is still the same at around $165 for the omakase-only meal.

I had a bottle of champagne from a prior birthday, waiting for the right moment to open it. Pairing the champagne with a sushi omakase seemed like an ideal time to drink it.

Champagne

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Omakase (San Francisco, CA)

Omakase
665 Townsend St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Dining date: 12/27/15

Exterior

San Francisco has seen a lot of growth in its sushi scene in recent years, particularly in the high end segment. Michelin-starred sushi restaurants Maruya, Kusakabe, and Wako opened in 2013-2014; Omakase opened in 2015 joining that group with a Michelin star of its own. I’ve yet to go to one of those other restaurants, but was able to squeeze in Omakase as my last dinner in San Francisco over the Christmas holiday.

Two fixed menus are available each evening, one at the $150 level and one at $200. From what I could tell, the higher level offered a couple more pieces of sushi and a beef course towards the end of the meal (at least on this evening). We went for the $200 level.

Menu

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Sushi Tsujita (Los Angeles, CA)

Sushi Tsujita
2006 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Dining date: 9/20/15

Sushi Tsujita

Sushi Tsujita opened about a year ago and was the third LA restaurant from the Tsujita group. The first two restaurants are popular noodle bars; I’ve been a huge fan of the tsukemen they serve (even trying it in Tokyo a few years back). However, this restaurant is something a little different – a refined sushi bar. Reviews of the restaurant have been strong thus far, so a visit was in order.

The dinner menu is omakase-only at three levels: $120, $150, and $180. We went right in the middle. While sushi made up the bulk of the menu, there were a scattering of small, plated dishes throughout.

Interior

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Q Sushi (Los Angeles, CA) [2]

Q Sushi
521 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Dining date: 10/2/14

q exterior

I first dined at Q two months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This return visit came quicker than expected as Q was the last-minute choice for a special occasion meal in the downtown area.

Sushi Zo still gets the majority of buzz of high-end downtown sushi options, though Q is right up there and deserves strong consideration. The quality of the fish is superb and the precision is exacting, plus I think Q has one of the most beautiful sushi bars in town (I love the lightbulbs). It’s very quiet and rather tranquil, transporting one away from the busy downtown streets just outside the doors.

q interior

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Q Sushi (Los Angeles, CA)

Q Sushi
521 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Dining date: 7/30/14

Q

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.

chef

chef

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n/naka (Los Angeles, CA)

n/naka
3455 Overland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Dining date: 7/15/14

exterior

n/naka opened three years ago in a quiet corner of Palms on the westside. The restaurant and its modern take on the Japanese kaiseki meal, has focused on creating a very precise multi-course meal with seasonal ingredients. Many of those ingredients are grown by chef Niki Nakayama herself in her own garden. I still feel the restaurant is somewhat under the radar; sure, Jonathan Gold has continually mentioned the restaurant in high regard (it was #18 in his 2014 best restaurants list), but I don’t feel like it’s consistently being considered with other high-end restaurants in LA.

While common in Japan, n/naka’s kaiseki-based menu is pretty unique in LA. It’s a carefully-scripted tasting menu often featuring 10+ small plates. Seasonal ingredients (usually simply prepared) are highlighted, and service and plating/decor are as much a part of a meal as the food. The thirteen course menu weighs in at $165 ($150 vegetarian) making n/naka one of the most expensive restaurants in the city (there used to be a slimmed down chefs’ tasting for $110).

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