Smack dab in the middle of Downtown sits Q, an upscale sushi restaurant from chef Hiroyuki Naruke. The space is quiet, elegant and traditional, with low, lilting classical music playing softly in the background. Vintage abacuses hang on one wall, while glowing orbs of light hang from above the chef's counter, illuminating each piece of sushi that materializes.
Q focuses on Naruke's Edomae sushi, a style that highlights vinegar-seasoned rice and high quality, fresh cuts of fish. Diners experiencing the full omakase dinner ($165 per person) are treated to roughly 20 courses, the first four being tsumami (small appetizers), like wasabi-topped cuts of fatty tuna and wild yellowtail from Japan. Then, one by one, the rest arrive: scallops, salmon, New Zealand black snapper, mackerel, wild yellowtail belly, bluefin tuna, kohada, baracuda, braised octopus and more, until a final square of sweet tamago signals the end of the meal. In between pieces, those wanting to sip on sake would be wise to order a carafe of the Kubota—one of Q's smoother sake options.
Roughly 60-70 percent of Q's fish comes from Japan, with the rest sourced from both California waters and the East Coast. For the most part, the fish is fresh enough, though some pieces (tuna, mostly) lack a necessary tenderness. Q's rice is often hit-or-miss as well—at times, particularly with the uni course and some of the seared fish pieces, the rice is cold and dry. When shelling out that much money, it can be difficult to overlook such imperfections, and it is true that many of Q's courses are quite lovely. Still, if you're looking to impress a date or potential client, the price tag and theatrics here might be just the ticket.