Nestled in the heart of Downtown, Los Angeles, Q Restaurant sets the tone for omakase experience. Not exactly knowing what we were in for, we entered the restaurant and the host seated us in what felt like a waiting area. Low playing music and minimal decor, I felt as if I had entered the living room of a home set in Japan. It felt intimate, comfortable and exciting.
We waited for a few moments, then we were asked to sit at the sushi bar. I noticed everyone being seated at the same time, and came to realize this will be a group activity and each dish was going to be made as a one off for us all to enjoy. I took along my, um, "friend" who embodies more of an adventurous spirit when it comes to food, versus me who was essentially there for green tea and to take the photos. I told the waiter to skip my servings as I became anxious thinking about having to send anything back. Chef Hiroyuki Naruke personally serves you and the idea of him seeing me spit my food into the napkin gave my heart minor palpitations. Knowing we were there to cover the experience, the waiter politely removed my plate and napkin and gave me a nice, cold glass of water.
That said, I had my adventurous "friend" take notes on his personal experience of each dish. Below, you will find the unedited version of the 20 course tasting and a few comments that went along with them.
1 - Black grouper
Nice subtle flavor. Light vinegar.
2 - Bluefin tuna from Spain in miso sauce
Extremely tender tuna. Sweet miso sauce was perfect compliment.
3 - Yellowtail with ponzu
Nice fresh fish. Complimented by scallions.
4 - Missed the name.
Delicious. Sauce has onion flavor. After taste has that of a pleasant sour cream and onion chip flavor.
5 - Toro bluefin tuna sashimi from Spain
Very juicy and tender. If this fish were a gum it would be called juicyfish.
6 - Seared toro
Nice and meaty with a little spice. Hearty.
7 - Seaweed cured scallop, to be eaten with the fingers
Very tasty subtle flavor.
8 - Black snapper
Tasty (Side note, I ate all my ginger too fast. Not realizing more sashimi would be served this way. My momentary embarrassment was assuaged when I saw that my dining neighbors had all done the same.)
9 - Seaweed cured goldeneye snapper
(I loved that game) The seaweed cured thing is new to me, but pretty good.
10 - Japanese strapjack
Pretty colors. Subtle flavor
11 - No idea what he said.
Too busy drinking beer.
(At this point I'm high on fish. Could be the mercury levels)
12 - Soy marinated bluefin tuna
13 - Japanese Mackerel
14 - Toro something...?
It was delicious
15 - Seaweed cured oyster
Seaweed is growing on me. Very yummy.
16 - No idea what he said
but it tasted amazing
17 - Tasmanian ocean trout
18 - Roe
19 - Santa Barbara sea urchin
20 - Dessert - custard dish
It was an amazing curated experience that is worth every penny. Finding a way to round out your sense gave the diners a natural food-high which left everyone feeling full and elated. This restaurant is amazing for a date if you're looking to impress or a business meeting with a high up executive. Make sure to book well in advance, as it takes very few bookings each night.
521 W. 7th St,
Los Angeless, CA 90014