One of the city’s best traditional Japanese restaurants, Q Sushi, is turning up the luxury dining to 11. According to an email sent around by the Downtown restaurant, a new premium menu will "start" at $250, and require 48 hours advanced notice.
Chef Hiroyuki Naruke has always been keen to charge high prices for his luxurious omakase menus. The opening price for the usual experience at Q was around $165, though that was back in 2013, and sushi prices domestically have certainly skyrocketed since then. There’s also more competition now than ever for quality Japanese dining experiences around L.A., from popular recent omakase option Sushi One in Koreatown to the soon-to-open Sushi Ginza Onodera coming to West Hollywood.
To stand out, chef Naruke plans to import hairy crab from Hokkaido, make lobster sashimi from Santa Barbara, and toy with lots of other preparations using seafood from Japan and elsewhere. With drink add-ons and supplements, it’s easy to see the final bill for one climb into the stratosphere.
Of course there are lots of other issues at play when it comes to eating so much seafood, especially the luxurious kind. Even Jonathan Gold has come out in recent years against the persistent use of bluefin tuna at restaurants of all stripes, which sits at about 4% of normal population levels and will be extinct in a matter of years at current fishing rates. And as LA Weekly points out, America has turned to poke as a new relatively healthy trend, but at the expense of sustainable seafood levels globally.
Q Sushi is far from the first restaurant to offer a highly elevated (read: expensive) dinner experience to discerning guests willing to pony up the cash. Noma’s next pop-up in Mexico will cost a cool $600 — which is more than a month’s typical pay for the average worker there. Even locally, Urasawa for years charged exorbitant prices to those who could afford the experience while getting dinged for allegedly underpaying employees along the way. Still, with Ginza Onodera’s upcoming $400 premium menu, it’s a safe bet that the team at Q Sushi won’t have the dubious distinction of being LA’s most expensive sushi meal just yet.