Japanese >R-23 Japanese Cuisine and Art Gallery
923 E 2nd St Ste 109, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9001234.047132 -118.234281
Mon-Fri 11:30pm-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm;
Neighborhoods: Central LA, Civic Center / Little Tokyo, Downtown
Hiding middle of industrial buildings in the Arts District of DTLA, presentation and their service is A+. Must order the Dungenous Crab Salad.
Great sushi for the loft crowd – This is what downtown, loft-living, hip artist space with great sushi should be. I've been here a few times over the past five years, and I've been really impressed each one. This is one of my favorite spots to take out-of-towners who say LA isn't a real city and there's nothing really "cool" about our city. They do really nice, fresh sushi, but they are probably better known for specialty dishes from the kitchen liked crab salad, pine mushroom soup and lobster tempura. The wine list is impressive as well, with selections that were selected to actually pair with the food. The art on the walls is cool, the staff friendly and then there's the famous Gehry cardboard-looking chairs! It's kind of hard to find, down a small street off East Third, but that's part of the charm. They have a valet now.
Good atmosphere – The atmosphere is good. I wasn't too impressed with the sushi - it was fresh and declious, but nothing special.
cool environment but went home hungry~ – I read some reviews before I went and i was confused cuz some reviews rated it as fantastic and other's disliked the place. I went with several friends for a bachelorette dinner and I found the place really pretty and clean; however, the most important thing, THE FOOD, took soooo long to come out AND they forgot my order. But the waiters were so nice and apologetic about it that I coudln't really get upset. And it was strange cuz when we ordered the waiter indicated to us that particular dishes could serve up to 4 people. So~ we ordered those dishes thinking it could feed us comfortably~ BUT these dishes come out and it was clear that just one of us could finish the whole dish and not even be very full. To make this short, the food was good but not GREAT! You can totally just go to Little Tokyo and get better food and spend less money. Yes, it was quite expensive ~ It's supposed to be a gallery/restaurant and i DID see some art there.. but the lighting was a bit dark so i didn't really get the impact that it functioned as a gallery as well. I don't recommend it unless you want to spend a lot of money in a cool environment wid ok food.
Eh--not that special.. – If you're looking to impress a date or out-of-town guests with how much cash you can drop on small and artistically arranged plates--this is the joint. Yes--there's a pleasant ambience--cool furniture & paintings--smooth service--but the food? Just doesn't justify the unusually high prices. It's a shame--if they simply priced everything more reasonably--I'd rate this place as an interesting find--and I'd go back. But because it was too expensive for the menu items--I walked away thinking I was duped--particularly since the fare itself was fairly conventional and standard. Overall, I'd say go once just to experience it--since it is always worth it to try something new. But it isn't going to be that one great Japanese restaurant that gets your repeat business--you'll have to look elswhere for that.
Beautiful Presentation – OK so... my Brahm and I disagree on this one. I thought it was great, but he thinks way too expensive... Let me explain why... I (and he) ordered appetizers from the (Price NOT listed) specials list. not a good idea. my shrimp tempura was 24.00!!!!! what~?~ and His Beef something-or-other ws 18... so with 4 people ordering ridiculous appetizers and (splurging) $40.oo on a bottle of sake our bill was $200... However, we usually eat at amazing but ridiculously low priced sushi places. Zip, Sushi Go 55... and I wanted to go somewhere new...
NOW for the rest of the night. Sake=some of the best I've ever had... Sushi= great cuts, and super fresh, and also normally priced per serving, not that expensive...
The presentation was cool and slightly shocking. ALL our sushi came out on one long platter, like an eel carrying our pieces on its back. I managed to eat 90% of mine allowing Brahm to steal a few.
The Decor is cool it's an art gallery and all the chairs are made of corrugated Cardboard but were surprisingly comfortable.
My suggestion? Splurge on the Sake, but keep the rest to your usual sushi fare, stray from the specials menu! :) (although my shrimp tempura was tasty and HUGE :) )
Sushi and service without the "scene". – From the moment you arrive, you have the highest attention from Kato, the chefs, and servers. I have been a monthly regular for nearly five years. While I patronize other great sushi spots, this is the one keeper I come to again and again... never disappointed. Say hello to Toshio, one of the chefs. My favorite is their seared salmon; ask them to put some yuzu on it, and you'll be transported to an astral plane. The location is great and if you go in the early evening, you'll catch a phenomenal view looking westward towards the downtown skyline. Cheers!
Ambience yes. Sushi, No. – This place is so overrated. The place is definitely gorgeous, but the sushi is very much below average. I am someone who eats Japanese food at least 3 times a week, so trust me, I know Japanese food. Their crab salad is good, I will give them that, but the sushi is simply disappointing.
Top 10 restaurants in LA – I am a total restaurant hunter in LA and I've heard so much about R23 I decided to try it out. We got reservations for Saturday night, needless to say it was totally packed and since I kept calling and moving my reservations around (running late) we had to wait about 15 minutes to get seated. I wasn't mad but after seating us, the manager and all the waiters wouldn't stop apologizing. Not only were they extra nice but extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The sushi was impecable and the crab salad was amazing. On top of all that the manager gave us 2 bottles of sake and 2 desserts as an extra apology for the wait. Granted I've never waited more than 2 minutes being seated before, I don't think many restaurants of this caliber would be this nice. In conclusion, try this place over hyped-up Katana.
new sushi lover falls in love – we sat at the sushi bar & ordered the tried & trues and a couple of the house specials. our chef was focused & polite & obviously a genius because we couldn't stop ordering. all i can say is that i am planning my next trip back & counting the days. i just don't know if this should be a speical occasion place or if i can possibly not go once a week from now on. and the downtown location is a real treat to go to when you're sick of the l.a. hustle & bustle.
User review by ahoeveler – Very cool place. Good for a date. Our server asked us what time we needed to leave to get to our show on time (!) and then worked hard to make sure we were served promptly. Wonderful, rich food with attention to detail... you probably have not had Japanese like this.
the whole package – I made a 6 pm reservation for Saturday night for a party of 3. the cooked dishes are great (there was too much dressing on the dungeness crab salad but it was good nonetheless), and the sashimi didn't disappoint either. the waiter seemed surprised that we didn't order any sushi or rolls, but kept ordering more sashimi. I went in mid-January, which I have been told is no-amaebi (sweet shrimp)- season, but the sweet shrimp here was to die for. I've been to four other reputable sushi restaurants since R-23 and none of them had the kind of amaebi that R-23 had, if they had it at all. the service was slow; we ordered some additional sashimi and it took about 15 minutes to arrive, at which point we had lost our appetites. after so much sashimi, the bill wasn't light, but the meal was worth it.
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