Welcome to our photo series Eater Scenes, where Eater photographers visit some of the city's great restaurants to capture them at a certain, and very specific, point in the day. Today, a visit to O-Ku at 10:00 p.m., on a Friday.
[Photo: Rémy Thurston]
The confluence of college students, young professionals, and tourists looking for fun turns the King Street area above Calhoun into a mass of hedonistic crowds, once the clock creeps past 10:00 p.m. No matter how set a restaurant's plans are to become a serious institution, if they open on Upper King they will soon find themselves with late night crowds looking for cocktails and Tinder matches more than haute cuisine—but that's not to say the two can't coincide.
Sure, the earnest food lovers will make early reservations and evacuate before the first clack of a five inch heels, but establishments have a choice to embrace party-seeking patrons or set limitations on hours and head counts. Since they opened just over four years ago, upscale sushi house O-Ku chose to welcome the revelers.
The restaurant has garnered impressive distinctions such as Esquire magazine's Top 20 Best New Restaurants in 2010 and Travel + Leisure's recognition as one of the best sushi restaurants in the U.S., but they've also gained a reputation as a happening place to hang out on weekends. Manager Kimball Brienza ensures every guest has the experience they seek at O-Ku—whether that's discovering contemporary Asian cuisine or sipping creative cocktails while a DJ spins.
For a up-close view, Eater sent photographer Rémy Thurston to view the scene on a recent Saturday night.
[Photos: Rémy Thurston]