From the outside, Sushi Luxe looks like a hole-in-the-wall bar with its dark gray wood and dirt-brown brick exterior, as well as the bright blue neon sign that flashes "S-U-S-H-I L-U-X-E," over and over, until the end of time. Then you step through the door and that glaring fact becomes a fleeting footnote; the inside of this popular sushi spot in Andersonville is as stylish as an Alfred Hitchcock film, if Alfred Hitchcock were Japanese. The visual design, barely lit like film noir, is a mixture of more brown brick and stainless steel, with pitch-dark floors, mahogany tables and chairs stained glossy crimson red. And the music, loud enough so you know it's there and soft enough so you don't go crazy, is the kind of swanky, low-key club soundtrack that doesn't make you want to hurt someone.
Oh, and there's sushi, too. With an extensive menu that ranges from $4-$25 and offers every style of raw fish you could possibly imagine (all of it deliciously prepared with delicate care), Sushi Luxe guarantees you'll go home satisfied, from the tip of your tongue to the center of your soft and pudgy stomach. Start off with one of 22 appetizers, such as the ika shoga yaki, boiled squid with ginger sauce ($6 ), before moving onto a combination, Luxe Bento or Sushi Bento, or an entree, perhaps the Chicago Sushi with 2 pieces each of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, freshwater eel and shrimp plus your choice of $4 maki ($18). Predictably, the non-sushi options are next to nonexistent, but if you're absolutely dedicated to consuming cooked meat (you coward!), try the yaki tori ($6), three skewers of charbroiled chicken glazed in something sweet.
Average cost: $31+
Centerstage Reviewer: Benjamin Andrew Moore