Farewell LA Food Tour – Sugarfish

Sugarfish is the successful series of sushi restaurants, associated with famed Los Angeles sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa.   While it has commoditized in some ways the sushi experience, it has also served as a breath of fresh air in the Los Angeles dining scene.  The restaurants, of which there are currently five (with more on the way), are elegant and sparse, manned by waiters (unlike typical sushi bars, the chefs are relegated to the kitchen) who preach a commercialized gospel of omakase, which in practice translates to three set-menu options of escalating size, with specific instructions on which dishes should not be eaten with soy sauce, plus a limited a la carte selection with daily off-the-menu specials.

Frankly, it’s surprising that a similar concept hadn’t already taken root in a city chock-full of sushi spots, izakayas, and ramen houses.  What I appreciate about the Sugarfish restaurants is their consistency (at its particular price point) – of fish quality and of service namely.  While it is neither the best sushi in town nor the cheapest, Sugarfish gives me, as LA critic Jonathan Gold puts it, “basically a fixed-course, fixed-price meal,” something that always felt amiss for sushi restaurants.  On one end, getting omakase at LA’s finest sushi institutions can easily run into the hundreds of dollars, albeit for noticeably better fish; on the other, similarly- or lower-priced fare are not usually reliably delicious.  Sugarfish is.  Perhaps that is the greatest value-add from Chef Nozawa, who is involved in the fish-buying process for the restaurants.

My typical order is the “Trust Me,” which slightly pared down in quantity during lunch service.  It goes as follows:

Tuna Sashimi

Albacore and Salmon Sushi

Yellowtail and Halibut Sushi

Toro Hand Roll

Blue Crab Hand Roll

I also added an extra order of salmon sushi and another of albacore tuna belly, the off-menu special:

Albacore Tuna Belly Sushi

Multiple locations

Trust Me set menu (go with the blue crab hand roll)

SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa on Urbanspoon

One thought on “Farewell LA Food Tour – Sugarfish

  1. Pingback: Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar – Upper East Side, NYC « House of Hao's

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s