Archive for January 10, 2012

I’m Just Here for the Food: SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa


I used to think I loved sushi.

Then, I went to SUGARFISH for the first time and discovered that I’d never really had sushi before.

SUGARFISH is a restaurant of sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa. Nozawa is affectionately known as the “Sushi Nazi,” and is renowned for his keen eye for good fish and for his uncanny ability to give you exactly what you want without your even having to ask.

He’s famous for his Omakase (chef’s choice) menu, delighting his customers with whatever it pleases him to make for them, and politely but unceremoniously tossing out those who would question his choices. At SUGARFISH, the menu’s as simple as it gets:

  • The TRUST ME: a starter of organic edamame, followed by tuna sashimi, two pieces of albacore sushi, two pieces of salmon sushi, one piece of yellowtail sushi, one piece of halibut sushi, a toro hand roll, and a blue crab hand roll
  • The TRUST ME/LITE: edamame, tuna sashimi, one piece each of albacore, salmon, and Nozawa Shrimp Sushi, and a toro hand roll
  • The NOZAWA: edamame, tuna sashimi, two pieces each of albacore, salmon, yellowtail, and halibut sushi, a toro hand roll, a blue crab hand roll, and a two-piece “Daily Special”
  • SUGARFISH tuna sashimi

    The tuna sashimi is a revelation (photo credit: Foodie Universe).

    If you want more than each of these prix fixe menus give you, you can order random rolls and sushi as well. The rules at SUGARFISH are a bit more relaxed than at Sushi Nozawa.

    The sushi here is served with warm sushi rice, which makes all the difference. The warmth of the rice awakens your taste buds to the delicate flavors of the fish. Even my sister, who pooh-poohs my propensity to get teary-eyed about food, had to admit that the sushi at SUGARFISH made her get a little verklempt.

    But the real star of the show at SUGARFISH is the FISH. Nozawa is a master of fish selection. Every single piece of fish here is of the highest quality, and just melts in your mouth. Certain dishes are served with light sauces, but these sauces serve only to enhance the flavors of the fish, and not to cover it up as it would at lesser sushi restaurants.

    SUGARFISH brentwood

    I’ve had lunch at the Brentwood location and dinner at the Downtown location (makes for the ULTIMATE pre-opera dinner, yo), and the restaurant’s mellow, trendy ambience and d├ęcor is quite memorable until the sushi comes out and you forget everything else in a haze of delicate, yet powerful flavor.

    I thought I loved sushi before, but my past devotion pales in comparison to this new passion for sushi awakened by just a taste of the real sushi to be had at SUGARFISH.

    Do yourself a favor and save up as much as you can for one night of unforgettable sushi at SUGARFISH. It’s worth every penny.

    SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa
    11640 W. San Vicente Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90049
    (310) 820-4477