I’m not into most types of food snobbery, but if you’re the type that mixes soy with wasabi and orders a super-duper-crunchy-Californiabomination roll, well…I look down on you and I hate you. So, when I learned that LA’s infamous sushi-Nazi Nozawa, had extended his reputation for etiquette to his chain of SugarFISH establishments, I was pretty excited to give one a try.
The sugarFISH menu offers standard a la carte selections along with 3 combination options. They I should also note that they offer limited nutritional information, which I always appreciate. I went for the standard “Trust Me” selection and supplemented the piece of halibut fin pictured at the top.
The combos aren’t served all at once like most sushi combinations. Instead, dishes arrive in a progression as they are prepared, more akin to ordering from the bar. All meals start with organic edamame and tuna sashmi, followed by 2 sets of nigiri, and ending with handrolls served individually.
The pacing is done to ensure freshness, and I have no complaints there (even on a Monday). All nigiri arrive with the exact accouterments as Nozawa would have intended and with his signature loosely packed rice. The rice was loose enough that a number of pieces fell apart, I don’t think the original sushi bully is about to take recommendations from me, but my personal preference is for firmer shari.
Handrolls are somewhat of a signature dish at the Nozawa establishments and a great way to finish. Nozawa prides himself on quality nori, and I did find the seaweed wrapping a great contrast for both the tuna belly and blue crab.
I can’t say the visit made me terribly upset to have missed out on the original Nozawa, but it was a perfect place for a quick bite with my man Daniel post foie-battle at Melisse. The ingredients are quality, service efficient, and staff (at least at this location) friendly. Best of all, they don’t cater to any faux-sushi douchery. I might visit again based on that alone.