SugarFISH by Sushi Nozawa

by Rodzilla on May 23, 2012 · 9 comments

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. 


Tuna Sashimi with Scallion and Ponzu

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.

Albacore with Ponzu

Salmon with Sesame

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.


Halibut with Yuzu Ponzu

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.

Toro Handroll

Blue Crab Handroll

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.

Quality even extends to the chopsticks.

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.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 twofoodiesonejourney

I don’t think Sushi Nozawa can move higher on your list as it closed recently ;)

2 Rodzilla

shit, forgot about that. Edited – thanks!

3 Pavlov

You know how much I love Sushi Roddy! Nice job… I think I’ll just have some Yakitori and gyoza!

4 James

I think Nozawa was super awesome about 20 years ago, but since sushi in general has become a lot more popular there are now many more restaurants. If others focus on quality ingredients and don’t give the attitude, then they are probably regarded higher. My take is many people learned from Nozawa about ingredients and have made the next step to reduce the attitude.

On a related note, do you want to visit Kaito anytime soon?

5 Jeanna

You obviously have a more refined palette than me and my can of wasabi peas.
“faux-sushi douchery” — Love it. The Blue Crab handroll looks to die for.

6 Rodzilla

Pav – you could learn to love it, I know this.

James – Yeah, I think if I were to visit it would have been mostly to say I had been. I wasn’t crazy about the shari, and from what I’ve read of the atmosphere I would be more comfortable elsewhere. An itamae with a great personality can make the whole experience that much better – Kaz is a perfect example. Let’s go.

Jeanna – I’m about as refined as a diet coke and McNugget :D Wasabi peas are fine by me, so long as they’re a bar snack at anything BUT a sushi bar.

7 Shannon

Will all of the reviews on this site be of foods from one continent from now on?

8 Kyong

I chuckled at your last picture. I hope you are kidding about the “quality” because every restaurant does that.

9 Rodzilla

Haha, I know they all get their own logo’s but the chopsticks themselves vary. Really cheap places use the type that are more prone to splintering and such.

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