It seems every special occasion I have with the BF is celebrated with eating trips. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Three Day Weekends, Etc..
So BF and I celebrated our anniversary with an eating trip of course. We knew we wanted to eat in LA on one of the days and we’ve been wanting to check out more sushi places in LA. After reading great reviews about Sugarfish from two of my favorite LA bloggers, Dining with Catty Critic and Gastronomy, I knew I had to go check it out.
Sugarfish has four locations in LA. Their concept is an appealing one: serving high quality sushi at an affordable price, making the traditional sushi experience accessible to everyone.
Sugarfish was created by sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa. The menu is very simple. There are three fixed meals to choose from: Trust Me Lite, Trust Me and The Nozowa. There are also some other additional sushi items you can order,but most patrons choose one of the set meals.
It took me a while to decide which location to visit, but we ultimately decided on the Brentwood location because it a parking lot which is free with validation and we were hoping that this location would be slightly less crowded, especially since you cannot make reservations.
The popular restaurant is located in a nondescript plaza of Brentwood. Inside, there are less than a dozen tables, creating a very intimate environment.
We were very lucky with our timing. When we got there, there was only one table ahead of us. As soon as we were seated though, the guests were pouring in. Soon there was almost an hour wait.
Once seated, we were immediately greeted with a very friendly waitress who seemed ecstatic upon learning this was our first visit. I chose to go with the Trust Me meal and BF opted for the full Nozowa experience. You can view the full dinner menu here.
Our food arrived one by one, and very quickly. Our first dish was a plate of edamame beans.
Next we were both served a tuna sashimi mixed with house made ponzu sauce. I really liked the ponzu sauce created by the chef and I usually don’t care much for ponzu sauce. This was probably my favorite dish of the night.
Next, I was given the salmon and albacore sushi. One of the other things that makes the sushi experience so popular at Sugarfish is because all the sushi is served with warm rice, which is already pre-seasoned with sauce, usually ponzu. The sushi stands by itself and is not supposed to be dipped in additional soy sauce or wasabi. The warm rice creates a melt in your mouth experience when eating with the raw fish slices. I really enjoyed the warm sushi rice concept.
BF received a similar plate but with addition of snapper.
Next, we were both given yellowtail and halibut. The habilut was my favorite sushi bite.
We were then each presented with a toro handroll. I was surprised by the look of the handroll, as I’m used to cone shaped rolls stuffed with rice and then sashimi. Instead, the handrolls here resemble an uncut sushi roll.
Normally BF and I enjoy toro, but neither of us enjoyed this toro. I also didn’t like how much rice was in the roll and how little fish there was.
For our final handroll, we had a choice between crab and yellowtail. I chose crab and BF chose yellowtail. We made good choices since I preferred the crab and he preferred the yellowtail. Again, I wished there was more fish and less rice in these handrolls.
BF got one final dish, the daily special, which was unagi that night. The unagi was served hot and was quite tasty.
Our meal was completed very quickly. I was surprised that the meal ended so quickly and was unfortunately, still a little hungry.
Overall, I like the concept of serving the sushi on warm rice. It’s unique, tasty, and I can see why Sugarfish is so popular. However, while they seem to market affordable sushi, I thought the price was a little high for what we received.
11640 W. San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone: 310 820-4477
Yah, the rushed pace bugs me too! I’m cool with the price point for the quality, though. Warm rice makes me happy and glad to hear you like it as well.
I wish it was slightly slower paced, but I guess the rushed pace let’s them get customers in and out quickly.
I guess affordable good sushi and shashimi are hard to find:D
Oh and if you are looking for an affordable sushi joint, venture up to Oceanside to Sushi n’ Joy. It’s hidden in the Trader Joe’s shopping center on Vista Way near Jefferson(?) near the 78.
Oooh, I’ll keep that in mind. Never heard of the place!
Sushi Ota was quite good when I went. Between 3 people, we used to drop $100 for a bunch of rolls and some nigiri and were STUFFED.
Considering the quality of the sushi we got, I didn’t think SugarFISH was too expensive. While it’s not a place I could eat at as often as I would like, it’s not a terrible hurt on the wallet (though that’s relative) compared to other sushi joints here in LA.
Awww, I’m sad to hear that the rolls you had were a little skimpy on the crab and yellowtail. The crab roll I had had plenty of meat and was incredibly flavorful.
I’ve heard other people mention that it’s a quick meal. I have not yet been back as a “standard” customer so I can’t comment on that…yet.
Yeah, it was super fast. I think I was slightly disappointed because I didn’t think it was enough food. Also while some of the fish were really good there were a few that didn’t seem as great in quality.
I just looked at their prices and it really does seem expensive. Your experience reminds me of what you get during restaurant week: a set menu, fast service, so-so quality, and you sometimes leave hungry 🙂
I really love sushi/sashimi. It’s just a shame that we don’t have an affordable place here in SD that serves affordable Japanese fare. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all afford Sushi Ota every day of the week (I haven’t been there in years but heard it’s the best sushi place in town).
Nice post – love the pics!
I’ve never eaten at Sushi Ota! I’ve heard good things about it. Will have to do it soon. Yes, I wish there was more affordable sushi!