bitterMONKEY, sourPUSS, sugarFISH? i think sushi master kazunori nozawa and his team of sushi enthusiasts picked a winner with the name sugarFISH. nommmm...and this sugarFISH is not your average swedish fish either. more than anything else, it is like sexy, grown-up sushi candy for your tastebuds, seriously.
this past friday, i was invited to a media tasting at the newly opened SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa in downtown l.a. we were warmly greeted by emanuele massimini, one of the partners in the steadily growing SUGARFISH empire. the dinner was a treat for my mouth and my ears as all sorts of nozawa secrets were leaked out, none that can be told to you unfortunately unless you want to end up sleeping with the errr....sugarfishes.....
our meal promptly began with the theNozawa menu ($35- $38) which is comprised of ten items. the organic edamame, the quintessential starter for most sushi meals, were al dente salted pods. what a great way to busy the hands and the mouth as we waited.
the trio of albacore, salmon, and snapper sushi were delectable as they laid on delicate mounds of fluffy, warm rice. the quality of the fish were duly noted as i popped them in my mouth, slowly savory them one bite at a time.
very quickly, the toro hand rolls and the crab hand rolls were presented to us. the fragrant nori sheets reminded me of korean laver which instantly tickled my nose in the most delightful way. as soon as these hand rolls were brought to our table we were urged to consume them since the softened nori would ruin the taste and texture of the hand roll itself. (below is a pic of the crab hand roll).
the large scallop sushi was the "daily special" of the night. sweet, tender, and plump, just the way scallops were meant to be appreciated.
the toro sushi was unctuous in a most delightful way. the buttery, fatty fish intermingled with the tart rice perfectly. a wonderful bite for any sushi lover.
the halibut fin sashimi ($7.50) was a textural surprise. the strips of sashimi rested in a light ponzu sauce and were slightly crunchy and limey to the tongue. if you get the chance to order this, i urge that you do. it is a nice departure from the typical dishes one finds at a sushi restaurant and to up the exclusivity factor, it is not always available either.
look at this beautiful, translucent strip of fishy flesh.
one of my favorite sushi items of the night was the halibut sushi. the yuzu ponzu sauce was tart, tangy, and delivered a subtle prick of heat to my tongue. this particular sushi definitely left me craving for more.
i ended my tasting as i do with all sushi dinners by popping two pieces of uni into my mouth. the delicate, creamy, sea tofu was the perfect way to cleanse my palate at the end of a yummy sushi meal.
thank you emanuele for your invitation. sugarFISH is an absolutely chic and tasty addition to dtla and for sure this visit will not be my last. the value and quality i find here is hard to beat!
600 W. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
verdict: tasty, try it!
verdict: tasty, try it!