I just came here this past week for their dineLA 2010 deal. Sugarfish doesn’t take reservations, and it’s a small place, so my friend and I had to wait about 10 min for a table. (It was about 7:30-7:45ish on a Tues night).
When we were seated, our waitress explained the regular menu vs the dineLA deal. In the end, we actually decided to go off the dineLA menu and just get their regular “Trust Me” vs the dineLA version. The two were the same except that the dineLA version swapped the yellowtail out for shrimp, and I’d rather have yellowtail and the regular “Trust Me” was only $1.50 more. So no big deal.
Our meal started with the standard edamame. Very basic. I wish theirs had been warmer tho.
Then came the tuna sashimi with scallions and ponzu sauce. This was fabulous. The tuna was so fresh, and the sweetly acidic kick from the ponzu plus the scallions were a great accent to the natural flavor of the tuna.
Next was a pair of albacore sushi and a pair of salmon sushi. The albacore is already pre-dipped in a special soy sauce, and so there is no need to re-dip it into the regular soy sauce. My albacore sushi was delicious, very smooth, almost buttery. The salmon was fine but not the best I’ve ever had. It didn’t quite have that lusciousness that great salmon sushi usually does.
The next plate was a pair of yellowtail sushi and a pair of halibut sushi. Yellowtail is one of my perennial faves, and theirs was great. The halibut sushi, like the albacore, comes already pre-dipped, and in this case, the marinade had a spicy and herby/citrusy kick. A surprising flavor that provided a nice contrast. All in all, it was wonderful.
Then came their popular blue crab handroll. Their rolls tend to be thinner than the average handroll, but this blue crab roll was quite good, very “crabby” in flavor, a marked difference from the crappy imitation crab rolls we see everywhere (bleeeeaaaacchhhhh).
This followed with the toro handroll. I always like toro, but this wasn’t the the best I’ve ever had. It wasn’t as fatty and buttery as other toro that I’ve had. Almost tasted like regular tuna.
My friend and I also decided to share two additional items – oyster sashimi and scallop sushi. The oyster sashimi comes in a small dish with scallions and soy sauce. These were very good, thinly sliced and had just a slight chewiness too them. The scallop sushi were fabulous. Super tender and sweet (was lightly dressed with sweet Japanese mayo and a bit of roe which offset the saltiness of the seaweed wrapped around it). I strongly recommend adding this to any of their set “Trust Me” orders.
Overall, one pro/con of their style is the warm rice sushi. I love the flavor, but the warmer temperature of the rice makes it softer and thus harder to pick up with chopsticks. Sugarfish’s menu is much more limited vs that at Nozawa or at other sushi places; the idea is to give you a sampler of Chef Nozawa’s style. I’d say it’s a good place to get good quality basic sushi items at an affordable price.
Their service was very good, and you’ll definitely feel welcome and taken care of when you eat here. I still like a few other places better, such as Sushi Sasabune, Sushi Sushi, and Sushi Go 55, but I’d happily go back to Sugarfish.