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SugarFish by Nozawa - Perceptor's Report

with a name like Nozawa backing it, Sugarfish definitely has some big shoes to fill...
even though, we all know sugarfish is more of a quick sushi fix kinda place, we still expect to be satisfied.....

everyone knows about the 3 tiers of "Trust Me" menus and the prices are all inclusive (tax and tip) I ordered the off menu "Surpise Me" menu which is the $36 tier 3 trust me + extra $6 because it is supposed to be more exotic fish...

to make a short story even shorter, i was 1) not surprised 2) not satisfied 3)and this place is for extremely beginner sushi eaters which in LA im proud to proclaim most people are fairly exposed and experienced with really good sushi...

Here is my photo coverage:

- Perceptor

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  1. As always, great report Perceptor. Thanks for taking one for the team.

    1. seems pretty ridiculous and that "bar" is just pitiful

      1 Reply
      1. re: ns1

        yes ns1.. felt like im at a oxygen bar

      2. Those graphics on sitting on each table explaining the ordering system are really scary. Are they expecting grade school children? (From the Pinkberry look of the place, maybe - the perfect place to introduce your toddler to the joys of sushi).

        2 Replies
          1. re: Will Owen

            I have to admit, are you're going to give me crap for this but I hadn't been to Sushi Nozawa ifor months and then tried SugarFish a few wt eeks back when they opened and Sugarfish was pretty good, it did remind me of Nozawa, it isn't as good, but gets some of the resemblance down pat in the quality of the fish used and saucing. but yes it's a little too cutesy looking and of the assembly line ilk

        1. "unlike the usual sushi bars, those bar seatings have absolutely no action in front of them.. all sushi is prepared in the back kitchen.."

          Absolutely pathetic.
          Thanks for the report!

          1. Hi Perceptor,

            Definitely thanks for taking one for the team. This place looks like a complete joke and those rolls... yikes!

            1. Serious question & I'm not trying to be snide: Where should "extremely beginners" chow down their sushi to make the transition to "fairly exposed and experienced"? I'm hoping it's not Ursawa.

              6 Replies
              1. re: bernardo

                Geography related.
                A couple months of daily lunch trips to a shushi rich barrio will do.
                Or at least Little Tokyo did for me.

                1. re: RicRios

                  A couple months of DAILY lunch trips to a sushi joint? At $30 a pop (minimum) that comes out to almost $2000!

                  1. re: scoot

                    Hey, nobody said higher education comes cheap!

                  2. re: RicRios

                    Hmmm, just frequency rather than range of items ordered (sea urchin, monkfish liver, etc)? That's weird. Should the beginner choose by himself or ask the sushi chef for help?

                    1. re: bernardo

                      Beginner will start choosing by himself, and always lets chef know the likes and dislikes.
                      Sushi Chef records all in his brain.
                      After a while, beginner asks chef to choose.
                      By that time, Sushi Chef knows customer tastes better than customer's own mother.
                      From that moment on, only Chef makes choices. Chef avoids repeating, brings novelties out, entertains customer.

                  3. Thanks for taking the hit and reporting back. We live a few minutes away and I was toying with the idea of going, but The Guy nixed the idea because he found the whole experience of sushi without a sushi chef to be odd. Now I'm glad we skipped it. For $100 we can get decent sushi in any number of places.

                    1. thank you for the report.

                      i had tried the 'trust me #1' and wrote it up a couple of weeks ago.

                      i see from your report that my opinion would not have been higher had i ordered more.
                      (i had one good piece of sushi and one ok piece of sush for over $20--the rest of the stuff that was served to me was poor to mediocre.)

                      1. great quality photos. the sushi looks fine for a casual solo lunch. but clearly nothing to write home about. what is nozawa doing putting his name on a place like that? what was the drive behind the original concept?

                        1. I think you're kind of missing the point -- this place isn't competing with a high-end omakase place: it's competing with other quick 'n cheap sushi options -- or at least that's how it seemed to me. The tax-and-tip-included pricing makes it confusing as hell, but $29.50 for the Trust Me #2, if you remove tax and tip, is more like $23 (is that right?)... 23 bucks for edamame, tuna sashimi, 6 pcs. nigiri and 8 pcs. maki is a pretty great deal, no? It's not Sushi Nozawa, but it's a heck of a lot more affordable (and closer to me)... I think your mistake may have been trying the off-menu overpriced option: I was very happy with the #2.

                          1. Went here last week. The place wasn't bad or good, just whatever. I think Nozawa only put his name on the place because his son is involved with it. The sushi was sloppily put together. I think you're better off going to Katsu-ya or Tama if you want inexpensive and decent sushi.