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Jul 6, 2012 05:36 PM

SUGARFISH’s shari–What is this I don’t even

Apologies in advance to my waiter today at SUGARFISH. I did not mean to mislead you when I answered “good” to your inquiry on how my meal was. It was just a reflex response to the question you posed. I wish I could take it back, because it really was not good.

I had the most unpleasant shari (sushi rice) in my life at SUGARFISH in Santa Monica today. Forget the debate between “warm” vs. room temperature shari, I’m surprised the fish wasn’t being cooked by the rice right on the plate. If it hadn’t been seasoned, I'd have thought the rice came straight from the cooker, skipping the hangiri (the wooden tub where rice is seasoned and cooled to become shari), and into the sushi chef’s hopefully asbestos-lined gloved hands.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but did I mention that the shari was horribly hot (and just plain horrible)?

Let me back up… I was in the mood for sushi for lunch today, so I thought I’d try SUGARFISH in Santa Monica. I got a seat at the bar relatively fast. Either the chair (not stool, since it had a back) was uneven or the floor was, but I felt off-kilter the entire meal. (Should have taken that as an omen.)

I ordered The Nozawa [$34], the “Trust Me” lunch set that comes with a daily special, which was large whole scallop today. I also ordered one of the off-menu sushi, albacore belly [$6] (the other off-menu sushi was Spanish mackerel).

I was immediately served the organic edamame from a large tray of pre-plated soybeans behind the counter. They were cold and salty, not bad but nothing to write home about. I was also given a saucer of gari and wasabi, which looked like it was piped onto the dish by a machine.

The gari, while not overly so, was much sweeter than I’m used to. It also had a much stronger ginger flavor, as if it was made from more mature roots. I speculate that the sweetness was added to counteract the spice. At least it wasn’t pink.

First up was the tuna sashimi. I was concerned it would be drenched in sauce, but it wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, “not too bad” also summed up the dish itself. The ponzu was quite tart, and the tuna was about average, like what you’d find in an ahi poke at a Hawaiian BBQ place. Maybe a little better.

Second up was a platter of albacore and salmon nigiri. I tried a piece of the albacore first. I had turned the piece sideways as I ate it, so the neta hit my mouth first. It was cool and tart from the ponzu... Then I was hit with the rice. It was not room temperature. It was not body temperature. It was not warm. I already used up my hyperbole quota for what the rice was like in my intro above, but it was just plain hot. It was also vinegary, without much sweetness to balance it.

I switch to the salmon. The shari, which was not as hot as in the albacore pieces, still managed to distract me from being able to taste the fish, which, from what I could tell, was pretty pedestrian. Not only was the rice hot, it was somehow sticky and crumbly at the same time. It was also very starchy! As I ate the second piece of salmon, some of the rice smeared against my lips and nearly glued my mouth shut. I’m almost not kidding.

I waited a minute before going back to my second piece of albacore, and the rice managed to stay piping hot! Nozawa should line jackets with his sushi and sell it to the Inuits!

Next up was a platter of yellowtail, halibut, and, the “daily special”, large whole scallops.

The halibut pieces were topped with yuzukosho, a tart and spicy paste made from salt, yuzu, and peppers. The halibut wasn’t too bad, though the rice still distracted from the fish. The yuzukosho was really peppery, which at least made it stand out a bit.

The shari in the yellowtail pieces was probably the least-worst of all the sushi. Not-so-coincidentally, I found the yellowtail to be the most enjoyable part of the whole meal. Since it wasn’t sauced, I ate one piece of yellowtail with shoyu, but I actually preferred it just plain, which was how I had the second piece.

The scallops were whole, but not very large. It was topped simply with lemon or yuzu and salt, and shoyu or ponzu. The rice wasn’t as distracting as with most of the other sushi, but the scallops had very little flavor. It wasn’t briny. It wasn’t sweet. It was just there.

The last nigiri was the off-menu albacore belly. It had a different melt-in-your-mouth quality than regular toro (fatty tuna belly) and reminded me more of ono (escolar) in texture, except for the gristle lines in the albacore belly, which was very chewy. I’d never had it, and it was probably the second best pieces of sushi of the meal, after the yellowtail.

Next, and next-to-last, was the negitoro (fatty tuna belly with scallion) hand roll. It was cylindrical rather than conical, and quite “spacious”; the top part of the nori wasn’t even touching the fish inside. I’ve never been wowed by negitoro, and SUGARFISH’s version did nothing to change my mind. The toro was strangely sweet, and the shari was just as awful as with the nigiri. The best part was the nori.

The last dish was the blue crab hand roll. It’s a little thing, but I noticed the blue crab filling was almost on its side in the cylinder, rather than sitting on top of the rice, as if the cylinder was rotated a quarter turn. When I rotated it back, one end of the nori unfurled, so I guess I had solved the mystery of the tilted hand roll.

The blue crab meat itself was very uniform in texture, like it was made from the backfin or special grade of crab meat rather than one of the lump grades. It also tasted more processed. A really disappointing end to a really disappointing meal.

I’m hoping that I can sneak off to Shunji tonight because I need to recalibrate my palate for excellent sushi, stat! I had done research on Yelp and Chowhound and found that they’re known for their warm rice, but I did not realize that “warm” was an euphemism for “awful”.

The only thing that I’m happy with about this meal was how my pictures turned out. Unless someone can convince me that what I experienced was an anomaly, I cannot imagine myself ever going back to SUGARFISH.

[Full-size photos, with captions, at]

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  1. It looks delicious! I'll just gaze at the photos and not read your review.

    PeterCC, I am disappointed to hear of your SugarFish experience. I have been wanting to try the one in Studio City...but maybe not now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: liu

      Heh, thanks! I'm trying to force myself into thinking it was better than it was just staring at my photos. :-)

      1. re: PeterCC

        I'm laughing because I, too, have wanted to like certain restaurants that I did not like -- and then questioned my own judgment.

        I always wanted to like Nozawa in Studio City more than I did. I recognize that he is a Master, but the excess of ponzu sauce at Nozawa was not to my tastes. If the fish is good, I want to taste it!

    2. Sugarfish, Nozawa, Sasabune all serve sushi with hot rice. I call it classic LA style sushi.

      Stick with Mori, Shunji, and even Zo which has a hint of Sasabune but the rice is at least properly cooled and seasoned.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Porthos

        Do those places really serve hot rice as a norm? Not just warm rice? I was really taken aback because I've been to Echigo and I thought they also served warm rice, and I didn't remember it being piping hot.

        So, aside from just the temperature, are the other characteristics (e.g., sticky yet non-cohesive, incredibly starchy) pretty standard? I mean, if the shari was how it is normally at Mori, Shunji, Kiriko, only warmer, I could deal with that. And even if SUGARFISH's was cooler, those other qualities of the shari from today would probably be even less appealing at room temperature.

        1. re: PeterCC

          Yes. That hot rice + "meltingly tender" fish + ponzu sauce + blue crab handroll at the end= LA style sushi.

          Mori, Shunji, and Zo take the time to properly prepare, season, and cool the rice.

          2 schools of sushi. The former being more popular. The latter being higher quality and more traditional.

          1. re: Porthos

            Thanks. I didn't realize that it was that pervasive. In my 9 years in L.A. eating at low-to-moderate quality sushi restaurants (Asakuma, Hide, Irori, Ninjin, Sushi House, Sushi King, Takanawa, etc.), I've never encountered that. I guess I skipped directly over that when I transitioned to the higher end places with Shunji and Kiriko rather than Sasabune.

            Sasabune's been on my list for a long time, but if the rice is not only hotter than just "warm" and also sticky and starchy like SUGARFISH's, then it no longer needs to be on my list.

            1. re: PeterCC

              You can search for my Sasabune rants in 2003 or 2004-ish. It's been that way for a while.

              1. re: Porthos

                The hot rice and very very very cold fish combination was apparently compared to cold butter on hot toast by the sushi chef at Sasabune Hawaii....but totally against what it really should be. Bottom line, Edo style vs "Trust Me" style.

        1. re: westsidegal

          I don't remember that conversation, but I do remember in the Urasawa Etiquette thread that J.L. said you really don't like SUGARFISH, and after today, I am in full agreement! :-) Now I don't have to feel bad not having been to Nozawa-proper before it closed.

          1. re: PeterCC

            actually i've told almost everyone on this board whenever the place has been mentioned.
            to say i vehemently distain them doesn't begin to describe it. . . ..

            1. re: westsidegal

              Ah, I see, I thought I had missed a personal warning about that place from you but I knew I hadn't discussed going to SUGARFISH with you so I was confused. I'm still a tryer so I might have still gone but would definitely have kept your warning in mind. Do you have similar distain for Sasabune and the now-defunct Nozawa?

              1. re: PeterCC

                Yes but she still loves Mori which is now quite mediocre. Not meant as an insult as Westsidegal is no doubt knowledgeable. We just disagree on sushi. Although I have not been in some time, I have had many great meals at Sasabune and am a big fan of Sushi Sushi.

                1. re: Thor123

                  I think I've heard her praise Sushi Zo more than Mori, but I've only been on the board for a few months so it's a very small sample I've encountered.

                  I haven't found Mori to be mediocre in my one lunch omakase there (, but I've found the price to be more expensive, and the portions to be smaller, as compared to Shunji and Kiriko, which makes them much more accessible to me than Mori.

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    Here's the thing, in my opinion, Zo is like the best possible version of Nozawa and Sasabune but just with more varieties of fish, and slightly less saucing and smaller pieces. But Zo is still firmly rootted in the idiosyncratic, patented style of Nozawa.

                    As for SugarFish, if the sushi rice was piping hot, that is just not right so that it sears the fish, that does sound pretty bad. Though I do have to say that Nozawa and his spawns such as Echigo, Sasabune, Nishi-ya, and Wasabe in OC all do serve that slightly warmed up rice that is heavily vinegar'd for what it's worth.

                    Mori, Kiriko, Shunji and Kiyokaw on Robertson are a diametrically opposite style.

                    If you really feel up to it, I might suggest trying it one more time and go to the Marina del Rey location of sugarfish and yeah, go on a weekend, not too early in the evening and not too late. and see what you think. if you want.

                    But I also get the sense that you most likely won't like it, for what it's worth.

                    1. re: kevin

                      Thanks Kevin. I actually wouldn't mind trying it again, especially since it seems like the hot rice was not the norm. And like I said elsewhere, even though the temperature of the shari was what took me by surprise the most, if it were simply a warmer version of the shari at Shunji, Kiriko, or Mori (haven't been to Kiyokawa) or even middling places like Ninjin or Irori, I could have lived with that.

                      The real dealbreaker would be if the rice was still sticky and starchy in consistency on the second visit. I'd even give the loosely-packed-ness a pass if it's not unpleasantly sticky or starchy. Really, that's what turned me off the most, more than the temperature.

                  2. re: Thor123

                    thank you for trying to relay my opinion about Mori, but, you're not at all correct.
                    i don't "love" Mori.
                    i find their lunch special the best of such lunch specials at that price level.
                    i have had some wonderful meals at sushi sushi, but since it's distant from my house, those meals haven't been very recent.

                    i will choose Mori's omakase or Kiriko's omakase when there is some reason i can't go to Zo, but that hardly means that i "love" it.

                  3. re: PeterCC

                    Peter CC:
                    i found the fish at Sasabune to be weirdly flavorless, mush.
                    brings to mind what meat tenderizer will do for meat: makes it mushy and removes the "meat" flavor.
                    don't know what they're doing or adding to that fish, but something about it is not right to my palate.
                    will say, though, that the quantity they serve at their lunch specials is quite large for the buck.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      That's sad to hear about the quality of the fish. I mean, I'm not actually going to completely cross Sasabune off my list, since, like I said, I like to try things for myself. I mean, I even told kevin that I might even willing to maybe try SUGARFISH again. I know, I'm a glutton for punishment.

                      However, if I just want best bang for the buck (not counting supermarket sushi from Mitsuwa or Nijiya), I'd go back to my previous go-to place, Ninjin, with my KCRW Fringe Benefits card, which gets me 15% off there. I've never had a problem with their shari, their fish, or anything else there. And they're not trying to be anything more than an affordable, serviceable neighborhood sushi restaurant.

                      1. re: PeterCC

                        the fish there didn't taste spoiled or old, it just seemed not to have any taste or texture.
                        i've not had that experience at any other sushi bar.
                        maybe they're sprinkling some sort of preservative on the fish because it is presliced. . . .

              2. re: westsidegal

                I go to the Brentwood Sugar fish about once a week. HOT RICE ?! I have never had hot rice. I have had melt in your mouth warm rice. I do love the hand rolls, but have never tilted nor "rotated" them.SugarFish is not the be-all and end-all of Sushi restaurants. However, the fish is pristine, service is fine and the prices won't break your bank. I like that I can go with a friend and order a "Trust Me" (the inexpensive version) and get out of there for under $40 for 2 and feel very satisfied Tax and tip are included in the check. I also like that. In Brentwood, SugarFish is considered a great neighborhood restaurant.

                1. re: maudies5

                  Hmmmm...perhaps I should give the Studio City site a try -- if I can pull myself away from Daichon's mixed-poke-bowl-with-seaweed-brown-rice next door.

                  We did peek in one Saturday night to see the interior and no one was inside. They did invite us in, however, and were very friendly.

                  Does SugarFish serve their nigiri floating in ponzu as Nozawa did at Nozawa?

                  1. re: maudies5

                    Well, that's what I'm wondering, because I can deal with warm rice, but it was actually hot today, at least the pieces I had.

                    I wasn't rotating the hand roll for fun. It just looked turned over on the plate, and I guess it was to cover up the fact that the nori wasn't holding together. When I picked it up to eat it, I had to hold the nori together, almost like a taco, to keep the contents from spilling out.

                    My go-to place for hand rolls is Kiriko. I go at lunch and get their three hand roll lunch set for $14.50. Excellent salmon skin and blue crab hand rolls.

                    I do like the pricing and simplicity of SUGARFISH, but I can only go on my experience, and I probably wouldn't choose to have what I had today even for free.

                2. HA! Sad to hear you had to endure a bad meal but I agree with your SUGARFISH assessment and this thread title made me laugh. I didn't get hot rice at the DTLA location but it was surely too warm, fish quality not great and the butchering worse. Shunji to the rescue!

                  1. Sorry about your bad experience. I've never been to the Santa Monica location.

                    I've never, ever had bad rice from the Brentwood sugarFISH (and I've ordered from them actually 4 times in the last 2 weeks!), but admittedly, I never eat sushi on the weekends in L.A., so I don't know the caliber of the weekend crew there.

                    And when I do eat sushi from sugarFISH, it's almost always "to go" , which presumably means my rice is cooled down by the time I attack my sushi.

                    As for the temperature issue, Sasbune is tops in the "hot, crumbly rice" category in L.A., and Mori is the most Edomae in its strictness & temperature. There are fans of both ends of the shari spectrum. I'm pretty relaxed about the temperature of my shari, as long as it's not piping hot, which would actually changes the chemistry of the proteins and oils (and ultimately the taste) in the fish.

                    Also, when you get the sushi "to go", YOU add the sauce (there's a mini-instruction-slash-suggestion card on what sauce to add to what fish, so you can control that part of the experience as well.

                    29 Replies
                    1. re: J.L.

                      I'm with you on this one. I do like SugarFish, it's definitely not as good as Nozawa was, and it's definitely nowhere near like kiriko or mori, but sometimes it hits the spot.

                      i like to think of it as the mcdonald's of sushi, but in a good way.

                      yes, everything is soft and loaded wtih either ponzu or soy, but sometimes it works.

                      i'm partial to the one in marina del rey, and i haven't tryied the others, (i believe that was the first location of sugar fish that opened a few years back).

                      i do have to say that the last time i went to echigo, it was worse than sugarfish for what it's worth.

                      1. re: kevin

                        imho, the MCDONALD'S of sushi can be found at weekday lunchtimes at the hokkaido seafood buffet on pico.

                        insofar as sushi goes they offer a very limited selection of sushi as part of their extensive ayce buffet lunch. (i.e. there is no limit to the quantity of the sushi nor of their other food that you may eat.). unlike most sushi ayce places, they don't seem to mind if you discard some or all of the rice. this allows for a tremendous protein to price ratio.
                        along with it you can also get a salad of organic baby greens and they have a huge selection of desserts including a number of varieties of cut up fresh fruit that does NOT taste as though it has been sugared (jaipur, i'm talking about you).
                        their weekday lunch is $12, dinner, i believe is around $18 before tax and tip.

                        in terms of fish quality this is NOT NOT NOT on the level of hide, but, on the other hand it better than practically all of the supermarket sushi that i've had, and better than several of the neighborhood sushi bars that i've tried over the years.
                        this is not a destination place, much like mcdonald's is not a destination place.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          darn, westsidegal, you keep mentioning Hokkaido buffet, and I'm always had the opportunity to go since it's right next door to the theaters. but always suffering from a little trepidation in trying it.

                          so what items would you recommend if i guy, maybe i'll take my friend who really likes buffets, but is not at all a hound, so at least it will be somewhat enjoyable on buffet terms.

                          i would take it that the flavor of the sushi here is at least better than the flavorless stuff you had at sasabune in your opinion ???


                          1. re: kevin

                            it has better flavor and better texture than that of sasabune.

                            the appearance is far inferior.
                            the selection is far inferior.
                            the knife work is far inferior.

                            this is the MCDONALD'S of sushi.

                            for my palate i'd rather have fish that has the "normal" texture and flavor of that fish even when it means that i will forfeit all the rest. (i.e. it is not the best snapper in town, but your mouth will definitely recognize it as SNAPPER. the same story with the salmon.)
                            at sasabune, on the other hand, the snapper and the salmon had virtually the same texture and flavor as each other. the APPEARANCE of the snapper and of the salmon was far better at sasabune, but that's about it.

                            my mouth trumps my eyes every time.

                            also, at Hokkaido, there are a lot of "Plan B" options if you don't care for the sushi.

                            i would recommend NOT overlooking the salad nor the fresh fruit.
                            basically, you can get your money's worth with just those two items without even going near the ton of protein options available.

                      2. re: J.L.

                        Why do you never eat sushi on the weekends? I was thinking about the fact that you recommended the place for takeout and wondering if it would be better because the rice has time to cool. In my case today, the shari was truly piping hot for the albacore and still quite hot for most of the other pieces. Maybe I should try Brentwood sometime, and just get the Trust Me Lite and see if what I had today was an anomaly.

                        1. re: PeterCC

                          Kevin has a point - It hits the spot and "scratches that itch" for sushi, but for me sugarFISH in no way replaces place like Mori or Kiriko.

                          If you ever do forgive sugarFISH and want to give it another shot, try getting "The Nozawa" from the Brentwood location next time - To Go. I don't blame you if you don't give it a second shot though, given the tone of your rant.

                          Why no sushi for me on weekends? Because despite the miracle of modern refrigeration, for years I just didn't have good experiences with restaurant sushi (or seafood in general, for that matter) on weekends in L.A.. In part, it may be because the wholesale fish market in L.A. is most active Tuesdays through Fridays. Many Chowhounds will disagree with me on this particular point, citing (often valid) facts about how certain fish are flash frozen for long periods anyways, and "you're just being a snob", etc. Fact is, I let my taste buds do the judging, and I can tell a difference (whether I'm biased or not) between weekend fish and weekday fish.

                          1. re: J.L.

                            It's not only the "flash freezing" thing that renders the weekday vs weekend sushi question moot. Sushi is normally aged (not shellfish but the fish) to achieve the desired taste and texture profile that the chef is looking for. There are top end places that age toro (for example) up to a week or more before serving it. So fish that was bought on Wednesday (for example) may not be at its peak until the weekend or the following week.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Thank you. That is interesting. As for SugarFish, only been to Brentwood and found it to be good. Much better than Katsuya down the street.

                              1. re: Servorg

                                Yeah, I know I know... Like steak, some fish taste better when aged a bit. Still, why does sushi taste different on weekends than weekdays to me?

                                1. re: J.L.

                                  You know, technically, I didn't go on the weekend. I went on Friday for lunch, which falls within your busy fish market theory time period. Of course, I also recall you generally not having sushi for lunch (unless it was a business lunch?).

                                  I did make it to Shunji last night and talked to him briefly about my experience at SUGARFISH. He nodded when I mentioned how sticky and starchy the shari was and chuckled when I said it was so hot I thought it came right out of the rice cooker. He also said he thinks they process (pre-slice) the fish centrally before delivering it to the various locations. To me that seems worse than the pre-cutting/slicing done at Sasabune; at least there it's done in-house.

                                  1. re: PeterCC

                                    That would definitely make sense that they pre-slice it at a main wharehouse and then disperse it to the four or five locations. That way they don't have to have a real sushi chef at each location either, and the ordained sushi chef can just cut all the sushi there and then pack it out and yeah, disperse to the Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Downtown, and Studio City locations.

                                    Wow, they are up to five locations now.

                                    1. re: kevin

                                      the sushi chef that cut the sushi that was served to me at sugarfish must have been "ordained" by the church of scientology.. . . .

                                      1. re: westsidegal


                                        i do not deny you that you highly dislike sugarfish. but i do still like it at least the marina branch. but i do still like that nozawa-style (please, don't take away my houndly credentials...).

                                        but at the same time i do really like mori, kiyokawa, shunji, et all, in that area.

                                        i guess since i can have a hat pastrami sandwich and a chili cheese fries like the other night but still like a gourmet meal, i still can like a wide gamut of food, even truth be told, really crappy food by most hounds terms.

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          most of the folks on this board, me INCLUDED, eat both high-end and low-end food.

                                  2. re: J.L.

                                    "Still, why does sushi taste different on weekends than weekdays to me?"

                                    I got my money on placebo effect.

                                    re: pre-slice at main warehouse


                                    1. re: ns1

                                      I love me some fresh placebo..especially if it's not all "ponzued" to death and shows some real knife artistry by the chef...

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        Isn't that the Michelin-starred sushi-ya that Shunji Nakao opened in Studio City with his brother Tetsuya, that Tetsuya now owns/runs?

                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                          Are you referring to Asanebo?

                                          1. re: J.L.

                                            Yes, and it was a joke. Sorry, I forgot a smilie emoticon. ;-)

                                          2. re: PeterCC

                                            what michelin starrtted?

                                            oh, yeah, i heard taht too that he started up asanebo, though i haven't been in years...

                                            reminded me of nozawa lite, higher emphasis on cooked dishes and sashimi but then a few years back by poopular demand they started to add more sushi to the mix.

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              Sorry, I just reread my comment above. Since I didn't specifically quote Servorg, I realize that it wasn't immediately apparent I was punning on mixing "placebo" with Asanebo.

                                              Anyway, you know what, I think I will try SUGARFISH again at some point. The food didn't make me sick, it provided sustenance at a fair price. I think that I want to make sure whether what I didn't like was Nozawa's style of sushi vs. maybe just a bad batch from the rice cooker. If I still don't like it the second time, at least I can cross it off my list with a clear conscience. But maybe I will like it on its own merits, not comparing it to edomaezushi.

                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                I can never forgive starchy sushi rice.

                                                1. re: ns1

                                                  Well that's what I'll be paying attention to most. As I've said a few times now, warm rice may not be my preference, but I can deal. Tacky, starchy rice is a deal breaker, but I'm hoping that's not really the norm.

                                            2. re: Servorg

                                              also, placebo is better when they throw away the parts that look and have the texture of dental floss as being the worthless trimmings that they are instead of serving those parts under a pool of not-so-good sauce.

                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                If I'm eating sushi it's mostly at more affordable places such as U-Zen. I've eaten sushi there every day of the week, and have never noticed any difference in the quality, taste, texture or aroma of the sushi from a Wednesday to a Sunday to a Monday and on to Tuesday or Thursday or Friday.

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  my many meals at Hide mirror servorg's experience at U-Zen.
                                                  have not seen any consistent noticeable quality changes between the sunday meals and the wednesday meals.

                                      2. re: J.L.

                                        Most places get their shipments/go to market on Tuesday and Friday.

                                        I have found Thursday to be the "worst" in terms of quality for that reason. Sometimes the toro has a hint of brown and isn't pristine white/pink. Sometimes the tai is a bit tired looking.

                                        The reason why I try to go on Tuesdays and Fridays is because sometimes rare and choice stuff run out by Wednesday/Thursday or Saturday. There will be no buri belly for you if you stop by Saturday. I make sure of it :)

                                        1. re: Porthos

                                          I was at Shunji's on a recent Thursday, and thought it was utterly beautiful... great toro and blue fine and few other single pieces.

                                          and that exceptional ankimo mousee and cheese balls, he can literally open up a corner shack doled out those ankimo and cheese balls, and i'd be there every day.

                                          no fucking joke.