The toasted sesame seeds get shortchanged in the promotional material.
SugarFish provides a printed guide to explain the sauces and seasonings that accompany each selection of sushi. For example, the tuna sashimi comes with scallion and ponzu while you can enhance your yellowtail with soy sauce and a few drops of lemon.
But aside from the freshness of the seafood, the most memorable aspect of SugarFish’s salmon and shrimp sushi was the toasted sesame seeds on top. They were distinctive but not overpowering, a superb complement.
Not that we’re lobbyists for the sesame industry, but it is unfortunate that the seeds are not mentioned in the literature. This really isn’t a complaint. More of a fussy observation. It’s just that the sesame seeds worked so well you’d like to see them get some credit.
Anyway that was one of the lasting first impressions of SugarFish, which opened last month at the Waterside shopping plaza in Marina del Rey. Neighbors include Chipotle, Cold Stone, California Pizza Kitchen and Pinkberry, whose bright but minimalist interior is replicated at SugarFish.
SugarFish is a venture involving Kazunori Nozawa and his son, Tom. But unlike the flagship Nozawa in Studio City, which is all about tradition, SugarFish offers what you might call “Omakase For Dummies.” The food and preparation are still authentic, but the vibe reflects its location, a strip mall anchored by Ralph’s. It has a three-tiered menu — $19.50, $29.50 and $36.50 are the ballpark ranges — that includes tip and tax.
These three options are billed as “Trust Me,” the translation of omakase. But trust isn’t an issue because the menu lists exactly what you’re going to get. If you really want to take your chances, there are days, depending on inventory, when the “Surprise Me” option is available.
The albacore (with scallion and ponzu) and the crab rolls were other highlights. Given the location, relatively reasonable pricing and high quality of fish, we can see this place becoming a part of our regular rotation. – Victor.
SugarFish: 4722¼ Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 90292. 310-306-6300. Beer and sake available.