Ever since Sugarfish opened in Marina Del Rey, I was skeptical. How good is a sushi restaurant that doesn’t even have a proper sushi bar to sit at? Well, I finally broke down and tried the place because I didn’t want to dislike it without first eating there. I have to admit, the food wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Sugarfish markets itself as Sushi Nozawa’s hip kid brother which is spot on in describing the restaurant. Its minimalist, modern design is reminiscent of a Pinkberry. Some say the restaurant feels clean. To me, it feels soulless.
My dining companion and I split The Nozawa ($34) for for lunch which includes:
- tuna sashimi
- albacore nigiri (2 pc)
- salmon nigiri (2pc)
- red snapper nigiri (2pc)
- yellow tail nigiri (2pc)
- halibut nigiri (2pc)
- toro hand roll
- crab hand roll
The tuna sashimi was sort of a misnomer. I thought it was going to be just slices of tuna, simple and pure, but it was actually chunks of tuna tossed in a strong ponzu sauce. You could even call it poki if you wanted to. The sauce was citrusy and good, but overwhelmed the fish entirely. I couldn’t really tell if the fish was good or not in that dish because it was so hard to taste anything other than the sauce.
The rest of the meal thankfully was better. The red snapper was tender and fresh tasting. The salmon was good and rich and free of any chewy bits. The yellow tail was the perfect texture. My crab hand roll came with the seaweed still crisp. Even the rice was good — loosely packed with just the right amount of seasoning and even still a bit warm.
I was pleasantly surprised that the quality of fish was so good for a setting that looks so corporate. Other than the tuna dish, each bite tasted clean and fresh. Sugarfish is a place to visit when you’re in the mood for something more mellow, not a crazily-named roll. It’s also nice that the price on the menu for everything includes tax and gratuity, so there’s no need to think too much when the bill comes.
Although the fish all tasted better than expected, I don’t think I’ll be returning to Sugarfish anytime soon. For the price point, I prefer to go to Kiriko or K-Zo, where I get fish that’s a good quality, a little more interesting, and most of all, where the setting isn’t so sterile.
4722 1/4 Admiralty Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292