Sugarfish Santa Monica

I’d been wanting to try Sugarfish¬†sushi for a long time. Since being more attuned to the LA food scene due to wedding planning since 2015, I’d had multiple Sugarfish locations bookmarked on my Yelp list, but unfortunately, the few times we made it to LA for wedding planning and the actual wedding, I forgot about it (well, we ended up eating other delicious things). Sugarfish has developed a very well respected population among sushi connoisseurs for mastering both high quality fish and seafood preparation, but also price points that are reachable for people who don’t have expense accounts (I think the lowest priced fixed menu is only $19). So I was really excited to learn that earlier this year, Sugarfish had expanded beyond LA to New York, and their location is actually just a few blocks away from my office. The downside? The wait is inevitably always between 2-4 hours, and of course, they don’t take reservations. The idea of waiting for this place didn’t make me happy. I had colleagues who had waited and failed, and there’s no way Chris was going to wait with me. The really poor New York Times review for it also didn’t help.

So when I arrived in LA this morning for an all-day layover en route to Hamilton Island, Australia, for Chris’s cousin’s wedding, I started thinking about places where we could eat that I wanted to try. As we approached Santa Monica, it hit me that a Sugarfish location was nearby, and we could finally try it. It just got better and better. After we dropped off our luggage at Chris’s local office, Sugarfish was just blocks away. And when we arrived at the front, we realized that at nearly 1pm, the entire restaurant was nearly empty! There would be no wait!

We sat down, ordered our fixed menus and a $10 bottle of pretty darn good sake. And one by one, as the dishes came out, it was as though each one kept impressing me more and more, from the fatty tuna to the salmon to the daily special to the crab hand roll. Everything was so good that I didn’t want each bite to end. The hand rolls’ seaweed smelled so good, and the crunch was so satisfying. Even the rice was delicious – a tad bit warm (which I read about, so I was aware of this), and it seemed as though the wasabi was actually freshly grated, which is such a rarity in the U.S. to see unless you go to extremely high-end sushi restaurants.

I don’t need to go to Sugarfish in New York now. We didn’t have to wait for this location even one minute, and I’ll probably still be thinking about this meal weeks from now. That’s how good this place was to both of us.

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