Frequently Asked Questions


Origin of the Trust Me | 01:11


Warm, Loosely Packed Rice | 01:30


Why We Don't Take Reservations | 00:33


Fish Market | 01:08


The To-Go Experience | 01:06


Sourcing Fish | 01:17

Videos by Josh Figgs | Compass Coalition

Why do I have to wait until my whole party arrives before I am seated, even when the restaurant is mostly empty?
The small size of our restaurants enable us to deliver a quality dining experience. Even when there are only a few tables occupied, they can fill up very quickly. We realize not everyone agrees with this policy, but we do it to be able to continue to deliver great sushi at a fair price.

Why can’t I order a bowl of rice when you allow kids to do it?
Our rice is a very important component of the SUGARFISH experience.  We make our rice in very small batches, and in order to deliver Nozawa’s signature warm rice, we make a fresh batch at least every 30 minutes, discarding any unused rice from the prior batch. If we allow all guests to order extra rice, it will slow our kitchen down and cause other guests to have to wait for their food.

We allow side orders of rice for children (dine-in only) because some are not yet eating sushi, and we think that feeding hungry children is a good thing for everyone’s dining experience.

Why can’t I get more ponzu?
Chef Nozawa’s recipes dictate the amount of sauce we serve, as well as which sauce accompanies which fish. These pairings have been carefully selected to enhance the flavor of each fish. We know that some of our guests might like more sauce, but our faithfulness to serving Nozawa-style sushi doesn’t allow us to fulfill these requests.

Why can’t you give me the fish without the rice?
We have several sashimi dishes (without rice), and many nigiri dishes with rice. The nigiri cuts are for nigiri, not for sashimi. We are dedicated to serving dishes as Nozawa intends for them to be served.

Where does your fish come from? Is any of it farmed? 
Our fish comes from all over the world: Japan, the South Pacific, Boston, and beyond. We get the best the market has to offer. Some of our fish is wild-caught and some are farmed. Please see our page called Sushi and Sustainability for a discussion about fish and sustainability.

What about mercury? 
Please see our page called Sushi and Your Health for a discussion about fish and health.

Where did you get the name SUGARFISH? 
Nozawa is known for “melt in the mouth” sushi that’s a “wow” experience for most people. Imagine a child eating his first sugar cube. We wanted a name that would evoke that simple, pure, “wow” sensation.

Is the whole Nozawa family involved?  What are their roles?
Chef Nozawa is responsible for our food. He selects all of our fish and creates our recipes. He works hand-in-hand with his son, Tom, to make sure our sushi is up to his standards. In addition to working with his father on our menu and selecting our fish, Tom is responsible for the operations of all of our kitchens. Additionally, Nozawa’s wife, Yumiko, who has worked side-by-side with Chef Nozawa from day one of Sushi Nozawa in Studio City, played – and continues to play – an important role in the planning of the business.

Why does your rice fall apart? And why is it served warm?
Warm, loose rice is a signature of Nozawa-style sushi. We think the airiness and temperature of our rice is one of the key components to great sushi. It may be a little more difficult to handle, but we think it’s worth the effort. If you find it too hard to use the chopsticks, don’t be afraid to use your hands.

Why isn’t there a sushi chef behind the bar?
We think the experience of talking to a sushi chef behind the bar is a great thing. However, when we examined the impact it could have on our guests, in terms of quality, value, and time, we decided to replace that part of the experience with a concept that delivers the highest quality sushi at a price and a pace that was more consistent with what our guests want.