Photos by Luke Quezada
There is nothing I love more than a savory piece of sashimi. However, with factors such as bycatch, longlining and other unsustainable fishing practices, being smart about the seafood that you consume is becoming increasingly important. SugarFish is a sushi restaurant that serves fish with the hopes of ensuring sustainability, safety and healthfulness of the food they serve. I recently visited the Pasadena location at 146 South Lake Avenue.
The first dish was tuna sashimi. I’m not sure if it was the fresh fish, the salty Ponzu sauce, or the delayed gratification from an eight month fish dry spell, but this pile of pure bliss caught my attention from the very first bite. The tuna is tender, topped with finely sliced green onion that probably would have only lasted about five seconds had I not stopped to take a photo.
The next dish consisted of thick, tender slices of albacore. Placed atop warm rice and topped with a light onion garnish, this sushi had a beautiful combination of flavors. The rice, coated with soy sauce, added a salty tang without overpowering the fish.
Tasting the salmon sushi is the only way to properly explain the title “SugarFish”. The salmon was a so tender and flavorful that it tasted like the sweet candy ambrosia of the gods. The contrasting flavors of the toasted sesame seeds and the fresh salmon added to the dish and another helping of warm rice completed the two delectable, criminally small morsel.
Yellowtail, Snapper, and Kampachi
Although the yellowtail did not come with a view of Lanai, you could almost feel the tradewinds coming from the Pacific when you bit into the fresh slices of tuna. The melt-in-your-mouth snapper and kampachi with warm rice, a light sauce and a bit of Hawaiian sea salt, made for an impressive combination that served as the highlight of SugarFish.
Although mouth watering seafood is certainly the highlight, there is more to SugarFish than purely the food. The consumption of fish caught in a sustainable manner helps to promote alternative fishing methods as well as conservation as a whole. Mix that with thick slices of Ahi that taste like butter, a lively atmosphere and you’ve got yourself a new go-to sushi spot.