My husband and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary today. Every year, we make an effort to break from our daily routine by either going out of town on our anniversary weekend, or to treat ourselves to a high end meal at one of our many favorite restaurants, usually sans kids, on the day of our anniversary. The latter usually means we would sneak out for a lunch date while the kiddies are in school.
Last year, we were able to do both: dine at Mori Sushi in West Los Angeles midweek and then take off to San Diego Friday evening for the weekend with the kids. This year, we decided to stay local so that we can check out Guillermo del Toro’s At Home With Monsters temporary exhibit at LACMA, which is exactly what I wanted to do with him. Alas, when we decided to patron our beloved Mori Sushi for our annual extravagant lunch date, the unassuming Westside home-turned-restaurant that serves high-end omakase-style sushi, changed their business hours to 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
What? In addition to not having the best sushi in Los Angeles, I wasn’t going to get my annual serving of fresh wasabi, homemade soy sauce and tasty tofu with it! The owners at Mori Sushi treated us to decadent servings of the restaurant’s green tea ice cream to congratulate us for our anniversary last year, so I was especially disappointed that I wasn’t going to get this special treat this time around.
“I know of a great alternative,” my husband says. “Sugarfish on Second Street.”
He was talking about the Santa Monica location of Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa, one of the hottest sushi restaurants in town. Of course, the restaurant take no reservations, and we were both busy at home working on our freelance projects. The thought of braving the crowds of people who often find themselves five parties ahead of us at Sugarfish did not convince me that it would be the ideal place for our romantic lunch date. Mori Sushi, on the other hand, took reservations AND always had ample seating for us.
My husband convinced me that we can recreate the exclusive feel of Mori Sushi, suggesting that we order take out from Sugarfish and enjoy great sushi at home. What a great idea! We can avoid the scene, we would still be spending alone time together and we’d have great sushi. When Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa opened for business at 11:30, my husband promptly placed our takeout order of two of its To-Go Trust Me menu platters and was told our meals would be ready for pick up by 12:15. Perfect timing. We were both done with our to-dos by noon so while my husband left to go pick up our lunch, I set the table.
This is the magnificent deliciousness that returned with my beloved husband:
The meal was accompanied with packaged sauces and directions on how to eat each sushi:
While I have dined at Sugarfish before with my husband and he has brought home Sugarfish’s Trust Me platters home in the past, I have forgotten about the unique sushi experience Sugarfish offers in its multi-course “Trust Me” meal. The rice is seasoned perfectly, its temperature just warm enough so as to carry a slight aroma of umami… oh, and the fish? Buttery-melting fantastic (even though there is no butter in the meal).
As with life, change is good. I am often struck by how at keeping with tradition of going to Mori Sushi year after year, I limited myself to the usual “to-dos,” which is the antithesis of what my husband and I often aspire to get away from during our wedding anniversary… to get away… to take a break from our responsibilities… to enjoy each other over an adventurous fine dining experience.
This experience of enjoying the sushi prepared by Sugarfish, albeit at home, reminded me that there will always be a better alternative if I only allow it. Thanks for preparing the best sushi takeout lunch ever, Sugarfish! It made for a memorable celebratory meal for us.
Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa
1345 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
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