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Musings 01 July 2008
High-tech. High-touch. High-taste.

Related Links
» SUGARFISH website
» Citysearch Review
In just a few short decades, sushi in this country has undergone a remarkable change in perception — from an unappetizing bit of exotica to a staple restaurant food that’s almost as “ American” as pizza, hamburgers, and apple pie. It’s sold as fast food in malls. It’s shrink-wrapped in supermarkets. And, as a cuisine, it’s wandered far from its origins in Japanese culture.

In the Japanese tradition, sushi is a celebration of two things: the quality of its ingredients and the skill of its chefs in selecting, cutting, and presenting them. The nuances are many, but the goal is utterly simple. So, what really makes great sushi great? Ultimately, it’s the same criteria that make all great food great — pride in preparation, ingredients, recipes and technique. And a deep belief that quality is more important than quantity.

SUGARFISH is the collaboration of Kazunori Nozawa, legendary owner of Sushi Nozawa, and technology and new media entrepreneur Jerry A. Greenberg. The idea was to change the way Americans think about sushi. By taking the best of age-old Japanese craftsmanship and placing it in a wholly new setting, SUGARFISH is a new kind of Japanese dining experience. Chef Kazunori Nozawa’s classic sushi preparations at Sushi Nozawa have earned the acclaim of Southern California diners and critics for two decades as well as top ratings in the annual Zagat surveys. Nozawa has created a fervently loyal fan base at Sushi Nozawa, founded on what the New York Times calls “the fish, the freshest from the world’s waters.” SUGARFISH puts Nozawa’s amazing sushi on its menu at a modest price.

My involvement started out as a friend helping the founder selecting an architectural firm to design the interior as well as a firm to develop their communication materials. What started out as a few phone calls evolved into a full blown gig where I ended up designing the brand identity, managing all expressions of SUGARFISH’s customer experiences and a founding partner of the business.

As of 2012, SUGARFISH has 5 locations in the greater Los Angeles area with 3 additional locations planned for 2013.

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