Cult favorite sushi restaurant Sugarfish is finally expanding to Orange County, bringing some of LA’s best and most reliable sushi further south for the first time. The new Sugarfish won’t happen until late 2023, but it’s hard not to see coastal OC folks getting excited early for this one, particularly with the pedigree of chef Kazunori Nozawa at the helm. Nozawa is a globally-famous chef who rose to prominence with a Studio City Japanese restaurant under his own name, before partnering with Jerry Greenberg, Tom Nozawa, and Lele Massimini to open the first Sugarfish in Marina del Rey in 2008.
Now comes Sugarfish Orange County, which will open later this year at 2600 East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar, just south of Newport Beach along one of the area’s most prominent restaurant stretches. The coastal address sits near Balboa Island, the Fashion Island shopping development, and several high-end golf courses and country clubs, making it a near-surefire hit for weeknight sushi dinners. Of course, Sugarfish doesn’t require tons of cash; the restaurant’s most expensive coursed menu runs under $60, no small feat with so many other sit-down sushi restaurants running in the hundreds of dollars for an omakase experience. The new Sugarfish is also positioned relatively close to Sushi II, considered to be among Orange County’s most exquisite sushi destinations.
The move to Orange County makes sense for the expanding Sushi Nozawa team, as they’ve already jumped to the New York City market with much acclaim. Locally the group has grown to nearly a dozen locations from Calabasas to Manhattan Beach. Given the attention being paid to Orange County’s booming dining scene at the moment, growth there makes sense. Expect an opening sometime in late 2023 — and don’t be surprised if other new locations follow closely behind. Nozawa and his partners have both been on expansion tears of late, opening Sugarfish locations as well as KazuNori handroll bars in Los Angeles and New York City.