As a general rule, any time a restaurant decides to do a spin-off of itself, the results are less than spectacular. Why break what isn’t broken? Sure, the excitement of a well-established name with a fresh look certainly comes with obvious benefits, but it also comes at the potential cost of poking a major hole into the allure of the original concept. And when said concept is Sugarfish, it’s hard to imagine doing it any better.
And yet, upon our most recent visit to KazuNori, Sugarfish’s spinoff specializing in handrolls, all we could think about is how we’re going to get more KazuNoris into the world as fast as possible. Why? Because the concept is simple, specific, and we want one for every neighborhood we spend time in. The handroll sets at KazuNori are damn near perfect, all under $20, and built for your on-the-go needs. Sugarfish who?
Here’s how KazuNori works: you walk in, sit at the bar, and order one of the three predetermined handroll sets off their concise menu. (As nice as the patio is, we wouldn’t recommend it as they’ll oddly only serve you cut rolls there.) Each roll comes out separately, in its own course, allowing you time in between to take a breath and appreciate the damn thing. Not to say KazuNori is a lengthy experience. Order that five-handroll set and you’re in and out that door in 25 minutes, excited once again to be alive in America.
KazuNori is affordable, accessible, and downright delicious. It might only do one thing, but it does that thing immensely well. Not to mention it’ll keep you full until dinnertime. Come in for a quick solo lunch or grab a late night bite with the roommate – the occasion really doesn’t matter. The geniuses behind Sugarfish have done it once again, creating something people not only want, but something people actually need.
Now that’s worth expanding upon.
Daily handroll, salmon, scallop or cucumber, blue crab, and lobster. In that order. And what a glorious expedition it is. In the third course, you get the easy decision of picking scallop over cucumber, but besides that, you’re allowed to sit, relax, and simply let the magic come to you. Literally. The rolls are handed to you over the counter individually by the man who made them. And that’s nice on your lunch break when all you want is to go into autopilot for a half hour.