Electronic Dance Music (EDM) continues to take on the world by storm – and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Eventbrite has put together an interesting infographic from a recent survey comparing some of the activities and interests of EDM fans versus non-EDM music fans. Check it out below! - See more at: http://220.127.116.11/~mindlinq/audreynew/edm-fans-more-than-just-your-average-music-fan/#sthash.m0q9QP4x.dpuf
Even if you're not in town to catch the New York Asian Film Festival coming up on June 28th (they've got a cool Jackie Chan Retrospective during the fest!), you'll still be able to experience a part of the festival from your home computer with the Korean Short Film Madness. NYAFF and Dramafever have partnered together to release a collection of short films from Korea's Mise-en-Scène Film Festival (it's all shown exclusively on DramaFever!). The short films and talented new directors are: “The Visitor” by Kim Bo-young “Poison Frog” by Koh Jung-wook “Cheong” by Kim...
We've all seen the endless jokes about Asians who work in nail salons, massage parlors, and donut shops. This is often an easy target for stand-up comedians such as Anjelah Johnson and her popular skit mimicking the Vietnamese nail salon workers: Why is it such as easy target? Primarily because such businesses are in fact heavily intertwined in the Asian American community. Its easy for people to make fun of this and yet they don't take the time to understand that this is a deeply rooted issue for Asian Americans that stems from early immigration into the U.S. These comedians don't...
What I love about summer is heading out to a lot of outdoor music festivals - and being able to dress up in some quirky fashion - whether it's rocking the latest trendy accessory off the runway, or wearing a vintage piece from my closet. I recently came across these cute little accessories for my shoes: Shwings! They're definitely not for the conservative, but they do make quite the statement on your feet if you're wearing plain sneakers (I've been wearing them with my sneaker wedges!). Check them out here. Click below for some of our favorites.
While there are a good number of unusual sexual fetishes out there - this by far, is probably one of the more unusual I've discovered: eyeball licking. Yes, you're reading that right: eyeball licking. The sexual fetish came to light when a middle school teacher had written a post on the Japanese site Naver Maotome about an unusual trend amongst her students: eye patches. The teacher also had a described an incident between two students in the gymnasium: After class one day, I went into the equipment store in the gymnasium to tidy up. The door had been left open, and when I looked...
Marc Jacobs, who's renowned for his own line, as well as his work with fashion house Louis Vuitton, will soon be coming out with a beauty line in collaboration with beauty retailer Sephora. The 122-piece collection will be Sephora's first global launch and will include concealers, color correctors, and lacquers, among some other products. You can get your hands on the goods this summer on August 9th! Click on more for more pictures of the line!
So far, I’ve written two posts about my first time experiences at certain events, but one thing’s for sure with the Black Friday event: it may also just be my last due to the uncontrollable shopping mania brought out in bargain hunters.
I returned home from the Los Cerritos Mall’s first-ever special sales event called Midnight Madness at approximately 12:05 a.m. Yes. I came, I saw, I immediately left.
Upon entering, I saw a serpentine line looping around the stores, like a Disneyland ride meets Cabbage Patch Kids frenzy. Many super savers waited near the display windows in anticipation of the doors opening at stores like Forever 21 and Metropark — a sight I usually associate with loiterers near Westwood or The Santa Monica Promenade.
The day after the turkey holiday is a garish display of the consumptionist ways of Americans, and now it is slowly spreading to countries like the United Kingdom and Australia. If American’s aren’t stuffing our stomachs, then we are stuffing our stockings (while emptying our wallets).
In fact, such a zoo crazy day can lead to bad judgment and arguments. Just last night, the Los Cerritos Mall was put on lockdown after gunshots were fired around 2:30 a.m.
So no more shopping malls — or rather, shopping mauls, for me any time soon. I’m thankful for being safe from all the ruckus and for saving cash because I usually shop at my favorite thrift shop anyways, where pieces go for $1.91 and up. One man’s trash is Katrina’s pride and joy! Here are my thrift store finds from Black Friday (from the mesh crop top to the ombre wool hair sweater to the lace bodysuit):
It may be a bit early for awards season, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is hard at work narrowing down its film nominations. Among them is the docu-drama under the Philippines’ Star Cinema Productions called Noy. Co-directed, produced and starring Filipino actor Coco Martin, Noy held a screening for press at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles recently. The film is being considered in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the the 83rd Academy Awards, to be held in February 2011.
Fans, press and other celebrities gathered around the red carpet as the lone star, Coco Martin, stepped out of the limo and made his way to his film’s screening.
Before his arrival, stars like Michael Copon, Ron Jeremy and the dance group Poreotics made red carpet appearances.
Martin plays Noy, a fabricated journalist amidst the real presidential campaign of now-President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. No, this story isn’t another Shattered Glass movie about a journalist who is a pathological liar. The film unravels as Noy’s true identity is revealed as he is blind-sighted by the drive to support his widowed mother, crippled older brother and bright young sister.
The indie film has all-around compelling performances from the actors who bring out the true core of the family-oriented Filipino who faces hardships with resilience and hard work. As heard on Disney’s Lilo and Stitch, ” ‘Ohana’ means ‘family.’ ‘Family’ means no one gets left behind.” That is the very case for this tale, but with a twist of fate and hint of Hurricane Ondoy’s aftermath. The cinematography is also charming, with an assortment of shots which make life like a box of chocolates because you never know if you’re going to get the bird’s eye view or the close-up. The musical score has a great way of embedding historic revivals into the film. However, its plot left me a little confused. Even Ron Jeremy said that he thought the acting was great, but the plot could have been clearer.
After the film, Martin had a Q&A session and described his drive to carefully select roles because he is an advocate of the poor and also because he is one of the few Filipino celebrities who came from humble beginnings.
Martin has left his mark in the indie film industry in gay-oriented films Masahista (The Masseuse), Daybreak and Jay, but he truly got his break after starring in ABS-CBN dramas.
The event ended with a reception, and it was on to more drinks, appetizers, gift bags and fun!
Keep checking back with AudreyMagazine.com to find out the fate of Noy for the awards season. In the meantime, check out the trailer here:
Any die-hard fans of Harry Potter out there? Well, here is our weekly giveaway that is just for you HP fans out there.
“These are DARK TIMES,” is what it says on the T-shirt that Audrey is giving away this week along with a USB drive in the shape of the first horcrux discovered by Dumbledore and Harry. The necklace doubles as a USB drive with a serpent on the front. Both perfect for an everyday item as well as a perfectly planned outfit for the opening weekend of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I just recently came out in theaters as a box office hit. This isn’t just in the United States, but all over the world. A cumulative amount of $330.1 million dollars was earned in the global box office in its opening weekend. Not really surprising when its based off of the best selling novels by J.K. Rowling.
Many of you guys are probably asking, “Why would they make us wait for part II?” or “Why is there even a part II?” Well maybe the answer from Daniel Radcliffe will quench your curiosity. “I think it’s the only way you can do it, without cutting out a huge portion of the book. There have been compartmentalized subplots in the other books that have made them easier to cut, but the seventh book doesn’t really have any subplots. It’s one driving, pounding story from the word go.”
To win this better-than-Black Fridaygiveaway, all you have to do it post comments to three of Audrey‘s other blog posts and leave a comment after this post telling us which posts you commented on. A tweet = an extra chance to win. (Just tag @audreymagazine so we’ll be able to see it.) The giveaway ends Wednesday, December 1 @ 11:59pm. No international friends, sorry. Good luck!
For more information about the movie, visit www.harrypotter.com
Had your fill of turkey? Avoiding the Black Friday crowds? Escape some of the holiday stress with some fun, beauty and plain old comedy to lift your spirits. Make sure to check out some of these awesome events going on all over the U.S., in the upcoming week.
Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art
What: Works in various media from the Museum’s collection explore the pervasive themes of celebration and longevity in the art of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
When: Now through November 28, 2010
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028
CAPE Soiree 2010
What: The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) presents its highly-anticipated CAPE Soiree. This year’s event features special appearances by not one but both of the Mr. Sulus of Star Trek: John Cho and the legendary George Takei. Also appearing are Academy Award nominee Iris Yamashita (Letters from Iwo Jima) and Quentin Lee, director of The People I’ve Slept With. Additional celebrity guests include Dancing With the Stars’ Carrie Ann Inaba, Twilight’s Justin Chon, and Gilmore Girl’s Keiko Agena. Honorees are Comedian Ken Jeong and CBS President of Entertainment, Nina Tassler.
Founded in 1991 in Los Angeles, CAPE is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing diversity and creating social change by actively developing, promoting, and positioning Asian Pacific Americans for key artistic and leadership roles in the entertainment industry and media arts.
When: December 2, 2010; 6:30-11:00pm
Where: Vibiana, 210 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
How much: Tickets are $75.00 for CAPE Members; $95.00 for Nonmembers. A special Soiree Combo Ticket is also available.
More info: Ticket purchase and detailed information are available at www.capeusa.org.
Comedy Zen: Jokes of Fury
What: The multicultural troupe Comedy Zen presents Boston comedian Joe Wong, who has appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman, and stuntman Steven Ho, who holds the record for most appearances on the short-lived The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Wong will demonstrate some of his stunt work on Comedy Zen’s lucky comedian volunteers. Hasan Minhaj will host.
When: December 3, 2010 @ 8:30 pm & 10 pm
Where: 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
How much: $20
KHELEIN HUM JEE JAAN SEY
What: Based on the true story of the 1930 Chittagong Uprising in British India and shot mostly in Goa, this period thrilled is helmed by the award-winning director Ashutosh Gowariker and stars two of Bollywood biggest names, Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone.
When: December 3, 2010
Where: In more than 60 theaters across the U.S. Find a theater near you at www.kheleinhumjeejaansey.com/
THE DREAMS OF JINSHA
What: The most expensive animated film ever produced in China (it took five years to make), THE DREAMS OF JINSHA was released in China in July and is now finally going to be released in the U.S. The film follows Xiao Long, a modern day middle-school student who, after being transported 3,000 years back in time to the magical kingdom of Jinsha, discovers his true destiny. Together with the beautiful Princess Hau’er, he must draw upon all his resources to fight the wicked forces threatening the peace of the kingdom.
When: December 3, 2010
Where: Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills, CA
Thi Cosmetics Holiday Luxe Event
What: Indulge in a new look just in time for the holidays. Check out celebrity makeup artist Taylor Pham’s must-have makeup line Thi — every purchase more than $100 comes with two complimentary foundation shades, a Sakura blush (my favorite), and a Quinn lipstick! RSVP in advance (there are only 18 seats available!) and get a complimentary 30-minute color consultation. And for the entire month of December and January, get 20% off all cuts and color!
When: December 4, 2010, 12 noon to 6 pm
Where: Mimi & Taylor Salon, 522 Bryant St., Palo Alto, CA
More info: 650-327-8880, mimi-taylor.com
Long Grove Holiday Festivities
What: Stuck in the Midwest? Make the most of the chilly weather and get into the spirit and enjoy the sounds, sights, and hospitality of a bygone era. Expect to see carolers, lighting of the holiday tree, Santa sightings, and magical chimes all over the historic village.
When: Now through December 31, 2010
Where: Old McHenry Rd. at Robert Parker Coffin Rd. Long Grove, Chicago IL
DJ and Dim Mak Records founder, Steve Aoki, spun his way to the stage during his 33rd birthday celebration on November 23 for Dim Mak Tuesdays.
Even though I’m not at all into the house and techno scene (or whatever you wish to call it), I had a great time as a first-timer and helper at Dim Mak Tuesdays.
The very special event, The Steves Birthday Celebration, had 500 of Aoki’s friends and fans moving and shaking on the dance floor and lounging in the rooms at Cinespace. The annual fete lasted until sunrise, but I didn’t last that long because I parked at a lot that closed much earlier than that. You know how much of a pain parking is in Hollywood; Aoki’s Dim Mak van was even given a parking ticket. What a birthday present from the city!
Anyways, resident DJs Dan Oh and Them Jeans played their sets before midnight, while Etienne de Crecy, who just flew in from France for Aoki’s birthday, and an EP release, preceeded Aoki. After Aoki came out, the lights flickered like wild amidst the misty room.
The real surprise was mystery guest Swedish House Mafia (as well as Will.i.am), which only made sense because the event was a Steve Angello X Steve Aoki birthday. For those unaware of Swedish House Mafia, they recently performed alongside Usher at the 2010 American Music Awards.
The Japanese American Aoki, son of the late Benihana founder, Rocky Aoki, and brother of model-turned-actress Devon Aoki, has been bringing the party scene to the world since the millennium. Even his company’s Dim Mak van says “On tour forever” to get an example of his contemporary legacy. In short, Aoki shouldn’t be seen as a figure behind the shadows of his family, but a producer of wonder on his own.
For more ultra photos, check out Mark “The Cobra Snake” Hunter’s stash here.
Ever spot one of those super-stylish trends, but don’t know how it could possibly ever go with anything in your closet? Our resident student-by-day, stylista-by-night shows us how to take these trends and make them work with our everyday wardrobe. Her first tackle: lace-up booties.
My new-found love: my vintage lace-up booties. They’re not only easy to match with, but they also give an edge to my casual outfits. Plus, they’re comfortable and not hard to walk in at all; I can be in them for hours. Mine are Jeffrey Campbell’s Loggins that I bought in Nordstrom. Here are some of my favorite looks to go with my booties:
Neutrals is another trend that’s been around for a while. When people want to wear pants for a casual look, they usually go for jeans. But I say try khaki; it gives you a more laid-back, relaxed feel. I paired my khaki pants with a white tank-top and a cropped vest.
Pants from Mango, tank-top from boutique in Hong Kong, vest from London Jean through Victoria’s Secret.
Distressed Denim Shorts
Since my booties are kind of vintage, I like to stick to the theme and match them with my distressed denim shorts. My legs aren’t long so my shorts tend to be really short. The booties already cut off a section of your legs that can be seen, so stay away from longer shorts or capris because they will give the illusion of short legs and you don’t want that! For my top, I wore a loose vest and a thin cardigan.
Shorts from boutique in Hong Kong, tank-top from Mango, cardigan from Bershka, belt from Esprit.
The typical way to wear denim with boots is to tuck them in, but cuffing them slightly can make your look more casual. The boots will stand out more especially if the color of your denim is similar to the color of your boots. To spice up my look, I went for a knit off-shoulder top.
Jeans from Bershka, knit-top from ArdenB.
Another trendy way to wear your booties is with knee-high or over-the-knee socks. They go well with mid-thigh skirts. For the winter, try woolen skirts. The ones pictured here are all from ASOS.
We’ve also compiled some of our favorite lace-up heeled booties that you can find online!
Melissa Li & The Barely Theirs (MLBT) aren’t just breaking ground as a pop and rock band fronted by an Asian American woman. Singer-songwriter Melissa Li (also guitarist) is breaking barriers as an openly gay musician, leading the band with her girlfriend Ashley Baier (drums), Chris Takita (lead guitar) and Darren Lipper (bass).
Originally from Hong Kong, Li got her start with the music and poetry duo Good Asian Drivers. Since then, the band has played nationwide, from San Francisco to Boston, and is currently recording their album, The Beginning, while on tour. MLBT is also hosting their very first showcase “Women on the Loose: Winter Rock Festival” on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, at the Union Hall in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Take a listen:
Audrey Magazine sat down with the spunky quartet recently for an an electrifying interview.
Audrey Magazine: Sara Bareilles and Maroon 5 are a few of your band’s influences, but as a child, what kind of music were you into?
Melissa Li: Actually, Sara Bareilles and Maroon 5, being relatively new artists, are not our band’s influences. They’re just what we kind of sound like in terms of songwriting and performing style. Growing up in an immigrant household, I actually started listening to Cantonese pop music when I was a kid. So at an early age, I was exposed to traditional pop structures, even though a lot of it was a bit predictable and cheesy. Later on, I was exposed to a lot of the music my mother enjoyed, like The Carpenters, Simon & Garfunkel, and Peter, Paul, & Mary, so I also developed a love for folk music — essentially, music for the American people. But ultimately, my thinking on songwriting, particularly lyric-writing, evolved when I started listening to Ani DiFranco. I would say she’s my biggest influence.
Ashley Baier: Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Led Zeppelin, and musicals.
Chris Takita: Green Day, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer.
Darren Lipper: Nirvana.
AM: Being born in Hong Kong, how has that played a role in your identity? How do you define yourself?
ML: I am a Chinese American who has a strong connection with my cultural history. I grew up primarily influenced by American identity and values, and I’m very proud to be American, but I grew up facing a lot of racism and isolation because of my background, so I’m very passionate about positive representation in society for other Asian Americans, specifically dispelling negative stereotypes and creating our own place in this country.
AM: In your bio it says, “juggling both the personal and professional is not without its challenges.” Can you give us a few of those challenges?
ML: Our drummer Ashley Baier is my girlfriend and we live together and play music together in our home. She’s been playing music since she was 7 or 8, so she and I both have decades of experience with music. We both care a lot about what we do, we’re passionate about the band, and we have strong opinions. That’s where sometimes it can be challenging, for example, disagreeing about musical ideas, what sounds better, who should play what parts, or where the song should go in the bridge.
AB: We are both opinionated about the music, and we’ll argue passionately about it, and get angry at each other.
ML: But then we take it out of the band room and into the bedroom.
AM: If you were to sell your band in one word, what word would that be? Also, what sets MLBT apart from other bands?
DL: What sets us apart is that the bass player is the hairiest bass player that ever existed.
ML: And you have an Asian American female lead singer singing rock music. That doesn’t happen very often.
AB: Also, we’re not bound to any one style. We play some country, some rock, some blues, some jazz, some jam-band music. But ultimately, we have a lot of fun and the tunes are catchy and addictive.
AM: Do you have a favorite quote or poem that you live by?
ML: I do. I actually have it on my Facebook under my profile pic. “Words are vitamins and life is short.” It’s an Ani DiFranco quote, and as a songwriter I do think being able to express yourself accurately, poignantly, and positively is important. No matter who is judging.
AM: If you could go on tour with any musician or performer, who would you choose?
AB: Rolling stones.
ML: Probably Sara Bareilles. We would be good on the same bill.
AM: On the topic of figures, who are your icons?
ML: Again, Ani DiFranco is a huge icon for me, not only because she was outspoken about being queer, but also because she was able to take her music and art, have confidence in her work, and build her own empire by herself. She is one of the very few musicians who, especially at the time, was able to have a successful independent career outside of the mainstream music industry. She’s a visionary artist with unparalleled determination, which is what I aspire to become.
AM: How would you describe a day in the life of MLBT members?
AB: Full of laughter.
DL: A day of music, apps, dirty jokes, and chicken.
ML: Darren and Chris show up to our house around 7 every week for rehearsal and we work on new songs and maybe even start a jam together. The boys like heavy metal, so once in a while we’ll break out in a metal jam just for fun.
AB: I’m not sure the neighbors like that though.
ML: Probably not. The other day we did a choreographed dance. AB: And afterwards we drink beer and hang out. All of us really love each other.
AM: Where do you plan to take MLBT?
ML: Everywhere! We want to travel and tour and play music and make albums and inspire people around the world. Ultimately we want to make this our only job someday, because we love what we do and we want other Asian Americans to be proud to have positive representation like us in the arts.
CT: And Mount Fuji. Then the Vatican.
To find out more about Melissa Li & The Barely Theirs, including where they’ll be playing next, go to their official website.
It’s that time of the year to do some shopping again because the holidays are approaching! We encourage you to do yours at the Shopping Bazaar, co-sponsored by Audrey. Not only will you get the chance to shop Italian designer Kao Pao Shu‘s fantasy-filled and super edgy clothing, but a percentage of the proceeds go to the Good Shepherd Shelter, which helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Your purchases will help a foundation that is really effective: 96 percent of families who complete the program offered by Good Shepherd Shelter now live an independent and violence-free life.
This event starts with a Holiday Shopping Bazaar which includes Hand Crafting Justice, a fair trade partnership with the Good Shepherd Shelter. They will present products made from women who are fighting for economic justice and independence in developing countries. At 6 pm, there will be a live model presentation, where guests can see the full transformation of a model from make-up and hair styling to a live photo shoot. Prizes donated from businesses throughout California will also be awarded.
Good Shepherd Shelter and Studio DNA team up to provide makeovers for women who are victims of domestic violence. Women who suffer from domestic violence are conditioned to feel helpless and worthless of any rights. What they need is the strength to move on from their pain and this requires increased confidence. With a new look, women feel better about themselves and become prepared to take on the challenge of starting a new life because fashion and beauty can inspire one’s inner beauty. As a part of an international organization that has been helping mothers and children in abusive environments for the last 350 years, Good Shepherd Shelter provides the support and resources these women need to rebuild their self-esteem.
Come join us as we kick off the holiday season with some fashion and fund raising. RSVP to email@example.com.
For more details and Kao Pao Shu looks, keep reading.
When: Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 4 pm
Venue: Kao Pao Shu Showroom
1906 Olympic Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Hosts: Kao Pao Shu & Studio DNA Salon
Maui once again earned the award for “Best Island in the World” from the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards Poll, its 16th straight year of receiving the honor. Impressively, the “Magic Isle” garnered the highest score of any other island in the world and was the only destination to score above 90.
Coincidentally, I just happen to visit Maui last September for a wedding my husband was in. And because the couple was getting married at the Four Seasons in Wailea, all the pre- and post-wedding festivities occurred all along the resort-filled Wailea strip. Needless to say, I got a pretty good feel for most of the major resorts there.
Now, the only other time I had gone to Maui was in the late ’90s, and then I stayed only in Kanaapaali and Hana. So this was a brand new Maui to me — one filled with mega resorts, overflowing buffets, and one too many tropical shirts revealing patches of sunburnt skin. If you like comfort, convenience and easy vacations, this is the place for you.
If, on the other hand, you like adventure, a little mystery and discovering unspoiled places … not so much.
It was day three and I was getting some serious resort fever. I needed solitude, a bit of roughing it, a quiet escape. And I found it — surprise, surprise — at yet another resort, this one the oldest of the mega resorts, the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
Sure, the Wailea Beach Marriott didn’t have the glitz and flash and, frankly, ostentation of the other resorts. (Sometimes I couldn’t remember if I were in Vegas or the middle of the Pacific.) What it did have was this:
* A rocky, rough, real shoreline full of black volcanic rocks, hidden tide pools and perfectly shaded isolated spots from which to soak up some real island atmosphere.
* Real live turtles floating in the waves right by the beachside walkway around the resort.
* The best loco moco on the island, at the Wailea Beach Marriott’s Mala restaurant — especially welcome after non-stop servings of rich glaze-encrusted, wine reduction’d über-meals.
Now that’s a Maui to impress.
When I was in high school, I always over-accessorized. A green shirt was not complete without a headband in a matching shade, funky over-sized earrings in a matching shade and bangles in a matching shade. A skirt had to be paired with colorful tights. My fingers needed to be blingin’ with rings. Hats, sunglasses, necklaces, pins, ribbons, stockings– nothing was off-limits.
As I’ve matured, I’ve started to tone down my fashion sense and appreciate the beauty in simplicity.
So I was thrilled when I got to check out a sushi restaurant with that same ideal in mind. sugarFISH, with locations in Brentwood, Marina Del Rey and the newly-opened downtown Los Angeles follows the philosophy of esteemed sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa, well known for his Trust Me-style sushi in Studio City.
According to the sugarFISH site, “Nozawa shuns ‘American-style’ extravagant rolls and fusion dishes. Instead he concentrates on the purity of his basic ingredients— nurturing relationships with the finest fish purveyors across the globe, cutting his fish with an artisan’s painstaking care, and even making his own fresh soy sauce and ponzu.”
My foodie friend, Jennifer was equally delighted at dining in the downtown locale with me and dishes about sugarFISH’s standout sushi experience.
Simple. Clean. Modern. Personal. Detail-oriented. Innovative. Neighbor-hood friendly.
That is how co-founder Emanuel Massimini, a native of Rome, would describe his newest sugarFISH location in downtown Los Angeles. There are three restaurants in total including the original Marina del Rey location and the popular Brentwood restaurant, and the founders are in the process of opening another one in Santa Monica.
United by the love of legendary sushi chef Nozawa, the founders wanted to allow diners to enjoy the luxury of quality fish on a daily basis.
The attention to quality and detail is apparent, and the ingredients are crucial. The seaweed comes from Japan and is particularly crisp, contrasting nicely with the soft fish and firm, moist rice. The sauces are a secret, and Nozawa’s son makes sure that each bite is one his father would approve of. Nozawa hand picks each cut of fish from the downtown LA fish market, and some specials are so limited he only offers 5 orders. He is known for his loosely packed rice, seasoned with the familiar tang of rice vinegar and a hint of sugar.
In order to provide quality food at an affordable price, sugarFISH relies on its lower margins, Trust Me menu, and streamlined kitchen.
That’s right—there is no sushi bar here.
We had the Trust Me Nozawa, the largest of the three Trust Me’s. The edamame was lightly salted, firm, and subtly sweet. We started with tuna sashimi in a ponzu sauce topped with green onions. Next came the salmon, snapper in ponzu, and albacore in ponzu. The albacore was thick and melted in our mouths like butter. Next came the halibut in a citrus ponzu and yellow tail, followed by a toro handroll and then a Boston blue crab handroll.
We were warned repeatedly throughout the night to eat the handrolls as soon as possible so that the seaweed stays crisp upon first bite. sugarFISH so particular about this that you cannot order a handroll to go. The special of the day was large scallop, which was sweet and silky and tasted of the sea. We ended with an ice cold, silky uni and a tender piece of unagi, the perfect dessert in my opinion.
The restaurant relies only on word of mouth to advertise, and they seek to create personal relationships with their customers. They focus on creating a consistent experience for customers, emphasizing “everyday efforts.”
The menu is the same but specials change daily. They are eco-friendly and use filtered water.
Massimini emphasizes the little things like details and consistency.
The back of the menu features the nutritional value and chemical content of the fish, a big worry for many seafood lovers. They were not required to do it but wanted to know what was in the food they were eating almost every day.
The name “sugarFISH” reflects the restaurant concept. It is simple, reminiscent of childhood, and has that wow-factor that Massamini and his co-founders strive to impart to its customers with each and every bite.
This food is definitely 100% Nozawa.
And we are definitely 100% returning for more sugarFISH in the near future.