How much longer can diners continue to belly up to the sushi bar for a never-ending stream of imported seafood? The oceans are already overfished, and soon there won’t be enough fish for the millions of spicy tuna rolls consumed each year in the U.S. But thankfully for sushi-mad Angelenos, chef Colin Whitbread has found a different and more sustainable direction with his new restaurant Fiish at Culver City’s Platform LA. The former professional surfer — who has been creating private dinners for the likes of the Jonas Brothers, Donald Glover, Jason Derulo and Nas for a decade — calls his approach “guilt-free.” Fiish focuses on sustainable practices such as sourcing almost all the fish from the local waters of California and Baja California.
The kanpachi, similar to yellowtail, hails from Omega Azul Seafood, a highly rated hatchery in La Paz, Mexico, where Fiish executive chef Cody Requejo is a consultant; the striped bass is from Pacifico Aquaculture in Ensenada. All the farms have Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) rating, as well as Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certifications. Black gill, rarely seen in restaurants, comes from San Francisco, while the tuna is wild line caught off the coast and trucked to L.A., not imported as in nearly every other sushi bar.
In addition to ethical sourcing, a key component of Fiish’s approach is dry aging whole fish in a refrigerated cabinet from five to 30 days at a time, which boosts the umami flavor and cuts down on transporting product from across the globe every few days. It’s a common practice in Japan, but “Ten years from now, everyone will be dry aging fish,” Requejo predicts.
Fiish’s concise menu features several rolls, such as the Lemon Drop with salmon, avocado and lemon or the Baja Aloha with spicy tuna, avocado and tellow; seven varieties of nigiri sushi and an omakase selection as well as popular to-go boxes. Entrees include miso salmon and coconut curry kanpachi. Co-owner Jamo Willis, a veteran of Australia’s sushi scene, designed the playful packaging for the house beer and the to-go boxes. In addition to beer, wine and sake, cocktails incorporate sake or shochu in drinks like the Wasabi Margarita or Fiish Old Fashioned.
Nestled in the corner of Culver City’s buzzy Platform complex, Fiish’s minimalist space includes two spacious patio areas, a long sushi bar and a serene interior punctuated with rosy pink stools and walls. 8820 Washington Blvd., Culver City
Boisson’s Big L.A. Plans
These days, it’s not just Dryuary and Dry July. In fact, the sober-curious are extending their nonalcoholic explorations year-round, and a crop of bottle shops are springing up to meet the need. Silver Lake’s Soft Spirits was the first in L.A., and now New York’s Boisson has opened in Brentwood, with locations in Studio City and Beverly Hills coming soon. Find Katy Perry’s De Soi, Blake Lively’s Betty Buzz, and a vast array of wines, beers, spritzers, spirits and mixers, all conceived for those who don’t drink alcohol but still want a fun and festive selection of libations. 11762 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood
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