Best Thing We Ate

KazuNori Hand Rolls Debut at Coachella

By Lesley Balla  |  April 14, 2014

One of the best things about Coachella this year wasn't the Pixies surprise add to the lineup or the superstar guests Pharrell brought on stage (Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Gwen Stefani and more). It was having more food (read: good) options in addition to the typical festival fare. Regular Coachella-goers get in heated debates over which of their annual treats is better - a slice of the jalapeno-topped Spicy Pie pizza, or turkey corndogs and hand-cut fries smothered in garlic sauce and crab meat. But with the addition of foodcrafters like Salt & Straw ice cream, Stumptown coffee, Bon Puf organic cotton candy and Plush Puff marshmallows, and chef-driven food from some of LA's top culinary talent like Kris Yenbamroong (Night + Market and Song) and Josef Centeno (Baco Mercat, Bar Ama, Orsa & Winston), who served from stands, and Casey Lane (Tasting Kitchen), Steve Samson (Sotto) and Christian Page (Short Order), all of whom served or will be serving four-course meals with Outstanding in the Field, there's no contest. Food was just as important as the music.

Some chefs set up stands where other food options were available to the general public, like Yenbamroong who served those amazing wings, pad Thai and spring rolls on the Terrace. Others, like Centeno, served their dishes - in his case a shrimp, beef or chicken baco in burrito form - in the Rose Garden VIP area. That's also where we found KazuNori, a new hand roll-only concept for the Sugarfish clan coming soon to Downtown LA, named for Kazunori Nozawa, the sushi master and patriarch of the group. Set up as its own little sushi bar, complete with menus to check off your orders to stools around a counter where chefs handed you rolls as they made them, there was almost always a line to get a seat. It was worth the wait - the rolls were delicious. The rice was warm - as it always is at any of the nine Sugarfish locations - the nori crisp and toasted, and the fish fresh and cool. It was perfect after a hot, dusty day of music; a great spot to regenerate for the evening line-up. If you missed it at Coachella this weekend you'll have to wait: they will not be attending week two. The first KazuNori location will open around 4th and Main in a couple months. Expect many more to follow soon after.