Fiish

Helmed by hospitality veteran Jamo Willis and Chef Colin Whitbread, Fiish is a new sustainable sushi restaurant that recently opened at Platform in Culver City.

Restaurateur and former pro surfer join forces to open Fiish in Culver City

 

Most nights, Platform in Culver City is packed with diners, shoppers and people watchers. The community shopping center on Washington Boulevard buzzes with the pulsing energy of a college campus or popular mall food court. After a three-month stint as Little Fiish in a pop-up space, Fiish has expanded and joined the swarm of eateries that makes Platform so appealing.  

“We were also lucky that there is a lack of sushi restaurants in the area so it was a well-received concept,” said Chef Colin Whitbread, a professional-surfer-turned-chef who previously ran a catering business in Los Angeles and San Diego for more than 15 years.

“The local community has been so supportive of the new space,” Whitbread said. “There are so many businesses in the area like Apple, HBO and Sony that we are really busy with our lunch crowd and then have a great atmosphere and vibe for the nightly dinner service. The locals are the backbone of our clientele and our most frequent repeat customers.”

Serving sushi is more than a career path for Whitbread and executive chef Cody Requejo. Serving sustainable fish defines their mission statement. 

“The sustainable fish question is the most important aspect of the business for us,” Whitbread said. “To bring ethically sourced or regeneratively raised seafood to customers, and empower them with the information to feel great about their buying decisions, is the future of seafood and for our food system as a whole. By taking the time to bring awareness and transparency to our sourcing, we are allowing ourselves to start the conversation for the sushi world that has been rarely addressed. I want to provide the highest-quality seafood with the lowest environmental cost possible. It allows me to feel like we are preparing for the future to ensure that we can have sushi that won't destroy the ecosystem.”

Menu items range from salmon chicharron with kani kama and smoked trout roe to maki, nigiri, and sashimi made with a seasonal selection of in-house dry-aged (cleaner and more tender) fish. Takeout remains a large part of the business powered by the Lunch Box (16 pieces), Dinner Box (22 pieces), Roll Box (16 pieces), and a Vegan Box (16 piece).

“To do sushi in LA, you have to have a proper vegan menu,” Whitbread said. 

“About 10 to 15% of our clientele are vegan or plant based. I love doing vegan sushi. It’s so much fun, so beautiful and really fun to prep.”

Fiish also serves its own signature branded beer, courtesy of co-owner Jamo Willis.

“I always wanted to brew my own beer, and I thought this was the perfect time to do it,” said Willis, who also designed the 2,200-square-foot space that seats 100 people.

“I love Japanese beers, but we wanted to put our own little twist on it that really complimented Colin’s sushi. We worked with SLO Brew (in San Luis Obispo) to come up with the flavor profile we liked, and our Fiish beer was born.”

Luckily, Whitbread still gets the chance to sneak in a surf or swim one to two days a week.

“I feel like we are riding a wave of momentum that we must keep going,” Whitbread said. “The future is beautiful, and together we will be able to grow to whatever heights our imagination can possibly reach. 

“I love being able to prepare [sushi] in front of people and talk to them about what they are experiencing. I love that food-to-customer connection and building those relationships with people. I love changing people's minds about fish and what it can taste like. I love destroying the old norms and patterns of sushi. We have no limits or rules about what we can do, and that's what's most exciting about our business. Being able to be the chef and artist I want to be is what keeps me going.”   

 

 

 

Fiish

8820 Washington Boulevard, Culver City

323-272-2262

fiish.co