When I was in LA last week, Nina and I managed to sneak away to Sushi Nozawa for a quick lunch. If you Google Sushi Nozawa, you’ll find all sorts of posts about how Nozawa-san is known as the “sushi nazi” and that he’s thrown all sorts of famous people out of the restaurant.
It’s a completely unassuming little restaurant in a strip mall in Studio City — when you walk in there are perhaps ten little tables — two- and four-tops and a small bar that seats maybe eight people. We were worried we’d be too late to sit at the bar, which is the whole point of going to Nozawa, but we got the last two seats. We smiled, sat down, ordered an iced green tea each, and then the fun began.
There’s no ordering at Nozawa. They simply bring you things. I love this because what do I know from the best sushi in the place? Nozawa-san bought the fish, he knows what’s best, and I was more than happy to put myself in his hands. First off was a plate of tuna sashimi, with a little tiny bit of soy and ginger and scallion on it — this was a big plate of tuna for the two of us, and it was absolutely delicious. Then came sashimi — I’m not sure what the first one was because sometimes they don’t tell you, they just hand you things. The fish was spectacular, and the rice is just slightly warm, which was absolutely lovely. The ones I liked the best (an understatement, the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth would be more like it) were the halibut, and the black cod. And then there were the hand rolls — perfectly toasted nori around that delicious warm sushi rice — we had three different ones, at different points in our meal: crab, salmon, and lobster. I’m not a huge crab fan but the crab in this roll was so delicious — each roll was about three bites, perfect perfect perfect.
I don’t know why people have any kind of problem with Nozawa-san — it’s so clear that one should put oneself entirely in his hands. His fish is so gorgeous, his light light sauces are so perfect, every taste is absolutely delicious. The pace is speedy, and the prices are steep, but it was probably the best meal I’ve ever eaten in my life.
And aside from the twins birthday party, the absolute highlight of my trip to LA.