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Sushi Nozawa is a scam!

This Nozawa guy is a scam! If you really look at his menu and break it down, he offers nothing special that any other 1/2 price sushi joint doesn't offer. Average fish made by Nozawa's Hispanic assitant wearing cheap dishwasher hat and shirt and paying premium dollars is not my idea of an experience. I had the full Omakazi experience and I was very very disappointing and way overpriced. I think people go goo goo and ga ga because people automatically assume old Japanese guy must be a master sushi chef. Not so, for all those who eaten at this place, think back - What did you have that was beyond average?

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  1. Funny, I had lunch there for the first time last week and enjoyed it very much. I have no particular sushi expertise, but I thought the fish was excellent and very fresh. I liked the tuna sashimi a lot, and I also found that I enjoyed the contrast between the cool fish and the warm, loose rice in the various sushi items we tried. (I know there has been a diversity of views on this issue here over the years.) I thought the rice was nicely seasoned, and I liked the citrus (yuzu?) sauce that accompanied a variety of the items we ordered. All in all, I thought it was very good sushi, and it didn't seem inordinately expensive to me. (A generous lunch for three, with tax and tip, came to about $140.) I would absolutely return, but it's not keeping me up nights or anything. I guess I'm also a bit baffled by the passion Nozowa seems to inspire in both its fans and its detractors. (Maybe I'm just too much of a big, dumb, gringo to grasp the deep subtleties at play.)

    1. No, I think Nozawa sushi isn't much special. I've had better Sushi as Asanebo, 4 on 6, Teru, and, yes-she said it even though the service was lousy-Tama. Nozawa is all gimmick and gimme money.

      1. i thnk nozawa is very good, and has been pretty conistent over the years. yes, it's not a very nice sushi bar, from the outside and inside too it looks like a cheap, takeout chinese fast food joint. and yes, you'll get out of here before they get your first order prepared at other sushi bars around town. but in my opinion, it's still the best prixe-fixe style set omakase in town (better than echigo and sasabune, although i haven't been to it's newest incarnation, and possibly better than the new sushi zo which we'll have to see it's progress.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kevin

          Unless something has changed since I was there last a few years ago, Nozawa is not prix fixe... it's ala carte.

          Mr Taster

        2. for what it's worth, nozawa does go to the markets early in the morning. although i've never seen him there, given that i'm too lazy to wake up that hour to get the freshest fish from one of the markets downtown.

          1. Nozawa has some amazing blue crab hand rolls and baby tuna. I've only been 3-4 times but the fish has always been really fresh (top of the line in my book). The drawback is that there is not much in the way of creativity and it is not a real dining experience (in and out in 30-45 minutes with no atmosphere). Still, I'm a fan.

            1. I don't know if it is a scam, but while I am not a big fan of Nozawa, I can definitely see the appeal that the place has.

              Depending on when you go and what the bar has to offer that day, it can be quite good - although a bit expensive.

              1. Spham3 is right... otorosushi has no idea what he's talking about... anyone who thinks any good sushi restaurant takes delivery service as a primary supply is simply very, very uninformed. That said, I'm no big fan of Nozawa. But give the guy credit -- he does show up early every morning to get good fish. As do the chefs of any reasonably good sushi joints.

                1. sushi nozawa is great. you may not like his style, but those who know sushi can taste the difference in terms of freshness and quality of fish. it's a cut above most places in town. end of story.

                  1. maybe someone was talking on his cellphone or asked for more wasabi? =P

                    1. Weather anyone likes Nozawa's food or not he does go to the fish market every morning. He just goes before everyone else, he gets there at around 4:45-5:00 am.

                      If there's any doubt, stop by Showa Marine, International Marine, Harbor, Pacific Fresh, or Top Seafood and ask the guys there for yourself if Nozawa picks up his own fish every morning. They'll be the first to tell you he does.

                      Take a walk around the fish markets. Ask them who gets there first, who gets the best fish, and who goes everyday. Take notice of the restaurants that have boxes that get delivered to them. Ask the guys if they ever deliver Nozawa his fish.

                      1. Personally, I don't think most people can tell the difference between the quality at most sushi places.

                        I find that taking friends to Nozawa is a good test of a discerning palate. His stuff is often sublime, and if you and I are sitting there at the bar together having the same sushi, and you have little or no reaction while I have a huge smile plastered on my face (a personal reaction that is rare and hard-earned, in the case of food), then probably any reasonably good and less pricier sushi place will do for you, like Tama.

                        My opinion has never been influenced by expectations or decor or external reviews or whatever. I just put the sushi in my mouth and react.

                        That said, I haven't been there for several months, so maybe the quality has slipped. Anyhow, Urasawa is the place I would like to try within the next few months. And/or Masa in NYC.

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: bfez

                            The problem is, once you go to Urasawa, you are spolied for life. The difference in quality of fish compared to all other LA sushi bars is mind boggling.


                            1. re: bfez

                              Hasn't slipped a bit. We went a week or two or three ago and got an amazing (as usual) array of stuff. Uni. Oysters (the best anywhere IMO). Yellowtail. Monkfish liver handroll. I can't remember all of it now... but I will say for the tenth time on this board I've eaten a lot of sushi here and in Japan and Nozawa is my favorite with little competition. When I'm in the mood for junk sushi I go somewhere and get a silly roll. When I want the real thing, it's only Nozawa.

                            2. "What did you have that was beyond average?"

                              baby tuna, toro, albacore, yellowtail, crab roll, tuna roll

                              premium nori and rice make the difference, in addition to the high quality fish

                              a few items that i think are average would be:

                              spanish mackerel, snapper, scallop, sweet shrimp, salmon