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?
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.)
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.
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.
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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.