A lot of times people ask me, "Colleen, what's your favourite restaurant in L.A.?" What's my FAVOURITE restaurant in L.A.? Are you kidding me?!?
That's like asking someone to choose their favourite child, or, in my case, favourite cat. Who's my favourite cat?
Well, duh, that's easy. Orbit. He's the cutest and most wonderful.
Likewise, Sushi Nozawa is my favourite restaurant in L.A. No contest, always has been, always will be.
I first discovered Sushi Nozawa in about 2003 and have eaten there close to a hundred times. That's like, $10,000 worth of sushi! No matter, because from the bottom of my heart...
I LOVE THIS MAN:
And for you, dear reader, I have sacrificed being barred forever by sneaking a few covert photos (OK, more than a few), so that you too can see the magic that is Nozawa. See, I normally sit at the sushi bar, where I would never dream of snapping a photo, but tonight the hidden corner table was open, so we sat there.
Nozawa has the most amazing sushi in the United States. I've been to almost every good sushi restaurant from here to New York and have never experienced anything quite like it. It's not just impeccably good quality fish, there's something else, a chemical perhaps, that makes your head absolutely woozy with delight.
For me, a trip to Nozawa is like a visit to a psychotherapist. You can't help but feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. It's sort of like yoga for your palate.
The best way to experience Nozawa is to follow the sign: TRUST ME
Trust Me means omakase, chef's choice. It's the only way to fly...
Please keep in mind that these photos in no way do the sushi justice. It's so much more than how it looks - it's the texture (like butter), the flavour (impossibly fresh), and the perfect marriage of the cool fish on warm rice that make this experience truly special.
Every visit starts off with a plate of tuna in ponzu sauce with green onions:
Followed by toro and hamachi, also known as "orgasm on a plate"
Then we might move on to some albacore:
A crab hand roll midway through (one bite left!):
Excuse me miss, your toro is showing:
The ever-succulent toro roll... just half a bite to go:
Perhaps some halibut:
Crisp, luscious ama ebi:
And of course, my favourite, uni:
Now this is where I feel really loved. See, Nozawa knows I love his uni (I usually get two or three orders). However, he also knows that Brian's not a fan of uni, so every time, even when we're out of sight at the corner table, he remembers to send me an order of uni and to send Brian a lobster roll. Ahhh... love.
Let's take a closer look at the uni, shall we?
Here he is... the man, the myth, the legend: Kazunori Nozawa
(Brian had me convinced that he's a ghost and wouldn't actually appear on the film, but you can just barely see him below)
Nozawa is not cheap... our meal, which included one large beer and one small beer, came to $137 before tip. But if you TRULY love sushi, do yourself a favour and make the pilgramage to this, the Mecca of raw fish.
11288 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, 91604
Mon-Fri 12pm-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Thursday, April 06, 2006