Along the four-mile stretch on Ventura Blvd in Studio City commonly referred to as "the Sushi strip," connoisseurs of raw fish are confronted with many choices to satisfy their raw fish cravings, but the only man you can turn to satiate them is Kazunori Nozawa. Nozawa is a master sushi chef who rules his restaurant, "Sushi Nozawa" with an iron fist and a very sharp blade. For decades he's been introducing Americans to the Omakase (chef's choice) menu, and if ever questioned to what's on it, only offers you his long-standing motto of "Trust Me."
When you sit at the sushi bar, you put your sushi destiny in Chef Nozawa's hands. He chooses his top sushi picks of the day, which varies depending on season and availability, and absolutely refuses to serves abominations such as California or spicy tuna rolls, so don't even ask.
Affectionately referred to by fans as the "Sushi Nazi", in reference to the famed "Soup Nazi" of the Seinfeld television series, Nozawa is known for throwing out even the most highbrow of customers who don't play by the rules. But those who do can boast at having one of the most authentic and delicious sushi experiences in the U.S.
Beyond his reputation for good sushi and penchant for ejecting customers, there's more to Nozawa than meets the eye. For that reason, my friend, sometimes collaborator, and fellow sushi lover David Gelb and I decided to get to know the man behind the counter. This is what we discovered...