[Los Angeles] Nozawa Bar
Categories: Japanese, Sushi Bar
Address: 212 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
Hours: Mon-Thurs 7:30 pm. Fri & Sat 6:00 pm or 8:30 pm (2 seatings).
By reservation-only (online or phone)
Price: $150 per person, without drinks and before tax & tip.
Verdict: DEFINITELY. If you’re planning for a dinner date, a birthday celebration, anniversary or any other special occasion, you should make a reservation here. Alternatively, if you just love food and feel like spoiling yourself or somebody else, go ahead and make a reservation here as well. Note though, due to limited seating, big parties would not be a good idea here.
An intimate 10-seat reservation-only sushi bar, Nozawa Bar is one of my favorite restaurants in LA. I was already a huge fan of the original Sugarfish establishments so imagine my elation and excitement when I heard about the enterprise’s new concept. Hidden in the back corner of its Beverly Hills Sugarfish location, Nozawa Bar is Sugarfish’s more deluxe, omakase-only sibling restaurant. I guess you can consider it their flagship store.
However, unlike Sugarfish, there is no a la-carte menu here. Omakase means “chef’s pick,” or in other words, the chef will dictate and alter the day’s menu according to the freshest fish available in the market that morning. Nozawa Bar goes above and beyond in both food quality and experience compared to Sugarfish (though don’t get me wrong – I still go to Sugarfish when I’m trying to save money in my piggy bank). You can read one of my first-ever posts on Sugarfish here.
What’s worth noting is that compared to other omakase-focused restaurants in LA, NB is more heavily nigiri and sashimi focused, rather than on its cooked dishes (like they do at Shunji). Unsurprisingly then, you’ll find some of the best quality raw fish in town here.
Chef Osamu Fujita, long time friend of Nozawa himself, is the executive chef behind this establishment and is probably the friendliest and most sociable sushi chefs that I have personally encountered. With a few decades of sushi-making experience behind his belt all over Japan, San Diego, Miami and Las Vegas, Chef Fujita is highly regarded. Not only did he receive recognition as a Master Chef from the Japanese Chef Association in Tokyo, he was again accorded with its Highest Achievement Award in 2008. Beyond these ceremonious titles, Chef Fujita is personable and humorous, which makes the dining experience seem more like a relaxed but elaborate Japanese dinner party.
Moving onto the food. My omakase experience was 20-22 coursed, presented in order as follows. Click on the photos to enlarge! My favorites were the Tahitan toro nigiri (they melted in my mouth, no kidding), Kusshi oysters, the Santa Barbara uni nigiri, ankimo (monkfish liver), Maine lobster nigiri and the Alaska ikura (salmon eggs) gunkan nigiri.
- Japanese Jellyfish
- Japanese Live Octopus, Tahitian Bigeye Tuna, Alaskan King Crab, Japanese Wakame
- Tahitian Bigeye Toro nigiri
- Japanese Isaki nigiri
- East Coast Engawa ("Halibut fin") nigiri
- Santa Barbara Uni nigiri
- Hokkaido Scallop nigiri
- Japanese Akamutsu (Ruby snapper) nigiri
- Hawaiian Kutsuo (Skipjack) nigiri
- Yamashiro Ume Shiro handroll
- Kumamoto, Kusshi, Shigoku oysters
- Ankimo (Monkfish liver)
- Boston Sawara (Sierra) nigiri
- Maine Lobster nigiri
- Alaska Ikura (Salmon eggs) gunkan nigiri
- Japanese Tachiuo (Beltfish) nigiri
- Santa Barbara Sweet Shrimp nigiri
- Santa Barbara Baby Squid nigiri
- Maine Lobster Handroll
- Tamago (Apricot Lane eggs) nigiri
- Hojicha tea (roasted green tea)
- Passion Fruit Sorbet & Farmers market berries
I was fortunate enough to come here as a celebratory dinner after completing my stomach treatment thanks to a special person who encouraged me to finish all of my medication. Needless to say, my tummy came and left happily. Definitely looking forward to my next meal at Nozawa Bar! :)
If you have any questions, feel free to message me.