Food Porn Friday | Nozawa Bar | Beverly Hills

Friday, July 07, 2017


I’ve been wanting to try Nozawa Bar since my girlfriend told me that Sugarfish’s head Chef opened up his own private dining space years ago.  $150 for 22-course omakase, Chef Fujita’s claim-to-fame melt in your mouth sushi goodness is an institution in these parts and serious sushi-lovers all flock to the newest outpost for his latest creations.


Nozawa Bar

The Vibe

Intimate, cozy, quiet, minimal space in the back of the boisterous Sugarfish Sushi.

As the hostess walks you through the loud and superfun Sugarfish sushi to the private room dining of Nozawa Bar, there’s an element of mystery to what lies ahead.  You are promptly seated at your reservation time (either 6pm or 8pm) at an L-shaped bar surrounding the exhibition style sushi station.  This allows every seat in the house front row to the mastery of Chef Fujita and his skilled team of artisans. 

Chef Fujita (formerly Chef Nozawa’s colleague and apprentice) is the executive chef here at Nozawa and upon meeting him you are immediately silenced by his stern demeanor.  Once seated he asked us if we wanted ginger and wasabi, and instantly scoffed at le hubs for asking for a side of yuzu paste to eat along his sushi.  Apparently, they take their menu VERY seriously here, denoting use or no use of soy for each dish.  But nothing else beyond ginger, soy, and wasabi for seasoning.

You've been warned! lol
Let’s dig right in shall we?

On The Menu

 
Japanese Jellyfish

Japanese Live Octopus

 
 
Australian Bigeye Toro nigiri 
Japanese Kinmedai nigiri
 
What I loved was that I got front row and center to the expert knife-wielding prowess of Chef Fujita and his team.

Japanese Iwashi (Sardine) nigiri

Hokkaido Scallop nigiri 

Yamaimo Ume (Mountain Yam) Shiso Handroll 

Kumamoto, Kusshi, Shigoku Oysters

Ankimo (Monkfish Liver)

Some of the menu items were bar none the best I’ve ever had (Australian Bigeye Toro nigiri) and some fell flat as too much salt or too much vinegar killed the cut of fish for me.  The rice, although warm and tasty, was so loosely packed it broke apart at the slight impact of my chopsticks.  Same thing happened down the line for our group. 

As some of the rice fell apart right under the cuts of fish, Chef said we weren’t fast enough.  Sushi to mouth transport should only take a split second.  ALL these years dining at other sushi spots where the rice rarely breaks apart, must be their cheap rice? Hmmm, food for thought guys…

Japanese Akamutso (Ruby Snapper) nigiri

Japanese Katsuo (Bonito) nigiri

Japanese Sumi Ika (squid) nigiri

Alaskan Ikura (Salmon eggs) gunkan nigiri

Mirugai (Giant Clam) nigiri

Japanese Sawara (Sierra) nigiri

Maine lobster handroll

Tamago (Apricot Lane eggs) nigiri

Honey Gelato Lemon Sorbet & Farmer's market berries

 Nozawa Bar

212 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(located inside Sugarfish Sushi)
(424) 216-6158


Know Before You Go

The private room seats exactly 10 people. 
If you don't maximize that capacity (i.e. book the entire room for your party of 10) know that you are sharing the space with other diners, so be forewarned. Chef Fujita has NO problem shutting you (and your party) down to accommodate the other party and his favored decibel level (which is extremely hushed).

We shared the space with a European couple and their adult son (over 21) who were vacationing from Arizona.  As our group started getting louder (mind you, we were only 2 courses in), Chef Fujita reprimanded us sternly and made it so uncomfortable I was restrained and ultimately annoyed for the remainder of the meal.  Never mind that the other party was super cool and even drank with us, Chef was clearly having a bad day at his first seating of the night.

 My girlfriend and her husband have visited Nozawa Bar before and they had an incredible time drinking and hanging out with a boisterous group!  And it was just the two of them!  I’m guessing it’s hit or miss here.  But since I’m shelling out more than $275 pp for this 22-course meal (with sake), you’d think it would come with a little more lenience but NOPE! Nazi Nozawa is who we got for the day.

Our #SoJuGroup with executive Chef Fujita

The Verdict

I don’t think I’m ever coming back guys.
I felt rushed from dish to dish, as soon as the 10th person received his cut, we were onto the next already. They do not let you sip and savor here, it was more like a relay to the finish line of our 2-hour time limit.

Call me crazy but I don’t like to be silenced when I dine out.  I don’t care how prominent the Chef is or how amazing his plates taste, great sushi is a dime a dozen here in LA (and OC for that matter) so the combination of food + ambiance + experience is EVERYTHING to me.

For a better sushi experience, check out n|naka (for date night) or my faves HERE in Orange County for group dining.  I promise you won’t be rushed outta there!

Any cool sushi spots in LA or OC that I must try?  Comment below!

Thanks for reading guys!
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3 comments

  1. Oh wow! This place sounds crazy. I had to fast forward through the food photos because I'm vegan and not into any sushi but veggie sushi! ;) You all looked amazing though. It didn't sound like a great experience. Live and learn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally Heather...I've paid less for more. What I don't get is the attitude these days! lol
      Have a fab weekend love!

      Delete

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