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Sushi Nozawa Closing

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Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 7:50 AM

click to enlarge Kazunori Nozawa at Sushi Nozawa - ROBERT AUGUST OLDING
  • Robert August Olding
  • Kazunori Nozawa at Sushi Nozawa
Sushi Nozawa is not known for its customer service. Many call chef Kazunomi Nozawa a "sushi tyrant," our critic once wrote. The L.A. Times dubbed him "imperious." And the restaurant famously features a sign that reads: "Special of the Day: Trust Me." So it wasn't a huge surprise that the Studio City restaurant answered only one of our dozen calls yesterday. And that the person on the line said to call back later. (We did, to no avail.) But we did learn this: The rumors are true; Sushi Nozawa will close Feb. 29.

The Weekly's Jonathan Gold has written that he's been dining there for more than 20 years. According to Gold, Nozawa "made his reputation almost as much for what he refused to serve (California rolls; spicy tuna) as for his influential aesthetic of warm rice and lightly sauced fish, for his rigor in sourcing seafood, and for the tuna nuta and spliff-size crab rolls he actually deigned to prepare."

In 2008, Nozawa opened Sugarfish in the Marina del Rey -- a stylish, less-expensive version of the original. (Less-intimidating, too.) Branches followed in Brentwood, Downtown and Santa Monica. All serve the omakase "trust me" menus that Nozawa is known for, along with a small a la carte selection. As far as we know, the Sugarfish spots will remain. Check back for more details soon. Probably after another dozen or so phone calls.

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