Sushi master Kazunori Nozawa has long courted controversy in Los Angeles with his purist devotion to omakase (ie, the diner must accept, without question, whatever the chef plates up) and his unapologetic restrictions on mobile phones and vociferous patrons. However, like a spurned lover racked with low self-esteem, the A-list crowd just keeps coming back for more of the prime-cut sashimi and signature blue crab hand rolls served at his exquisite SugarFish restaurants. And now, eight branches and a whole whirlwind of success down the line, the crack team have unveiled a new venture – diminutive Downtown nook KazuNori, dedicated solely to the art of turning out top-notch temaki.
While the famously cantankerous chef is now rarely seen in any of his establishments, his strict attitude to sushi still permeates the small oak and concrete counter space where rolls are served fast and fresh to dine-in customers only to ensure the loose-packed rice remains warm, the yellowtail, lobster and toro tuna remain chiller-fresh, and the nori remains crisp when eaten. Meanwhile, to-go options include cucumber and bay scallop makizushi and daily sashimi, all fast-dished thanks to a DIY ordering system: just pick your pieces, hand your sheet to the chef and don’t even contemplate asking for a ponzu sauce. Roll up, roll up!
421 S Main St / Downtown / +1 213 493 6956 / 11.30am-11pm Mon-Thu, till midnight Fri-Sat, noon-10pm Sun / kazunorisushi.com