For 25 years, Kazunori Nozawa has remained the only chef to serve customers from behind the bar at Sushi Nozawa. Known for his passion for upholding the traditional tenets of Japanese sushi-making and for being one of the pioneers of his craft in America, Nozawa will close his namesake restaurant in Los Angeles' Studio City neighborhood after service tonight. This closing also marks Nozawa's last day as a sushi chef; after 47 years in the business, he's decided to retire.
There is, however, a silver lining for dedicated Sushi Nozawa fans — the chef also announced his plans to turn the reigns over to his son, Tom, a restaurateur and partner in the existing Los Angeles chain of SUGARFISH restaurants. They plan to remodel the existing restaurant and reopen it in the spring as a new branch of SUGARFISH, which currently has locations in Santa Monica, Brentwood, Marina del Rey, and Downtown LA.
In a statement released by the restaurant last night, regular customer Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor commented, "Sushi Nozawa is quite simply my very favorite place in the world to eat. Chef Nozawa is truly a great artist and has lifted the spirits of many an evening with the simplicity and perfection of what he serves. I will miss seeing Nozawa-san behind the bar." It's a sentiment that is surely shared by many food lovers in LA and beyond.