Hidden Gems: Nozawa Bar

I had to experience at least one omakase while I was in Los Angeles! But where? LA’s sushi scene is abundant and I wanted to make sure I tried one of the best. I managed to find Nozawa Bar in Beverly Hills. The private 10-seat sushi bar is hidden away in the back of SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa and reservations are a must. Chef Nozawa and the SUGARFISH team invited Master Chef Osamu Fujita to serve as Executive Chef.

Nozawa Bar offers dinner seatings Monday and Tuesday at 7:30pm, and Wednesday through Saturday at 6:00pm and 8:30pm. The multi-course menu which is primarily nigiri sushi plus sashimi and a couple handrolls costs $150 per person.

I made my reservation for the 8:30pm seating on Friday night. I took an Uber from downtown LA to Beverly Hills. A few of us hung out near the entrance of SUGARFISH while we waited for the others to arrive, then we were all shown to the private dining room. I immediately loved the proper wooden counter and how intimate it was.

Each area was presented with the menu and drink offerings. I ordered a bottle of Suijin Junmai sake to enjoy throughout the omakase. Things kicked off with some Japanese jellyfish.

I watched Chef Fujita slice live Japanese octopus for the next course. The sashimi plate also included Australian bigeye tuna and Japanese baby squid.

Nozawa Bar

Sashimi

We moved on to the nigiri – Australian bigeye toro (fatty tuna), Japanese sumi ika (squid), Maine lobster, and Santa Barbara uni (sea urchin). They were all wonderful!

Next up – Japanese isaki (grunt fish), Japanese iwashi (sardine), and Hokkaido scallop. The rice was warm and loosely packed with a distinctive flavor. Definitely different, but very good. Each nigiri was a perfectly proportioned bite.

It was time for a Spanish toro handroll. It was a generous amount of toro and the nori was crisp.

An amazing sampler of oysters followed. Kumamoto, Shigoku, and Eld Inlet oysters.

Nozawa Bar Oysters

A plate of ankimo (monkfish liver) was next. This was the only dish I wasn’t too crazy about. I enjoy monkfish liver, but the texture of this preparation was a bit too mushy for me. The sauce was tasty though.

Back to more nigiri – the Japanese akumutsu (ruby snapper) and Japanese kinmedai were incredible.

Following the snappers were mirugai (giant clam) and Alaskan ikura (salmon eggs) gunkan.

It was time for another handroll. A fabulous Maine lobster handroll!

A nice piece of tamago (Japanese omelette) made with Apricot Lane eggs signaled we were nearing the end of our omakase.

Dessert was a simple refreshing bowl of yuzu sorbet with farmers market berries along with a cup of hojicha (roasted green tea).

The omakase ended up being 21 courses plus a cup of tea. I was full and satisfied. I enjoyed everything and it was a pleasure watching Chef Fujita. He took a picture with each party afterwards. Silly face!

Chef Fujita

The ambiance was nice and relaxing. The sushi was great. Service was superb. It was an excellent omakase experience in Beverly Hills for my first time in LA! Thank you, Chef Fujita!

After dinner, it was time to meet up with my friend Robert who stayed an extra night in Las Vegas. I headed back downtown to try a couple drinks at The Varnish. The small dark speakeasy hidden behind Cole’s French Dip  is where mixologists turn out some great handcrafted cocktails. My friend eventually checked in and we were excited for the hockey game the next day!


Nozawa Bar
212 N Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(424) 216-6158
Website

The Varnish
118 E 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 265-7089
Website

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Author: Desiree

Desired Tastes is a Food and Travel Blog written by Desiree, a food enthusiast from New Jersey who just wants to see the world and eat good food.

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