Sushi Nozawa - consistently ranked as one of the top Japanese restaurants in our LA Restaurants Survey - serves its last plate of toro tonight - calling it quits on Leap Day. Over the past quarter century, chef Kazunori Nozawa's funky, mini-mall sushi bar has earned itself both a loyal following of A-listers from the nearby studios - and a fair number of naysayers as well, who resent Nozawa's imperious attitude, and absolute refusal to serve California roll, spicy tuna roll or any number of other modernist takes on sushi and sashimi. (He was the sushi equivalent of New York's Al Yeganah, the man Seinfeld dubbed the Soup Nazi.)
He famously threw out actress Charlize Theron for asking for an extra portion of fish from his omakase menu (with its "Trust Me" motto), though witnesses say she may have also been talking on her cell phone - an unforgivable breach of Nozawa etiquette.
But before you put on your sackcloth and ashes, do know that though Sushi Nozawa is closing, the chef's food isn't going away. The restaurant is being remodeled as Nozawa's mass-market concept Sugarfish - which offers a number of set-price menus. None of which include California roll or spicy tuna roll. And the room will be decorated with the many "Trust Me" signs Nozawa has been gifted with over the years. A museum of..."Trust Me."