After years of hearing about it I finally went to Nozawa on friday night with a friend. I was a bit nervous for 2 reasons: 1) I didn't want to do something wrong and get my head chopped off (re: his reputation for being strict), and 2) I was worried that my expectations were going to be too high because of all of the great reviews I had read. I've been to many sushi places in the valley but never to any of the extremely highly reputable ones in the southland (Sasebune, R-23, Matsuhisu, etc.).
We arrived early in the evening and there were 2 seats available at the sushi bar immediately. The guy who sat us told us it was "Trust Me" only at the bar so we went ahead. The first item to come over was baby tuna sashimi. I was very happy with the taste of the fish. I wish there was less ponzu in the bowl, but it didn't detract too badly. Next was tuna sushi, then albacore, then yellowtail. All were excellent. I especially liked the yellowtail. I enjoyed the warm rice very much but would probably enjoy the sushi a little bit more if the rice was less flavorful (I feel it would detract from the fish just a little less). He finished us off with a sweet crab hand roll. Very good.
Overall, this is the best sushi I've had. I'd have to give Nozawa the highest rating on fish quality and taste. Service was fine. The environment/atmosphere was a little lacking; maybe because there's really no interaction with the chef.
For next time my friend and I decided that we'll sit at a table just so we could have the freedom to order what we want and try different things. I would definitely return and would definitely do the "Trust Me" thing again.