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Sushi Nozawa vs. Matsuhisa

david dixon | Apr 24, 2002 11:33 PM

Which one is better? These restaurants are rated #1 & #2 for top food in L.A. per Zagat. Granted, Zagat has its issues, but that's not what this post is about. Rather, which one of these sushi restaurants is better?

I tried both of them for the 1st time this past week. My take?

Sushi Nozawa is the best - no question. I got the omakase (I think just about everyone does at the sushi bar). He served fairly standard stuff (tuna sashimi, yellowtail sushi, albacore sushi, crab hand roll, red snapper sushi, tuna hand roll). All but the red snapper were excellent. The yellowtail sushi, albacore sushi, & crab hand roll were the best I've ever had. the fish is fresh and served very simply - no sauces except on the albacore & tuna sashimi. The focus is on the quality of the fish. I loved it. The cost - $50. The atmosphere is a zero. I had no problems with Nozawa although I know he has a reputation for being difficult.

Matsuhisa was good, but not great. It is a larger restaurant w/ a more upscale atmosphere. They have friendlier sushi chefs too. They also emphasize sauces and unusual dishes. I had the black cod in miso sauce, jalapeno yellowtail, yellowtail hand roll, & tuna sushi. I liked everything but it just didn't wow me.

Anyway, that's my take. Granted, I've only been once to each. I'm interested in hearing from those much more knowledgeable about sushi.

- david

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