It's been a good 9 years since I've eaten at Nozawa...I used to go there for lunch when I worked in the valley. My recollections were that the sushi was different - hot rice and ice cold fish. Also, the restaurant had zero ambiance. At the time, however, it didn't have the following it does today.
So, with a friend invitied me to join him along with a regular/friend of Nozawa San, I couldn't turn it down. I go to Sasebune occasionally, and while I sometimes like the warm rice/cold fish combo, I really dislike the ambiance and attitude.
Anyway, on to tonight. We sat at the bar, which is now only "Chef's Choice"...fine with me. The fish came in rapid succession, with virtually no opportunity to pause between orders. All the fish was extremely fresh, yet none of the sushi was extraoridinary. We ate quite a bit, and the tab for the three of us, with one small sake, was $210 with tip!!!!
A couple of observations:
1. Sasebune is, IMO, better. Same style. The sushi is smaller, allowing you to eat it in one bite, and the rice is more crumbly and light. Also, the crab roll is superior.
2. All the fish sorta tasted the same, in texture and flavor. Got a little monotonous.
3. Next time, if I ever return (unlikely), I'll order alacarte.
I don't know what the fuss is all about. This restaurant just reaffirms my opinion about the SFV :^) - a culinary wasteland.