The team behind white-hot Los Angeles omakase export Sugarfish will roll out its second fish concept, KazuNori. The hand-roll bar, with two SoCal outlets, hits Nomad (15 W. 28th St.) on Friday with a 24-seat bar and both a la carte and set-menu options like three to six hand rolls per order, in combinations that include toro, yellowtail, snapper, and crab.
According to partner Lele Massimi, the company picked Nomad because they "love the neighborhood’s vibe and love that it’s also a food-centric destination."
Just like Sugarfish — the group's affordable, quality-minded sushi chainlet which landed in Flatiron last November, drawing epic waits — KazuNori will offer a near-identical dining experience to the West Coast locations, with staff building rolls using fish sourced from the same suppliers.
Unsurprisingly, the main difference between Los Angeles and New York is price. While KazuNori in LA offers set menus from $11 to $23, in New York those same roll combinations run $13 for three hand rolls to $28 for six hand rolls. Like Los Angeles, KazuNori will serve beer and sake, but the restaurant hasn’t secured its license yet— so when it first opens anticipate a limited drink menu of hot and cold green tea, water, and Coke.
For those unfamiliar, KazuNori — which rocked Downtown Los Angeles in 2014, then ventured to Westwood last June — is the work of OG LA sushi pioneer, Kazunori Nozawa of Sushi Nozawa — one of the city’s first chefs to offer a "trust me" style omakase sushi menu. Nozawa, along with his son, Tom, opened their first Sugarfish operation in a Marina del Rey strip mall back in 2008, and the concept became so successful that Sugarfish now counts 11 locations between Los Angeles and New York. In 2012, Nozawa shuttered his Studio City bar and replaced it with a Sugarfish.
This is not the place to get Philadelphia rolls. “Nozawa shuns ‘American-style’ extravagant rolls and fusion dishes,” reads the website. He focuses on sourcing for basic ingredients, “nurturing relationships with the finest fish purveyors across the globe, cutting his fish with an artisan’s painstaking care, and even making his own fresh soy sauce and ponzu.”
Considering the hours-long line situation at Sugarfish when it opened, it’s likely that KazuNori will attract the same.