One of New York City’s most respected omakase destinations, Sushi Noz, is expanding to Los Angeles some time in 2023 in Century City. Founded by chef Nozomu Abe and brothers David and Joshua Foulquier, Sushi Noz gained immense popularity from Youtube after both Eater and Tasty covered the chef’s work extensively on video with over 23 million combined views. Sushi Noz also earned one Michelin star as well as impressive reviews from Eater New York critic Ryan Sutton and New York Magazine critic Adam Platt.
Abe prepares traditional Edo-style sushi but amplifies the experience with elements of Kabuki theater and a sleek design-minded dining space. In fact, the reason why the LA expansion will take so long to open is because it is being built in Kyoto whereupon completion it will be broken down, transported, and reconstructed in Century City.
The approach is similar to Sushi Noz’s New York City original, where over 1,000 pieces of wood from Japan, including a 200-year-old hinoki wood counter, were used to build the minimalist space. Design firm Sankakuya, which specializes in sukiya, or tea house-style construction, is leading the interior look that will link the two restaurants on each coast.
In terms of dining areas, the Los Angeles outpost will resemble the one in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, with one counter accommodating 10 diners with the other serving eight people (the group also has Noz 17 in Chelsea, an outpost of the original). The 10-seat counter will only serve nigiri at around $225 a person (the current New York prices) while the eight-seat counter has the more complete tasting priced at an eye-watering $395 (unless it goes up when it opens next year). The longer menu offers five to six small plates and then upwards of 15 pieces of nigiri. Abe sources nearly all of the seafood from Tokyo’s Toyosu Fish Market, with videos showing the chef placing orders late into the night directly with his buyer in Japan.
Similar to LA’s Q, Ginza Sushi Onodera, Nozawa Bar, and Kaneyoshi, Sushi Noz aspires to transport diners to Japan with the look of its interior, service, and attention to detail. Noz is one of the few sushi places to use ice block refrigeration to sustain a higher moisture level and higher temperature to enhance the flavor of the fish. Noz also ages its fish to maximize flavor, as is typical of the edomae method.
When asked why they chose Los Angeles as the next expansion, owner Joshua Foulquier said the team always discussed LA as the next natural step because diners here “get it,” in the same way that New Yorkers are curious and open minded. Given LA’s diverse immigrant cuisines and extant community of high-end sushi restaurants, it made sense for Sushi Noz to join the scene. “It’s our hope that Angelenos, whose love of sushi runs deep, will appreciate what we are going for even though LA is already home to so many great sushi restaurants,” says Foulquier. Since Abe himself is an important part of the Sushi Noz experience, he’ll still mainly be located in New York, though during the opening months he will be in Los Angeles to ensure the quality is the same and occasionally pop in to cook on the West Coast.
Sushi Noz’s expansion resembles Sushi Zo’s move from Los Angeles to New York City back in 2015, cementing both cities as global destinations for Japan’s favorite food. Also note that former Sushi Noz staffer Brian Baik is cooking a secret tasting menu at his family’s Koreatown restaurant Kobawoo. And don’t forget that legendary chef Masa Takayama of New York’s Masa had his American start at Saba-ya and then founded Ginza Sushiko in Beverly Hills, a space that eventually became Urasawa. It seems both Angelenos and New Yorkers can’t get enough of the most expensive sushi the world can offer.