Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Mr. & Mrs. Chef Nozawa,
There is no establishment in the city of Los Angeles that I enjoy more than that of your restaurant, Sushi Nozawa. It is the culture, consistency, service and overall quality that I have come to love over my past 11 years of patronage.
I was 20 years old when I first had your sushi. I was just starting my current business and I had very little money. When I would save a little, I would bring a friend, a date, a business associate, a co-worker, or anyone who I wanted to inspire or treat to something special.
Through the years as my business grew, Nozawa became a tradition and a place that I would bring only the people I cared about most.
But first, I would scold them in the car.
“Now listen, I need you to leave your phone here. And when you walk in to this place you must put your best foot forward. Bring only positive energy through those doors! If he tells you not to dip, you don’t dip in to the soy sauce. We’ll sit at a table and not the sushi bar, so he doesn’t watch you as closely. But if you get me kicked out of here, I’m telling you I’m not sure if we can be friends anymore!”
Of course I’d have a sense of humor in my voice, but I meant it.
Alongside every respectable business owner are very human motivations. Perhaps with Nozawa you have wanted to uphold a tradition set forth by your mentors or your parents. Or perhaps the motivations are deeper. Anything done so well for so long speaks to a different standard and conviction and determination inside of a person, (or a husband & wife!) than is typical.
Part of why I love your establishment is because I share this conviction in my own business. I know how rare it is. And even more important to me than the fish is the aura of discipline and perfection that is present for any visitor who can see it.
Alongside the deeper motivations for a business owner are more superficial ones that help you to celebrate the small and big victories along the way.
For me and for many of my employees it has become tradition to celebrate these moments in my business with you at Nozawa.
People will speak often of the trends you set in Los Angeles to hold sushi to its traditional roots. And how you’ve defended the art & culture of sushi by scolding rude visitors. But it was important to me that you know how clearly your discipline and hard work shines through Nozawa, and has been an inspiration to other entrepreneurs such as myself in the city.
So you can understand how much I respect your work. How much we will all miss it. And what an impact it has made in the local community.
Co-Founder & CEO
P.S. My girlfriend and I happened to be at the restaurant when the NYTimes photographer was taking photos for your feature. We were lucky enough to be in the photos, and we view it as an honor to be sitting at the sushi bar where we have been so happy for many years!
And this is her hand holding my favorite dish, the crab hand roll!!
i really need to change my signature.
it's been simmering in lame for way too long.
yah man! the guy had one hell of an impact on the city... it's been a few months already, i totally miss the hell out of that place.
Hope you'll meet them again. And also that the tradition don't get lost in the familly.
This is called free speech and also personal conviction. It is respectable as a Deviation in it's own right
Also if you want to reply directly to someone so they actually see it, use the reply button.
an LA sushi chef retires and you not only give him a letter praising him AND yourself to hell and back, you publish a goddamn dA journal about it WITH a copy/paste of the letter where you praise the sushi chef AND yourself to hell and back.
what IS that?!
what the hell kinda behavior do you call that..?
what does it have to do with this?! <points to dA>
why not write a journal about something that fucking matters for a change.
because no, YOU do not matter whatsoever. not one damn bit.
YOU are nothing.
WE, the members, are everything.
without us, you'd be NOTHING.
without us, you wouldn't even be able to afford the cheap ass sushi offered at the deli counter at safeway.
you should have put THAT in your letter...
The kind of praise you slipped in for yourself is the sort of praise you don't bestow upon yourself. Outsiders give this. It's like picking your own nickname and trying to convince people to call you that.
This is why myself and others are having a hard time relating to you and view you as narcissistic and egotistical. Comparing what you do to a tradition hundreds upon hundreds of years old...lol it's an internet COMPANY. It does typical internet things and is run like a typical company. I'm sorry dude, but when I began reading this I was genuinely stoked but as soon as I saw you find some room to praise yourself...I gagged.
You always will remember that last piece of sushi, just like I'll remember my last visit to the video store. And you will look back and smile because at least you got to experience it brief gift that it was.
Amazing chef indeed, nicely written