Chattering Class

Nozawa dreams of Jiro

If you’re a sushi lover, it’s hard not to become insanely jealous when interviewing filmmaker David Gelb — our guest on this week’s “Chattering Class” segment. As the director of the new documentary “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi,” he found himself in the privileged position of photographing — and then often eating — innumerable pieces of edible art by Jiro Ono, probably the best sushi chef on Earth.

You and I can also sample Jiro’s fare, of course, but we’ll have to shell out for a plane ticket to Tokyo plus $400 bucks or so per 20-piece tasting course at his restaurant. We’ll also have to score a reservation at the little 10-seat joint, which’ll now have an even longer waiting list thanks to Gelb’s film, damn his eyes.

Luckily, during our interview, Gelb suggested a couple of NYC restaurants where comparable sushi can be had: 15 East and Sushi Yasuda. Neither is inexpensive — and since Gelb also touted them recently in the pages of The New York Times, reservations probably won’t be any easier to come by for a while — but at least you won’t need a passport to get there.

As for the sushi-centric city of Los Angeles, Gelb says he’d have highly recommended the fabled Sushi Nozawa in Studio City… if chef/owner Kazunori Nozawa hadn’t retired a few weeks ago and shuttered the joint. For Angelenos still mourning the loss, here’s Gelb telling me about a chat he had with Nozawa about the chef’s Jiro-centric retirement plans: