This week's restaurant review is about Nobu Malibu, which recently moved locations. We hope you'll take the time to read the full review, but here's a condensed version, along with a few extra tidbits.
Food: The same, brightly flavored Japanese fusion Nobu has been serving for almost 20 years at his various restaurants around the country. Spice and yuzu meet traditional raw fish preparations for some outstanding bites of food. Not much has changed — the menu will read as very familiar to anyone who's eaten at any Nobu in the past. But the attention to detail and quality remains.
Drinks: This is one place where Nobu's world-class status falls down a little bit. There's a short sake list with perfectly passable options, but nothing that interesting. Certainly many other restaurants in town have far more extensive and exciting sake menus. The wine list is also relatively short, but it has a nice variety of wines that compliment the food, as well as some showoff wines for the restaurant's big spenders (of which there are many). Cocktails are mostly fruity and sweet — the one notable exception is a $20 combination of Japanese whiskey, vermouth and sake that's cooler sounding than tasting — the strong peaty smoke on the whiskey doesn't play too well with the other ingredients.
Looks: It has to be said: Nobu Malibu is probably one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world. From the review: “The new location is stunning, mainly thanks to the Pacific Ocean roiling up almost against it, but also because of the modern design that at once contrasts with its oceanfront position and melds with it. The restaurant is basically a long, low, wooden box that hovers on the coastline and opens out towards it. The bar area, patio and dining room face the waves; one section of the dining room is darkened to better emphasize the room's relationship to what's beyond its windows, the only other feature a beautifully illuminated tree in the center of the room.”
Vital Statistics: The restaurant is open 7 nights a week for dinner only, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The bar opens at 5, and it's worth stopping by for a drink if you're in the neighborhood just to get a chance to sit and marvel at the view. This is a very expensive restaurant, but you knew that already.
Takeaway: There's no doubt that Nobu has one of the most well-deserved reputations in the country, and this is a gorgeous restaurant. There are more exciting high-end Japanese meals to be had in town these days, but for fun and glamour, this location is hard to beat.
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