No, No, Nobu (not this time anyway)
- Paulina Sep 1, 2001 06:08 AM
After trying to get dinner reservations for ages, I went to Nobu for biz lunch on Wednesday this week and I have to say I was somewhat disappointed. That may the problem with hype; i had very high expectations. But I will not be deterred by what may have been poor ordering on my part. Next time, I will go omakase and hopefully will experience the place properly. in the meantime, here are my comments:
I ordered a house special roll, shrimp and sweet potato tempura and spicy creamy crab (suggested by the wait staff -- my first mistake?), none of which did it for me. The roll was tasty but nothing to write home about. The tempura was tasteless and too oily. and the creamy spicy crab was heavy and uninteresting (and too large a portion). For someone who believes eating crab can be a religious experience, this dish was a downer. The lovely large pieces of crab were suffocated in the creamy but not particularly spicy, yellow-orange sauce. (I am struggling to come up with a more descriptive word to describe the sauce but I find I have much more vivid memories of food i love.) Suffice it to say, the dish looked like a plate of mac and cheese when it arrived and it did not pleasantly surprise as I delved into it.
All that being said, I did have some delicious bites of the other food at the table. (I know, there are two camps on whether this practice of sharing is acceptable or not. I think that discussion will have to wait for another thread.) The black cod with wasabi was divine. Subtle, perfectly cooked, and delish. (I prefer to see a range of dishes at the table the first time I eat in a place so although the recommendations from this site pointed me toward the cod, i deferred.) and the tender eggplant miso appetizer was also just lovely. so I am hopeful that I will eventually have the transcendent Nobu experience everyone's been talking about. I just hope it won't cost me the farm.
Sorry to hear of your sub-optimal experience. Generally, the best thing to do at Nobu (which you've pretty much done) is to never order sushi and stick to their classics: soy-marinated cod; squid pasta; sashimi salad; popcorn shrimp; et al.
A cheaper deal is to go next door, literally, to Next Door Nobu which you can always get into if you either arrive before 6:30pm or if you leave your name and are willing to wait an hour or two (they'll even call you're cell-phone to tell you they're ready...while you and friends imbibe at one of the many good bars nearby.
BTW: My fav sushi stops in NYC are Blue Ribbon, Taka and Yama (on Irving). Top fav for rolls in Brooklyn is called Iron Chef Sushi and worth a trip on the A or C to High Street for...