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nobu vs nemo

h
hamptonrealtor Mar 1, 2007 07:19 PM

i'm going to be in south beach for 3 nights. Monday night i;m eationg at prime 112.I have special dinning with for 3 nights i'm looking for the best s.b. has to offer for a date.I want excellent food with atmsphere. please help.
first night i have reservations at both restaurants above. please help me make decesion for my stay

  1. t
    tpigeon Mar 1, 2007 08:03 PM

    Much as I love nemo, Nobu has the edge.

    Nobu - No sushi - you can get better sushi at bond st next door for much less. Cooked dishes are where it is at here (with one exception).
    Get:
    Black Cod Miso
    Rock Shrimp Tempura
    Sashimi Salad (the exception)
    Spicy Creamy Crab

    112 ain't about the steak, it is about everything else. Steak is good, not spectacular. As for the rest...
    Mac & Cheese is best anywhere
    Onion Soup is awesome
    Lobster Bisque is just as good
    Shrimp Cocktail is amazing
    Get creamed corn and sweet mashed sides
    Go for the bananna foster cheesecake for dessert.

    1. s
      sschow Mar 1, 2007 08:29 PM

      It's not in South Beach - but when I was in Miami I really loved Ortanique.

      1. h
        hamptonrealtor Mar 1, 2007 08:41 PM

        i thought prime was best steak house in miami

        1. Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 05:52 AM

          Purely on the food I would go with Nobu over Nemo. Tpigeon has noted many of the top items, I would probably add the toro tartare w/ caviar to that list as well. If you like uni (sea urchin), the uni tempura is quite good.

          My suggestion for a couple would be for one person to do the omakase (chef's choice) menu, which is usually 5-6 courses, and for another to "fill in the gaps" with the other dishes (check to see if any are already on the omakase).

          Having said that, I think the atmosphere at Nemo is nicer than Nobu, and the food is also very good. I've heard many people complain that the dining area in Nobu feels like you are sitting in the bottom of a pool, and there is something to it. There's always a cool crowd (at least they'd like to think so) at the restaurant bar and at the Skybar outside (which is a very nice place for a drink), but the restaurant itself is entirely closed in with no views, and it is pretty spartan with tiled walls and not much decoration. I love the feel of Nemo, which is a nicely decorated place and is set up in a way that even the indoor seating feels almost like you're outside. Take a look at the website:
          http://www.nemorestaurant.com

          Locals (myself included) have grown tired of Nemo because they never change the menu, but there's many things that are very good. I really like their tuna tartare, vietnamese beef salad, spicy calamari stir fry (an inelegant presentation of a sort of soupy stir fry of calamari and greens, but it tastes delicious), and mussels apps, as well as the yellowtail and pork chop mains.

          I think some of the best food on the beach is at Talula, but the atmosphere is a bit of a step down. It's a nice place, just not quite as fancy.

          1. t
            tpigeon Mar 2, 2007 07:25 AM

            Nemo can be empty at times though, so the equation gets more difficult. If you are going for people watching purposes, gotta give the edge to Nobu. If you want a nice place just to have dinner and don't care about people watching. Nemo is the answer.

            I do not like going omakase @ nobu because they always include their overpriced sushi as one or more of the dishes. If you do omakase, say you are allergic to sushi :).

            1. Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 08:16 AM

              I've never seen Nemo empty but I haven't been for a while.

              As for Nobu, since you're paying a fixed price for the omakase, I've never been concerned with the a la carte pricing of the sushi. And it is pricey, but (1) not much more so than other "high-end" sushi places like Sushi Samba (where I always get killed when I do sushi a la carte); and (2) everything else is ridiculously expensive too!

              If I were to do my standard order of about 10 pieces of nigiri and 1 maki, it would probably run me about $55-60 (using prices from menu available on Zagat website); this probably compares to somewhere around $35-40 at a "normal" sushi place. If I get 3 of my favorite cooked dishes (all of which are basically app-sized portions) - let's say toro tartare, shrimp tempura, and miso cod - it's $77! And I might very well still be hungry! You could knock about $15 off that by "downgrading" to the yellowtail tartare instead of toro, but it's still pricier than a pretty generous serving of sushi.

              Simple truth is that Nobu is a quite expensive place to eat. Notwithstanding, I love it as a special occasion meal and think the food is fantastic.

              1. t
                tpigeon Mar 2, 2007 08:37 AM

                I agree, but many people go into Nobu thinking it is all about the sushi and are disappointed. I am trying to steer them away from that misconception and maximize their meal greatness factor :).

                1. g
                  gingersnap Mar 2, 2007 09:22 AM

                  Just went for my birthday dinner to nobu last night. We had the oyster app, sashimi salad, 2x salmon nigiri, 2x tuna nigiri, spicy rock shrimp tempura, miso cod. Plus 3 martinis- lychee and matsuhisa, both so good! and a large sake. The bill was $250. We added on the nigiri because we were still hungry. Overall we found everything good but nothing remotely special, especially for the price. Nothing we can't get at our favority sushi place- Sushi Saigon on Washingon and 11th; except it would have been a third of the price, better service and not as loud. I have no problem with paying a lot for a great meal, but when its just good at that price, i feel ripped off. (especially since we didn't even get a bottle of wine or dessert)

                  There is no question going out to the sky bar courtyard or by the pool, especially on a beautiful night with an almost full moon, makes for a nice after dinner drink, but i would rather eat somewhere else first then come back for drinks.

                  If Nobu is considered 'the best of the beach' as many on this board have said, that doesn't say much for South Beach dining.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gingersnap
                    t
                    tpigeon Mar 2, 2007 11:17 AM

                    RE: Sobe Dining - Don't recall any of us saying we are the food center of the universe. I think there are very good places here but not amazing places like NYC.

                    Sorry you were disappointed by Nobu. You were the first I heard who was not impressed by the Black Cod Miso. I guess there is always a first time.

                  2. Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 10:32 AM

                    Particularly for the non-sushi items (and here I agree with tpigeon that the sushi at Nobu is not so special that it's worth going for that alone) I think there are many items that you won't find many other places, or at least not in the form they're presented at Nobu. (side note: I've previously posted that Oishi, a thai and sushi place in North Miami, has a chef that previously worked at Nobu and has copied many of the signature Nobu dishes, so there is one place where you can find them!).

                    There are several things I'd put in that category: the tartares (yes many places do tartare but this one is pretty darn good, and beautiful presentation); matsuhisa shrimp w/ caviar; "new style sashimi"; the creamy spicy rock shrimp tempura; sea urchin tempura; the toban yaki clay pot dishes. I know of other places that now do miso cod but Nobu was certainly the one that put this dish on the map, so to speak. I guarantee you won't find these at Sushi Saigon.

                    I wouldn't say it's the best on the beach, but I'd pretty definitely put it in my top 5.

                    1. s
                      Sobe Mar 2, 2007 11:52 AM

                      Teruhiko Iwasaki was one of the original chef's at Nobu in Manhattan. He is now at O Asian Grill on Lincoln. Just an FYI

                      1. Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 12:09 PM

                        Have you tried O yet?

                        1. s
                          Sobe Mar 2, 2007 12:11 PM

                          No and I don't recall seeing any posts on it.

                          1. Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 12:34 PM

                            First time I heard about it, I thought it was O'Asian rather than "O" Asian and thought "An Irish-Asian fusion place???"

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Frodnesor
                              netmover Mar 2, 2007 03:05 PM

                              I mentioned O Asian way back when they opened in December. I said it might be worth checking out. And there had been some concern by others on this board about nightlife impresarios running the place and henceforth they were weary of it's quality. Having said that, I will say this, and BTW I have yet to go, the new people behind it (in addition to the aforementioned nightlife impresarios) were supposedly partners with NOBU before there ever was a NOBU perse'! I was told the place was out in Colorado and it was named Matsuitsho (or whatever Nobu's last name is). They, O'asian, aka "O", specialize in Japanese Noodles (downstairs) and have an authentic Yakitori bar (upsatairs).

                              1. re: netmover
                                t
                                tpigeon Mar 2, 2007 08:51 PM

                                O Asian had a few things I thought were very good but I was not wowed. Their black cod miso is good but is not as good as nobu (cheaper though). Kobe skewers were a waste of time. Ribeye and salmon were solid. Chicken ball soup was not bad, Diced chicken dish was really good. Volcano something or other was a great app. Liked the yellowtail sashimi too. Molten chocholate cake was good so was the flan. I'd go back and give it another shot. Great date place btw

                                1. re: tpigeon
                                  netmover Mar 2, 2007 09:42 PM

                                  Nice rundown T...what I really want to try is their noodle bar...which I think is closed by night? Why, I have N'O' idea! Can anyone confirm that?

                                  1. re: netmover
                                    t
                                    tpigeon Mar 3, 2007 04:52 AM

                                    It is open. Saw people eating there last night. Tried noodles once for lunch. Good but need more flavor. Worth giving it another shot too.

                            2. s
                              Sobe Mar 2, 2007 12:51 PM

                              That would be an interesting fusion...
                              here is a link

                              http://oasiangrill.com/

                              1. Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 01:32 PM

                                I don't see any haggis (though I guess that would be Scottish not Irish?).

                                1. g
                                  gingersnap Mar 2, 2007 02:04 PM

                                  No, sushi saigon doesn't have miso cod or rock shrimp tempura, but wonderful really fresh and inexpensive sushi. at nobu, one side of our cod was fishy and the spicy sauce on the tempura is the same spicy sauce at a dozen different sushi places i've been to up and down the US east coast.

                                  also not a fan of how close you are to the people next to you when seated at a table for two on the banquette.

                                  i am not comparing south beach to ny- don't spend much time in ny, but do spend a lot of time in nantucket, boston, newport, charleston, savannah, delray beach- having a hard time finding similar quality here.

                                  1. Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 02:10 PM

                                    The seating at Nobu is tight and I think people justifiably can complain that the ambience generally is not on par with the prices. I'm there for the food so it doesn't bother me much.

                                    1. advisor_Girl Mar 4, 2007 08:20 AM

                                      Hiya Net / TP>

                                      The O Grill downstairs is worth a visit by day (noodles) and by night (after hours). Owners are indeed big money guys behind Nobu Aspen and are deep pockets behind a number of South Beach places yet to open. We tried the upstairs kushiyaki (grilled skewers) menu when they first opened and as the New Times reported - found them a little dry. I would give the place another shot. The atmosphere was post-Rumi funky cool.

                                      http://restaurants.miaminewtimes.com/...

                                      Had Udon lunch there yesterday (they open at noon), and while the earth didn't entirely move - it's a hearty bowl of flavorful broth, fat noodles and your choice of tempura shrimp, chicken or big hunks of sliced pork. You can select ramen, soba or udon noodles and slurp away.

                                      Definitely good food on-the-go. We shared 2 udon bowls (shrimp and pork) and steamer of shrimp shumai for about $20 - which is a nice break on Lincoln Road. For full dim sum, Mr Chu's is best. I spoke with one of the mgrs. during our noodle lunch yesterday who told me he's working on the opening of a small comfort food place up in the 20s called The Office and a giant installation on 15th called The Bancroft 15 thousand sq.ft. "coastal food of the Americas menu" which will indeed be a night spot after hours. I told him we weren't wowed by our initial visit to the place and he was aware of opening jitters but had tweaked the menu to make the grilled food more flavorful and "sauced" rather than sending things out dry to dip it yourself... He said they'd done about 25 covers intitally but were up to 200 this weekend. I told him to try Mr Chu's before he rolls out his own dim sum later this month.

                                      Gotta get more carbs going on South Beach - huh?!

                                      AG

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