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Nobo - not worth it

k
kibbles Feb 25, 2013 09:36 AM

hey folks,

active nola hound here, just back from a Miami visit. i heard there was some discussion on whether Nobu is worth its price point or not, so thought id chime -- no, it isnt.

we did the "Nobu Signatures" tasting menu w/ the mid-range number of courses (7) at $150/person. The courses themselves were very good. but what bugged me about the place was the atmophere and terrible pacing of the meal. the place is a restaurant-factory...they pack you in there like sardines, and it's incredibly loud -- both the people and the clubby live DJ music. we were seated in a row of 2-tops, w/ 8" of space on either side to the next couple. our servers were constantly spinning plates for a million people and we barely saw them. the first two courses were practically on top of each other, followed by incredibly awkward long periods of time with nothing to do. our drink orders got lost so we couldnt even sip something as we waited, and contemplative conversation was out of the question. i also found it very odd to serve the sushi & miso soup as the final course (before dessert) after the heavy courses of sea bass and steak. who wants to eat 8 pieces of negiri when you're already stuffed from the mains? lastly, the sake is domestic but priced like exotic imports.

id have been much happier w/ smaller portions -- sea bass was a full entree and steak nearly so -- but perhaps they worry it would seem too expensive for less food...and theyd be right.

summary: if you want a crazy-busy, see-and-be-seen hotspot and actual dining value or service is not a concern, then thumbs-up. if youre expecting a reasonable exchange of currency for professionally delivered goods & services, then thumbs-down.

...in our book, anyway. we're from New Orleans so pacing and attentive service is something we value in addition to good food. we're also not club-culture here so the DJ-style ambiance and crammed seating with loud & rude amateur diners is not something that clicks. certainly id be down with it if this were a lower-price point club-sushi joint, like "Ra" or such...but not a top-tier.

  1. b
    boagman Feb 25, 2013 03:56 PM

    Hmm. Should have driven up to Fort Lauderdale and went to SEA. Three courses, nicely (and *correctly* paced), and I was out of there with tax and tip for $53 (no beverage). Two out of the three courses were nothing but solid home runs, and the main (grouper) was a solid double.

    That, plus you would have been able to have a conversation. How novel! ;)

    1. Frodnesor Feb 25, 2013 04:14 PM

      Some things don't change. I said much the same nearly six years ago, except then the "Signature Menu" was $110:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/396865

      One small note: it's actually pretty traditional Japanese to serve soup as a final course.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Frodnesor
        k
        kibbles Mar 1, 2013 11:32 AM

        ha.

        thanks for the note. soup perhaps, but from what ive read sushi/sashimi after spicy meat is not. idea being, after well seasoned food the subtle flavors of the fish will be lost.

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