Sunday, May 20, 2007

Nobu, New York New York

"I've eaten at Nobu"

Perhaps 'back in the day' that made you cool, but now with a Nobu in seemingly every city with a population bigger than Columbus and a sushi joint on every corner in Omaha I'm not really sure it makes you anything more than lighter in the wallet.

Don't get me wrong, the fish at Nobu is beuatiful and tasty, but the portion sizes are tiny to the point of humor. As another yelper noted, "If there was ever an argument that a restaurant's quality and quantity are inversely proportional, Nobu would be Exhibit A."

Three mini-sashimi tacos for $18? Sure the lobster was fresh, but for $18 I could buy a fresh lobster and prepare it myself. $6 for a single piece of sea eel? Cheaper and better elsewhere. $4 for Octopus? I get 3 pieces for the same price in LA. On a Saturday night they were also out of Toro ($8 a slice) and Abalone ($7) as well.

Ironically, for a sushi shoppe, the one thing propping Nobu up was their desserts. The Bento Box was decently sized, wonderfully rich, and presented beautifully. Similarly the Coconut Jasmine Bombe was deliciously complex and infinitely smooth with just enough bite from the Jasmine to make it unique. The mochi, served in cherry blossom, green tea, and chocolate was standard fare.

While the crowd was pretty and the platings even prettier, there are simply better sushi options, especially in big cities. Had we not eaten at Il Mulino the night before and still been a little stuffed, the meal itself would have probably led to a late stop at Magnolia for a cupcake. Servers were mostly attentive but somewhat aloof. Overall, certainly not worth the price, even if the area was quite interesting and Alexander Grey's CoSM worth the trip alone.

Perhaps my expectations were too high, but Social House in Vegas, Koi in LA, and even Tyfoon in Columbus were more fun and the fish not much different in quality......yet a whole lot cheaper.

You're paying for a name and an image.

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