LA Times Food Critic S. Irene Virbila rips into Nobu Los Angeles for being more scene than substance. In her weekly review she disses the restaurant for its lack of creativity and for sub-par ingredients.
Some of the raw seafood is first-rate, some just a notch above mediocre. But the rice is gummy, and the nori sash around the sushi is not the best quality. Plus you don’t even get freshly grated wasabi. Maybe omakase is the way to go. Maybe that’s where his chef — Ricardo Sauri from Nobu Miami — breaks out his best stuff. Then again, maybe not.
…We’re already into the third course of our omakase, and still not a bite of carbohydrates. A Japanese restaurant where you don’t necessarily get rice? I’m thinking: This is perfect model food. Pretty to look at, lean, bites like bonbons, fish bonbons. And there you have it.
SIV seems most bothered by Nobu’s “commercialism and repetition,” especially his use of the same sauces he bottles and sells, even in omakase dishes. As for the aforementioned scene, she thinks the blandness of the food and crowd might be related.
The menu offers few surprises, but maybe that’s the point. The bicoastal or bicontinental beautiful people want their comfort food wherever they are. The rest of us come to see what they’re eating or what they’re wearing.
The one positive note for Nobu Matsuhisa is a nice plug for his Beverly Hills restaurant, also a favorite of ours here at Grubtrotters.
What’s missing is the unpredictability and sheer fantasy of the specials at his first restaurant, Matsuhisa, in Beverly Hills — that blackboard scribbled with intricate dishes and combinations of ingredients that the “Top Model”-material servers haul around from table to table. (That restaurant is still open.)