1. Nobu is one of New York’s most recognizable restaurant names;
2. People associate Nobu with trendy sushi and Japanese food;
3. Nobu’s gotten so popular it’s constantly expanding;
4. A new Nobu opened up on 57th Street;
5. We went there, two weeks ago, when my parents were here;
6. This is what the door looks like:
7. I wonder where the man in front of me bought his shirt?
8. The lobby area, once you enter, is bustling:
9. The hostess told us that it would be ten minutes and that we should have a drink at the bar;
10. If you don’t want a drink at the bar before you eat, there’s really not much to do but stand with your backs to the wall and watch other people get seated;
11. We stood with our backs to the wall and watched other people get seated;
12. Did that fall into the category of the joke I do too much?
13. Once we were seated mom made an announcement. “I know this menu,” she said, “I know what’s good to order.” We thought she should order for us, then;
14. Mom started us off with a Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa dressing:
15. We thought it was a pretty presentation;
16. All the flavors were good and the sashimi was very fresh;
17. Next up was Miso soup:
18. The Miso was as good as Miso could be;
19. When I hear the word “miso” I think of the song “Me So Horny,”
20. When I was in 5th grade, my teacher, Mrs. White, got fired for playing that song in class;
21. Ok, well, at least that’s what the rumor was. We had a class party and some of the parents came and one of the bad kids put “Me So Horny” on the tape player. We assumed that one of the parents complained because on Monday when we came back to school, Mrs. White was gone.
22. When I told that story to Craig he said, “That’s not why she was gone, Adam.”
23. I wonder if she died and they just didn’t want to tell us?
24. Or maybe they caught her drinking on the job?
25. The waiter, when we ordered, recommended the King Crab Tempura so we ordered it:
26. It was nice, though it almost seems wasteful to deep fry king crab.
27. It’s like buying a diamond necklace and wearing a muff over it. Does anyone still wear a muff?
28. This rock shrimp dish was a crowd favorite:
29. The shrimp is battered and fried and then–and here’s the genius part–dressed in a rich, spicy, tangy sauce that somehow doesn’t make it soggy, but enlivens it.
30. We liked the shrimp one the best.
31. Shrimp used to be my favorite food. I used to like shrimp cocktail with lots of cocktail sauce.
32. I also liked to listen to the “Beaches” soundtrack and wear an American flag t-shirt that had rhinestones on it;
33. The main event, at our Nobu meal, was this–the Black Cod with miso:
34. This is Nobu’s most famous dish, the one he’s best known for;
35. It tastes awesome. It’s truly a revelation: the sweetness of the miso, the butteriness of the fish. Apparently the technique with which it is made is complex and part of what makes it so special;
36. I’ve had this cod before;
37. A cruise we went on two summers ago had a Nobu on the ship;
38. The cod on the ship Nobu tasted a lot like this cod. So I wasn’t as jazzed about it this time, even though I still think it’s a great dish;
39. What makes a great dish?
40. What makes a great dish dish–like the kind you serve a great dish on?
41. I watched an episode of “Sex and the City” tonight where Charlotte and Tray get engaged and they’re at Berghdorf (sp?) Goodman and she’s looking at china and she falls in love with a dish that costs $1500. “Oh please honey,” she says and Tray says, “Fine, but we’ll have to eat ramen noodles on it if we’re going to buy it.” She makes a sad puppy dog face and he relents. I thought the scene was lame. Charlotte gets on my nerves.
42. Here’s mushrooms, asparagus and calamari that’s carved in a very strange way;
43. This was our least favorite dish.
44. When we ordered our food, my mom started with sushi;
45. The waiter said, “It’s our custom to bring the sushi at the end.”
46. Our table conferred and agreed that that would be ok;
47. By the end, though, we were almost too full for the sushi:
48. Tuna roll, eel, and something else–the house special? I don’t remember.
49. Craig was the one who ordered eel. He wanted my mom to try it. She wouldn’t.
50. I insisted we get dessert;
51. Dessert’s my favorite part of any meal;
52. If I were told I had to give up alcohol or dessert for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t flinch: I’d give up alcohol in a second;
53. Yeah, that’s including wine;
54. Here’s our dessert—Bento Box with warm chocolate fondant cake, goma tuille and green tea ice cream:
55. We really enjoyed this;
56. We really enjoyed our meal at Nobu 57 though, I have to say, it’s a bit strange to eat at a place that serves the same great dishes over and over again, at all the restaurants in its ever expanding empire. How does that make it different from Houston’s or other good chain restaurants that serve consistently good food around the country? The best restaurants I’ve been to in New York (or anywhere, really) have constantly changing menus; they’re constantly refining, constantly innovating. Ferran Adria closes down El Builli for 6 months to come up with new dishes. I can’t imagine that ever happening at Nobu.
57. And that concludes 57 thoughts about Nobu 57.