By Michelle Chaplow
After attending the opening of Nobu in Monte Carlo, I was delighted to be invited by chef Nobu Matsuhisa to dine at his restaurant in Los Angeles. The Four Seasons Rolls-Royce took myself and my friend Julia Roman, an old university friend and teacher of culinary studies, in style from our hotel to the restaurant, situated on North La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood. Saturday night in Hollywood – Nobu definitely fitted the bill.
Nobu LA opened its doors in spring 2008. Designed by world-renowned architect David Rockwell, the restaurant has three separate dining rooms, each with its own unique character. This place had great style but also a cosy ambience, something that only the best designers can achieve. We were thrilled to have a place at the Chef´s table. This is the heart of Hollywood, film and theatre land, and we had front-row seats. It´s the service that stands out in the States – and believe me, they rolled out the red carpet.
We started with a Lychee & Elderflower Martini a combination of Krome Vodka, St. Germain Liquor, and lychee, and later moved on to Sake.
After hearing so much about Nobu´s signature dishes we decided to order them, tantalizing our taste buds with that fusion of Japanese and Latin American cuisine.
Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño
Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing
Rock Shrimp Tempura
Black Cod with Miso (Robert De Niro’s favourite)
The lovely light batter of the tempura; a taste of the ocean in the yellowtail sashimi, with a nice little kick from the jalapeño; a really generous sashimi salad, just made for sharing; and the legendary black cod with miso – I have no more to add. We ended this memorable evening with the Bento Box: warm flourless chocolate cake, sesame crunch and green tea ice cream. The whole dining experience was exquisite – I just loved the way the chefs and staff welcomed their guests into the restaurant shouting, “Irashaimase!”- Japanese for “Welcome to my house!”
This is a restaurant with superb staff, attentive chefs and a great Saturday night atmosphere. The decor is contemporary, with cosy fabrics; I loved the peanut style lights above the open plan chefs’ stations. We were told that many photo shoots take place in Nobu – I´m not surprised, as it’s an all-round Hollywood experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
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