Photos by Monica Avila
On the side of Pacific Coast Highway, a gorgeous, wood-covered building creates a scenic view for drivers on the way from Malibu to Santa Monica. Nobu has a unique spark from the moment one drives into the valet parking. As several people approach to open the doors of your car and greet you with joy, you feel remarkably important. The entrance has several couches and tables on the outside, a place meant for guests to wait for their tables while enjoying drinks as they admire the gorgeous ocean that is located just below.
Nobu has both indoor and outdoors seating. Indoors is a sushi bar and a state-of-the-art bathroom. Outside there are several heaters on the roof for those windy Malibu nights and some plants as decor. What most attendees don’t realize, however, is that toward the back of the restaurant there are two private rooms, which feature outdoor seating known to be used by many celebrities. Coming to Los Angeles, one must go to Nobu Malibu, a celebrity hotspot, to truly understand the “Hollywood” lifestyle that takes place in LA. Some celebrities recently spotted at Nobu include Robert Downey Jr., J. Lo and, of course, the Kardashians.
Once over the shock of all the celebrity and billionaire sightings, one can begin to enjoy the actual food. Along with sushi, the menu also features several sushi rolls, seafood and meat. The menu also entertains certain specials, dishes that can only be found at the Malibu location. Every single dish that comes out of the kitchen is magnificent and well seasoned. I ordered the rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce as a starter; not only was it crispy, but the sauce had just the right amount of spice. I proceeded to order the beef “toban” yaki, and as the waiter set the plate down, steam came rushing out of the plate. There it was, a perfectly cooked steak with enokitake mushrooms on top. The dish was a perfect combination of meat and vegetables and was just the right amount to have space for the amazing daily selection of mochis Nobu offers. Rice-covered ice cream, each day with a different flavor, is the ideal way to give you the true Nobu experience you deserve. Freshman Erika Bartlett describes the yellowtail scallion sushi as “aesthetically pleasing to the eye,” and as “igniting my palette.” One bite is all it takes to fall in love.
The service at the restaurant is fairly good, although occasionally the waiters rush you so that they can let someone from the eternal waiting line get your table, which can feel rude.
Make sure to get a reservation for Saturday night about a month in advance — you are pretty much guaranteed to see a celebrity.
Be sure to pack your credit card on your way there, and maybe three more, in case the first one can’t cover the whole dinner. A lobster shiitakessalad with spicy lemon dressing is $46, ribeye steak with truffle butter sauce is $40 and sushi ranges from $3 to $24 a piece.
Overall, Nobu Malibu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, mainly because the elevated prices won’t allow most people to go more than once, but also because of the entertaining and unique experience you will get out of it.