$99 for a signature five-course tasting menu for two ($150 value)
- Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño
- Rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce
- Black cod with miso
- Assorted sushi
Cooking in Peru was a challenge for Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (nickname Nobu). Chef Matsuhisa was originally born in Saitama, Japan and apprenticed at a Tokyo sushi bar. However, his desire to see the world eventually led him to open a restaurant in Peru, where he was faced with the task of using unfamiliar regional ingredients to prepare traditional Japanese cuisine. Instead of clinging to his formal training, he adapted and began incorporating Peruvian flavors into his seafood dishes. This distinctive combination became his signature style as he continued to travel the world and helm kitchens in Argentina, Alaska, and, finally, Los Angeles.
In Beverly Hills, Matsuhisa's cooking lured an ever-growing number of regulars that included Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro—who approached him with the idea of opening a restaurant together. Restaurateur Drew Nieporent signed on, and together they opened the original Nobu in New York in 1994. (Ruth Reichl of the New York Times visited and found "raw fish of astonishing quality" and flavor combinations that were "sometimes comforting, sometimes shocking, never dull.") Since then, the Nobu restaurant group has expanded to more than 30 restaurants, which occupy almost as many cities on five continents.
Preparations of nigiri, sashimi, and maki prioritize the fresh, clean flavor of the seafood, while ceviche and reimagined tacos filled with lobster and king crab hew more closely to the restaurant's Peruvian roots. Top-grade Wagyu beef arrives from Japan in a first-class airplane cabin, ready to be prepared four different ways. The nature-inspired decor, too, demonstrates a Japanese sense of refinement, with a wall of hand-laid river stones, bamboo stalk partitions, and columns resembling maple trees.