It’s Tuesday night, every exit is closed on the 405 because of construction, and your phone is having Waze connection issues. Not to mention you’re already a half hour late to that date you actually care about. It’s in these times when you want to throw your Hyundai into park, press your head against the steering wheel, and wonder what you’re even doing here. LA is a great city, but sometimes it’s pretty easy to forget that. Go remind yourself at Nobu Malibu.
LA is the birthplace of the Nobu empire, and its Malibu location is one of our most recognizable restaurants. Despite the ridiculously high prices, the paparazzi literally parked out front, and the A-list crowd sitting on the patio, there’s no denying this place is a showcase for many of the things this city does well.
There’s the space itself. Located right along the Malibu coastline, Nobu is the most beautiful restaurant in the city, and its panoramic views don’t even seem real when you’re staring at them. The place is big, but its minimalist design keeps it from feeling too overwhelming or old and dreary like the rest of Malibu’s fancy seafood restaurants. More importantly, everyone has their own space here - for at least for a few hours, you can pretend that this is your life now.
If you’re unfamiliar with Nobu, you don’t need to prepare yourself for some insanely adventurous expedition into the sushi unknown. In fact, Nobu’s menu feels pretty standard. There’s a yellowtail and jalapeno sashimi plate, tuna tacos, and a cooked black cod miso dish with enough butter on it to baste a turkey. But it’s important to know that Nobu invented these dishes, and even after expanding to become the global empire it is today, they’re all still better than any copycat version that’s out there.
You’re going to spend a lot of money at Nobu. A full meal without alcohol is going to set you back close to $300, and that’s a tough pill to swallow. But it goes down smoother when the sushi is this good, and you’re staring out over the ocean, reminding yourself that this is, quite literally, your life.
These are among Nobu’s most famous dishes, and every meal here should start with them. They’re not big, so feel free to mix and match the seven different varieties as much as you want. You’ll still be plenty hungry.
This plate hits the table looking like a glowing garden of sushi and sunlight, and kind of tastes like one too. It’s light and slightly sweet, and its heavy dose of citrus makes it a perfect early dish.
Yellowtail Sashimi With Jalapeño
Another one of Nobu’s signature appetizer dishes, this simple plate isn’t just fantastic, it’s also credited with being the dish that made sushi and jalapeños a thing in America. And for that, we’re thankful.
If you’re looking to kick up the spice levels a few notches, this very shareable Peruvian sashimi dish topped with spicy sauce, yuzu, salt, and cilantro, is an essential order.
Black Cod Miso
Do not leave Nobu without having this entree-sized dish. It’s sweet and buttery and worth every penny of its $38 price tag.