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I had lunch at Nobu on Wednesday, probably my 4th or 5th time at the restaurant, always for lunch. (Accounts of two past visits can be found here and here.)

As I have noted before, if you show up without a reservation at 11:45 or noon, you will invariably be seated. In the past, we’ve always been told that we’d have to be finished by 1:30, or so. No such guidance this week; even when we left, at 2pm, the restaurant was not full.

I started with a salmon skin roll, which was very good, if not quite offering the taste explosion of the best sushi restaurants. My colleague and I shared four of the signature dishes: yellowtail tartar with caviar and wasabe sauce; spicy rock shrimp tempura; squid “pasta”, and miso black cod. I think the squid pasta has lost a bit of its lustre; when you get over the novelty, it is really nothing special. But the others are all top-notch, and it is no surprise that they bring the miso black cod last. Although imitated a hundred times over, there is still no miso black cod like Nobu’s.

I finished with an apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream, and while you don’t think of Nobu for its desserts, this was beautifully prepared and a sensory pleasure.

Service was excellent.

As an unrelated aside, did you ever wonder why you can’t get through to Nobu on the reservation line? At lunch time, there are five phone operators sitting at a booth near the front door. They are the reservations department. While waiting for my coat, I overheard one of them telling the others about a recent social event she’d attended. The phone rang: “Nobu, can you hold, please?” After putting the caller on hold, she finished her story about the social event.

Nobu (105 Hudson Street at Franklin Street, TriBeCa)

Food: ***
Service: ***
Ambiance: **
Overall: ***

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