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Nobu 57: We've Seen the Promised Land

Last night Drew and The Mats were nice enough to have us over for dinner at Nobu 57. Thank you, Mr. Nieporent; Thank you, Mr. Mats.

Let's just cut to the chase, shall we? You've already heard about the room (it's a stunning, if not uptown, translation of Rockwell's downtown aesthetic); the professionalism of the service and overall presentation are quintessentially Nobu. What you really need to know is that there are a few, important changes to the menu.

Brace yourself. There are several new dishes at 57, the most notable of which is a reworking of Matsuhisa's famed creamy spicy rock shrimp tempura. This is, of course, the very dish that has been bringing grown men like Jay-Z and Harvey Keitel to climax for nearly two decades. Here, in addition to the original, there is an amazu (essentially, a pink ginger) preparation, which comes garnished with cilantro and onions. It is a delight. Sweeter and far lighter; and if the creamy spicy preparation is like riding shotgun at Indy in the best way, the amazu is more a leisurely cruise on the Pacific Coast Highway. It will serve you well in summer months when the original is, tragically, just too heavy.

Also of interest is their slight reorganization of the menu. In addition to the headings you?ll find downtown, there is now a section marked "Salads," the new home for classics like the Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing and the obscure but superb Lobster Inaniwa Pasta Salad. (This new category is, perhaps, a nod to the huge lunch business that will be up and running in a few weeks.)

Since the place is still in somewhat of a preview mode ? albeit a public one ? we'll let you judge the rest for yourself. No doubt, of course, the critics will soon have ammassed huge piles of praise for 57. For us, it really just comes down to the simple fact that there is now a huge, heaping pile of black cod miso in midtown.

One logistical note: Until early August, 57 is in a public soft launch mode. They're taking reservations, but will not be filling the room to capacity until every last edge has been smoothed. This is your chance, before the big print media get a hold of the story, to get a table.
· Nobu 57 Open and Taking Reservations [~E~]