clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pete Wells Travels Back to the ’90s for a Nobu Review

The seminal Japanese restaurant gets downgraded to one star

Nobu Downtown Nobu Downtown/Facebook

Some bewildering service experiences and uneven food led to one star for seminal Japanese restaurant Nobu from Times critic Pete Wells.

Last reviewed at three stars in 2005, the now-global chain has two locations in New York City (Tribeca and Midtown East), both of which provide bad service — think champagne accidentally sprayed across the room — and staid food. Wells still likes the iconic and “candylike” black cod with miso and “wonderfully bracing” tiradito, but finds little else to praise beyond dessert:

I don’t know who orders the dishes marked Nobu Now, but I tried a few. Umami Chilean sea bass: not worth it, even for the slightly exotic return of a fish that hasn’t been seen much since the ’90s. Kumamoto shooters: a thrilling series of flavors that will recall the way you felt the first time you ate at Nobu. Michele Goldsmith’s desserts, served both uptown and downtown, are modern and playful and don’t try too hard to follow the theme, whatever that is.

Most of the review is spent discussing the restaurant’s influence on sushi eating in the U.S. All in all, Wells concludes that Nobu is the perfect place “to introduce children to raw fish.” One star.


2525 M Street Northwest, , DC 20037 (202) 871-6565 Visit Website