Nobu opens in Palo Alto | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

Nobu opens in Palo Alto

Uploaded: Jul 7, 2017
The first Northern California outpost of acclaimed Japanese restaurant group Nobu officially opens its doors in downtown Palo Alto on Friday, July 7.

The restaurant announced the opening on Thursday. Nobu is the new ground-floor restaurant at The Epiphany Hotel at 180 Hamilton Ave., replacing Lure + Till, which closed in January.


Nobu remodeled the bar and dining area at 180 Hamilton Ave. after Lure + Till closed in January. Photo by Kevin Scott/courtesy Nobu.

Owner-namesake Nobu Matsuhisa said in a press release that "customers have been asking for a Nobu in the Bay Area for years.

"When this space became available, we were really excited because it is very intimate and allows us to create a special experience for our Palo Alto guests," he said.

The high-end restaurant's arrival in Palo Alto is the result of the Epiphany Hotel changing hands in 2015, when Oracle founder Larry Ellison purchased the hotel. Ellison had previously partnered with Matsuhisa to build a hotel on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

The new outpost will serve signature Nobu dishes like yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and black cod with miso as well as "locally inspired" dishes and cocktails exclusive to Palo Alto. Nobu will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as "meeting hours" in between, the release states. Look out for Nobu's elevated take on steak and eggs for breakfast — made with 48-hour braised short rib —and "California-inspired" dishes at lunch and dinner like lobster ceviche.


Nobu's yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño. Photo by Henry Hargreaves/courtesy Nobu.

Epiphany Hotel guests will be able to order from Nobu for room service.

Nobu, which was founded by partners Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro and film producer Meir Teper, operates more than 30 restaurants across the globe.

Nobu Palo Alto is open daily for breakfast from 7-11 a.m. and for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; select seating will be available in the bar and lounge from 3-6 p.m. Dinner starts daily at 6 p.m. with the last seating at 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

For reservations, call 650-666-3322 or go to noburestaurants.com.

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by R. Winslow, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Curious. How much does a small plate of yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno run?

(1) Can't wait for The French Laundry to open a branch in PA.
(2) Looking forward to Gail Johnson's take on this one. *L*


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jul 7, 2017 at 3:23 pm

@ R. Winslow:

About $28 is my guess.

Menus for the Palo Alto store have not yet been posted to the Nobu website but that's the price at three other California stores.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by R. Winslow, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 7, 2017 at 6:50 pm

> About $28 is my guess.

I'll pass. It's not so much about the pocketbook 'hit' but rather personal guidelines/perspectives/ceilings regarding what I consider to be common sense expenditures in relation to the cuisine being presented and served. While I'm not advocating mundane 'all you can eat' $10 buffets, having dined at the aforementioned French Laundry as well as the opening of Stars in SF many years ago, I have found these kinds of establishment to be somewhat over-hyped and generally over-priced.

It's easy for a food critic to write glowing restaurant reviews as they often dine for free, provide advance notice to the restaurant of their upcoming arrival and hold the power of the pen (or word processor) when it comes to 'spreading the word'.

A business expense account is the ideal option for these kinds of restaurants and those who enjoy expensive/overpriced dining experiences.

BTW, I also won't spend over $25.00 for a plate of pasta even if the chef flew in from Milan by private jet just to make it. Noodles are noodles.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jul 7, 2017 at 7:22 pm

@ R. Winslow:

I agree that the price-value analysis is an individual decision which is why people like Elena should continue covering these types of places. They're not meant to be for everyone, actually no restaurant is. Every restaurant basically says, "this is what we serve and this is how much it will cost." One can privately think/say, "No, thank you" without turning it into a Shakespearean drama.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jul 7, 2017 at 10:14 pm

Now if they had eye of newt with toe of frog - that would be a Shakespearean repast!


 +   12 people like this
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jul 8, 2017 at 1:07 am

I'll just watch from across the street at Palo Alto Creamery.
Always a satisfying meal.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jul 8, 2017 at 1:30 pm

This sounds great. Anxiously awaiting the opening. That plate looks like a bargain for $28. Nice presentation, and hopefully a new standard for fine dining in PA.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by George, a resident of Professorville,
on Jul 8, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Looks like Bologna with cilantro ... no thanks.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Zhou, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 8, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Money no problem if food good and waiter polite. No tip if rude. Raw fish OK if fresh. Old fish good for bait or garden if no cats.

Japanese food more expensive than hamburger.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Steve Austin, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Jul 8, 2017 at 9:23 pm

I sure is heck aint eating here. I'll stick to Buck's or Bentley's, heck, I'd hit up Sizzler before I eat at Nobu. This dog wont hunt. I prefer my meat medium rare.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Abby Hunt, a resident of Stanford,
on Jul 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

When it comes to dining out, the number of upscale-designer people willing to pay more to get less is truly amazing. Are they spendthrifts or cultural elitists? Yes, the featured plates may resemble paintings but once you start sticking a fork into them, the lines, depths and textures are radically altered to the point of non-recognition. From there this culinary 'art' begins its nascent journey towards eventual containment at the PA Baylands.

The world of gastronomy is a peculiar one at best.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by R. Winslow, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 8, 2017 at 11:53 pm

@reader
> One can privately think/say, "No, thank you" without turning it into a Shakespearean drama.

This discussion is actually turning into more of a Shakespearean comedy with the skeptics convinced that most of these upscale brasseries are "Much Ado About Nothing."


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Gordon Smith, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jul 9, 2017 at 12:33 pm

As long as the food is exceptional, I enjoy expensive restaurants as I can easily afford it. The detractors can eat cake or go to Taco Bell.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Dif'rent strokes, a resident of another community,
on Jul 9, 2017 at 12:53 pm

"When it comes to dining out, the number of upscale-designer people willing to pay more to get less is truly amazing. Are they spendthrifts or cultural elitists?"

"with the skeptics convinced that most of these upscale brasseries are "Much Ado About Nothing." "

I find comments such as those astounding, but enlightening. As if confirming the fashion (rampant in US national politics for years, and in overdrive since 2016) for projecting assumptions, from within the unknown boundaries of your personal world-view, about what motivates other people, or what they think -- never, ever, actually asking them, and maybe thereby learning something you didn't suspect.

Like (offhand instances): maybe some customers are, actually, getting more -- not less -- at some of these restaurants you haughtily disdain, but you don't know it. Maybe the "more" that they get is something your're indifferent to. Maybe "upscale-designer" isn't just a cheap shot, but waaaaaay off-target about who actually goes there. Maybe other people who dine at The French Laundry get things out of it that R. Winslow didn't, and therefore, "over-priced" is a totally subjective call. As for "over-hyped," R. Winslow records notions above about "food critics" that depart further from reality, the more serious and influential the critic. The best-respected independent publication that strongly praises that same French Laundry always operates not just anonymously, but so confidentially that its agents (all culinary-school graduates) are trained to work without taking notes, and are fired if they tell anyone, even their parents (never mind any restaurant!) that they do it; their experience isn't "free dining" but hard work, being required not only to memorize the details but accurately back-engineer how each dish was made, for their internal reports, all while appearing at the time to relax and enjoy; candidate top-rated restaurants always get repeat visits by different agents, and simultaneous tables of agents, so one table can do something unusual (special requests, difficult customers) while other tables note if it affects the service they're simultaneously getting.

The impression created by years of disdainful comments like those visible here is that some people aren't content just to judge certain experiences as outside their tastes or priorities. They also feel a need to put down other tastes or priorities, even conjuring rationalizations that are downright weird as experienced by many other people. It's quite its own form of snobbery.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jul 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm

While we will likely never visit this restaurant because of the price, I am glad to see more diversity coming to the Palo Alto restaurant scene. Japanese food is more than just sushi and ramen. Teriyaki chicken is an American dish that you probably won't see on any menus in Japan.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by M. Driscoll, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Maybe the crux of the issue here is that some people eat to live while others live to eat. *ROFL*


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Charles McNulty, a resident of Professorville,
on Jul 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm

When and if the Dalai Lama is ever seen dining at The French Laundry wearing one of his 10 Rolexes, we'll finally be assured that humanity has gone into full-tilt de-evolution.

What will his mantra be? "Roe....der....er....Cris.....tal?"


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tristan, a resident of Professorville,
on Jul 9, 2017 at 6:21 pm

All this talk about food is making me hungry. I'm so famished right now that I would even settle for some bologna with parsley.

Just give the menu item a fancy name and some Palo Alto diners will pay top dollar for it.






 +   13 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jul 9, 2017 at 7:19 pm

@Tristan:

The menu item name is decidedly unfancy. "Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño" simply describes the ingredients and the fact the fish is raw.

The dish name is really no more fancy than "fried chicken with biscuits."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jul 9, 2017 at 10:08 pm

Fried chicken with biscuits, now I'm hungry ...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Aileen, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Jul 10, 2017 at 12:44 pm

We just ate at Nobu in London.
It was quite expensive, and very very underwhelming.
I'll give this one a miss.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Anneke, a resident of Professorville,
on Jul 11, 2017 at 9:17 am

For the price of one dinner at Nobu, I can cook wonderful, tasty, organic and nutritious meals all week.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Hard Rock Cafe, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 11, 2017 at 10:53 am

It's a high end chain targeting people who need to tell people "We ate at Nobu's last night" Underwhelming is a perfect word for it so I can't wait to hear that from someone.
Everyone please go there...pack it each and every night. I'll be at another place ;)


 +   5 people like this
Posted by MPer, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Jul 12, 2017 at 12:34 pm

@ musical

Ate at PA creamery last week. a malt was $10 and my sandwich was $15 and mediocre. So enjoy your over priced mediocre diner fare while others across the street enjoy over priced but great quality sushi.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Beth, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 13, 2017 at 8:49 pm

My take is different.

Taking a longer view, I question the rapid depletion of ocean life and health, done mainly for economic gain or social, short-lived 'pleasures.'

At what measure of loss do our privileged hobbies such as dining out look silly and downright ignorant in the larger scope of life's meaning with reference to value and worth?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by reasons, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jul 13, 2017 at 10:02 pm

I am offended by the ostentatious display of wealth which is one major reason people are critical. How will people know you're rich if you don't make splash?
Also, businesses deduct this kind of expenses. I assume expense accounts are often paying the bill.
Lots of newly minted millionaires may need to reassure themselves and their guests that they really are rich.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by R. Winslow, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm

>Taking a longer view, I question the rapid depletion of ocean life and health, done mainly for economic gain or social, short-lived 'pleasures.'

At what measure of loss do our privileged hobbies such as dining out look silly and downright ignorant in the larger scope of life's meaning with reference to value and worth?
@Beth/MP

You brought up a very good point and spoken like a true environmentalist.
With the vast consumption of sushi on a global basis, certain types of fish are now becoming depleted in growing numbers and the typical restaurant/diner response is to pay more for the access and dining privilege.

If sushi restaurants were limited to Japan, this depletion would probably not be an issue from the standpoint of environmental impact.

An alternative might be for an advent of PA Hawaiian-themed restaurants serving up musubi (spam sushi) with massive sides of potato/macaroni salad and rice. The ingredients readily available/cheap and with the proper décor and an inflated pricing structure, countless PA folks would eat there just to say they have dined at the prestigious Mahalo Bar and Grill. *L*


 +  Like this comment
Posted by R., a resident of Downtown North,
on Jul 21, 2017 at 2:09 am

My girlfriend and I dined here tonight and we're underwhelmed. We spent $500 on a $100 meal. This restaurant is like its predecessor in the same space: a place to be seen. For those of us uninterested in hype or buzz, I recommend Reposado a few doors down. Your meal will be infinitely better, the prices a fraction of the cost, and there won't be any goofy people looking around for celebrities or checking to see who's noticing them.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Babka bakery to open Thursday in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 5,877 views

Couples: Child Loss, "No U-Turn at Mercy Street"
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,808 views

Which Cocktail Has the Least Calories?
By Laura Stec | 12 comments | 1,729 views

UCSB's CCS program
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 811 views