Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Educating Noeha Part 2

Following Perry's we scooted over to the new restaurant in the Crescent, Nobu. Yes, its the same Nobu that De Niro et. al. started in NYC years ago. However, Nobu in Dallas does not have the same punch, it has name and buzz but its been dumbed down in many ways.

400 Crescent Court
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: 214-252-7000

The Atmosphere
Nobu is definitely more comtemporary than Perry's, having a softened concrete loft feeling. Other than the backlit sake magnum lined shelves that cover every wall, the interior is surprisingly bland. I suppose I was expecting something to pop or be dramatic like NYC but that didn't happen. Im still laughing a little at the wood grain they selected and those 'branches' that delineate bar from dining area (see photo below), they looked prefabricated and frankly, lame.

The crowd at Nobu is surprisingly relaxed and downtempo, looking mainly like business travelers staying at the Crescent Hotel. It was a mixed crowd of over-dressed, jeans-n-flips, old, young and everything in between. However, something tells me this place turns very young and very new money come Friday night.

The Drink
The good news. This is where Nobu racks up a lot of points with me, cocktails. Awesome selections. Matsuhisa Martini, a light but delicious blend of vodka, sake, ginger and cucumber. Something interesting happens when you add sake to vodka, the alcohol burn is eliminated and the drink becomes dangerously smooth. Pear Martini, orange vodka, pear liqueur and orange juice. Also delicious, albeit a bit sweet for my taste. Before you decide to tie one on with these beverages, keep in mind they are $14 each.

The Plate
Again with the expectations. I was expecting outrageously good food with exotic ingredients and dramatic presentation. Not happening. And I had mixed reactions to the offerings. We only tried appetizers so our view was quite limited. Spicy Tuna Roll, kick ass. This was the best spicy tuna ever, and I have had hundreds. I'm not sure what they used to give the tuna heat, maybe some chipotle but it really stood out and gained applause from all who tried. Special Roll, not so special, still good but it was an annoyingly bland combination of shrimp, crab, avocado and cucumber. Japanese Eggplant Tempura, yum! Eggplant is notoriously difficult to prepare in tempura but this one was silky firm and the tempura batter was crisp and greasesless. Sweet Potato Tempura, gross, this was horrible. The sweet potato was hard and unlike the eggplant tempura, the batter was soft and greasy. Boo. Hiss.

The regular dinner menu looked intriguing and creative but I will wait to try the full sized meals, I think the staff needs some more time to work out the kinks. One dish, the black cod in blonde miso, will get me into the dining room at some point.

Good, not outstanding but still good. Our server was all of 21 but she was well versed on all of the drink and food options. She made recommendations without hestation, some of which were right on, others crap. She was polite and checked on us from afar about every 10 minutes.

Yeah, better get your bonus money together for this night. For sit down dinner with cocktails, soup, apps, entree, dessert and wine you can expect over $200 a person. I saw the bill for one table of four - $985. You've got to be kidding me, thats a mortgage payment!

My suggestion, stop by for drinks and maybe have one or two small plates. Even then you should be prepared for $50 a person.

Nobu is in the Crescent, the building is owned by 'old money' Dallas. As you might expect it is expensive in every respect, including parking. My suggestion, park somewhere else(like at the Quadrangle) and walk over. Once inside the Crescent, this is a good place to window shop and people watch.

Galina, Noeha and Tara @ Nobu


Blogger ScottyFerguson said...

Thanks for the vicarious education.
I'm sorry did you say this Nobu was in Dallas? It sure looks a lot like Frontierland at Disneyland. What the hell were they thinking with that blair witch woodpanel look?

11:06 PM

Blogger The Persian said...

I am just loving these two posts Jim, can I come and be educated too?? Thanks so much for sharing this all in detail.


7:32 AM

Blogger Sangroncito said...

I'm sad that Noeha didn't continue with her blog.....

9:03 AM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, yes Scotty it is Nobu in Dallas. Love the Blair Witch woodpanel description. Perhaps they should add little piles of rocks and twigs to each table to complete the look :)

11:44 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Of course you can Jim, come on down! You would have to get used to restaurant mangers tripping over themselves to bring you comp. appetizers, but that is a price you pay for this education :)

11:51 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Yes Sangroncito, it is sad but she is a very busy girl these days!

11:58 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home