Josh Dinnerman, Joshua Dinnerman, JDD Media, Joshua David Dinnerman Media, Joshua David Dinnerman, JDDMedia

 

NOBU Q&A !

Yaz: Nakaue, general manager of Nobu San Diego, fielded questions on behalf of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (owner/chef) for Golf View and Dining View. Nobu Restaurants have garnered multiple accolades: Voted Best Japanese Restaurant and one of the Top 10 Dessert Destinations in Los Angeles in 2009; Best of CitySearch Awards; Voted Top 10 Best Places for Sushi in the United States by Bon Appetit; Won Best of Japanese Food and Seafood on Citysearch of 2009; Voted #8 Hot Spot in L.A. by diners on OpenTable.com 2009; Voted #9 Vibrant Bar Scene in L.A. by diners on OpenTable.com 2009; Chosen as one of Bon Appetit Magazine's Top 10 Sushi Spots April 2009; Zagat Top Newcomer 2009; Awarded Best Desserts in Los Angeles by Citysearch 2008; Voted Best New Restaurant in Los Angeles by Citysearch 2008. Menu dishes include Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, Nobu Style Tacos Lobster or Crab, Scallop with Jalapeno Salsa, Black Cod with Miso, and Steamed Chilean Sea Bass with Black Bean Sauce or Miso. Nobu restaurants have been opened in numerous cities across the globe, including Bahamas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Milan, Moscow and Honolulu. Chef Nobu has more than 20 restaurants in more than 20 different cities around the world, spanning across five continents. Chef Nobu also consults for Crystal Cruises. He has appeared in several movies including “Casino,” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” and has participated in several advertising campaigns for corporations, including the Gap, Calloway Golf Clubs, Fiji Water, and Lincoln Automobiles. Chef Nobu has been a guest on such shows as “The Tonight Show,” and the “Today Show.” He donates his time to numerous culinary and charity events each year. Actor Robert DeNiro was instrumental in bringing the artistry of Chef Nobu first to New York and now around the world. DeNiro has co-founded and provided creative direction for all Nobu Restaurants. Hollywood film producer Meir Teper in conjunction with DeNiro, convinced Chef Nobu to open the first Nobu restaurant.

Golf View/Dining View: Can you describe Chef Nobu's approach to the culinary arts?

Yaz: Simple is best. Simple methods of preparation and technique combined with quality ingredients usually bring out the best in each dish.

Golf View/Dining View: What makes Chef Nobu's dishes special or unique?

Yaz: Having lived in different parts of the world, such as Peru and Alaska enabled him to incorporate different ingredients and cooking methods into Japanese cuisine, especially in his sushi/sashimi creations. While in Alaska, he focused on Alaskan Black Cod, which is used in his most famous dish Black Cod Miso. The Peruvian influence in Chef Nobu's cooking can be found in dishes such as his Yellowtail Jalapeno and Scallop Tiradito. In 1987 he opened his second restaurant Matsuhisa in Los Angeles. At Matsuhisa, he started experimenting more and tried to cater to the American palate. In the 80s, Japanese food wasn't very popular. Chef Nobu was one of the pioneers in making people understand what Japanese food is about. He decided to sear sashimi and tuna as well, to make these dishes appealing to diners in America.

Golf View/Dining View: What makes Chef Nobu's restaurants different?

Yaz: The food is one part of the draw, but good service and a beautiful dining room are all part of the equation. Chef Nobu does not compromise on any of those elements, and it consistently shows throughout his 32 restaurants. Traditionally, sushi chefs tend to have a “my way or the highway” attitude. But Chef Nobu is very hospitable and wants to create dishes that people actually enjoy. Even though it's a Japanese restaurant (Nobu), his initial focus was to please the American diner, and that is still his motto to this day. Making his customers happy has always been the root of his success.

Golf View/Dining View: What is Chef Nobu's vision for the next 3-5 years?

Yaz: After opening the first Nobu Hotel in Las Vegas with Caesar's, Chef Nobu is planning to pen hotels in many parts of the world, including locations in Riyadh and Doha in 2014. He's still opening restaurants throughout the world. Nobu's going to keep going.

Golf View/Dining View: How does Chef Nobu stay competitive in the business?

Yaz: No compromise in the quality of food and level of service. Service is what makes the dining experience at Nobu restaurants complete as a whole. Chef Nobu is stubborn about the quality of his food. Usually good quality is more expensive, but it's worth it in his mind and people understand sooner or later our level of food and service.

Golf View/Dining View: What is the one thing Chef Nobu wants patrons to remember after dining at is restaurants?

Yaz: Cutting edge cuisine and genuine service. Chef Nobu is a fun loving person, so he wants patrons to not only enjoy the food, but have fun eating the food. We don't want to be a stuffy restaurant where diners have to dress up in ties and suits. So really, a relaxed luxury, with a refined casualness

7.Bonefish Grill:

Seafood is not just healthy but it also promises a taste which one can always look forward to. It seems as if people at Bonefish Grill work for this statement only; to provide you the best quality and tasty seafood. One of the specialties of this chain is known to be the “Bang Bang Shrimp” on the menu which is a must try. All the 210 locations of this amazing restaurant will make you re-think your stereotypes and set ides about chain restaurants by its utterly mesmerizing ways, along with the inviting environment and the best dining experience.

Golf View/Dining View: How important is it to serve fresh, exciting dishes that appeal to patrons' culinary senses?

Yaz: The most important.

Golf View/Dining View: Where is the culinary industry headed in the next 3-5 years?

Yaz: More and more, people are health conscious, and people are consuming more fish rather than meat. Chef Nobu just came out with a vegetarian cook book a year or two ago so. I know Chef Nobu is health conscious, especially since he's getting older and always traveling.

Golf View/Dining View: How does Chef Nobu come up with creative, exciting new dishes?

Yaz: By traveling the world, being exposed to different techniques and different ingredients. Also, chefs at his restaurants are also an inspiration. Chef Nobu dines out a lot and I'm sure that's where he gets a lot of inspiration. He has as many great chefs as he has restaurants, so he gets different ideas from them.

Golf View/Dining View: Are ambiance and service as important as Nobu's cuisine?

Yaz: Ambiance is very important. Music and design of the restaurants adds a lot to the experience. Service is equally important as the food itself. Without good service, the food won't be presented in the right manner and the dining experience is diminished. We've established a brand image and so we have to keep up with the décor and music, and everything that comes with the whole package.

Golf View/Dining View: How does Chef Nobu define happiness and success?

Yaz: Success will come if you work hard and stay passionate with what you do. Chef Nobu's humble philosophy of his success is measured by the success of people who work for him. His company is successful because he respects the people who work for him. He genuinely wants his people to grow within the company and be successful, and that is why so many of his employees, especially the managers, have been with the company for more than a decade. Chef Nobu is a humble person. I've been working for him for 15 years. He believes his own success comes from people who work for him and are also successful. Chef Nobu is unselfish and truly cares about his employees. He likes to keep a positive mood in the company. We don't want to become a cookie cutter restaurant, even though we have a lot of restaurants. Chef Nobu is happy when his customers and employees are happy.

Golf View/Dining View: So does Chef Nobu engage in an activity that's fun and relaxing, like a hobby?

Yaz: Chef Nobu plays golf when he can. Has has played on numerous courses including Wilshire Country Club, Riviera Country Club, Sherwood Country Club, Tustin Ranch Golf Course, and Pebble Beach Golf Course. Chef Nobu has not hit a hole in one, yet. He applies what he has learned from cooking to the game of golf, because both require concentration and passion. Chef Nobu's advice to golfers out there is to develop positive resets.