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Nestled along Malibu’s swanky shores, Nobu isn’t just a restaurant; it’s more like a hideout for celebrities, influencers, and those with a taste for the finer things. Me? I’m just chasing my foodie bliss at Nobu Malibu. I just want a taste of the good stuff.

In this blog, I share my Nobu Malibu review so you can decide whether this is the experience for you.

Let’s dive in!

My Nobu Malibu Review, A Personalized Culinary Adventure

Recently, I had the privilege of dining at Nobu Malibu for the second time, and this experience, unlike any other Nobu location I’ve experienced, was a culinary masterpiece by the sea.

Snagging a spot at Nobu Malibu usually requires ninja-level planning, but I lucked out with a last-minute opening. 

Atmosphere

Nobu Malibu has an elegant, laid-back coastal vibe blending upscale dining and seaside charm. Being nestled along Malibu’s exclusive shores, the restaurant exudes a relaxed yet chic vibe, with waves crashing in the background. You don’t just come for the food. You come for the experience. The laid-back allure of Malibu’s exclusive coastline, makes each moment feel like you’re in a scene from a movie.

Before the Meal: Drinks on the Patio

We arrived well before our reservation to grab a drink, lounge on Nobu’s oceanfront patio and take in the breathtaking views of Malibu as the sea breeze blew threw our hair and mist kissed our faces.. We even had a front row seat to the big ocean show going on with waves exploding and imploding one after the other in a row, almost timed to an orchestra… Nothing could have been better in that moment except for the epic eight course meal to follow.  

But let’s not forget the cocktails… their top-notch. Order from the bar and take a seat outside.

The Eight-Course Omakase at Nobu Malibu

Taking our seats at a cozy outdoor table facing the ocean, I was excited to dive in to another delicious Nobu meal. Little did I know it would far exceed my expectations.

There are different Nobu experiences you can have. On my first visit, a girlfriend and I sat inside at the sushi bar and just ordered a few assortments of sushi. This time, I decided to splurge. Well, because you only live once, right? 😉

Our waitress, sensing our excitement, offered to curate a one of a kind menu based on our preferences. It reminded me of a similar experience I had at Nobu in the Bahamas. (stay tuned)

This is how I knew that our server took our taste buds seriously. She set the stage by telling us that our reactions to the first dish would sway the courses that followed. 

Before crafting a personalized feast for us, she probed our spice preferences. With our responses ranging from a love for spicy to just a hint of it, she found the sweet spot. 

Yellowtail Jalepeno at Nobu, Malibu
Yellowtail Jalepeno at Nobu, Malibu

1st Course: Jalapeño Yellowtail

We were presented with beautifully plated yellowtail with slices of jalapeno atop each sashimi.

Normally, I shy away from spiciness, but the subtle heat wasn’t overpowering; instead, the jalapeno actually gave the dish just the right amount of kick that it needed to bring out the flavors of the yellowtail and the sauce, which was bright and tangy. If the jalapeño is too spicy for you, you can easily pick it off.

Salmon sashimi at Nobu
Salmon Sashimi, Nobu Malibu

2nd Course: Salmon Sashimi

After learning that salmon was one of our requests, our server put this tasty sashimi in front of us and made us all so happy. 

The salmon was velvety and cool, draped over the plate, bathed in a sauce that tantalized our taste buds. I wanted to drink the sauce off the plate… it was that good… and complimented the sashimi very well, enhancing the flavor of the salmon wonderfully.  

Albcaore Truffle at Nobu
Albacore Truffle

3rd Course: Albacore Sashimi with Truffle Oil and Artichoke

If I had to choose a course that I was most surprised by, it was definitely this one. This was our favorite course. The combination was interesting, but it totally worked. We savored every piece of sashimi on the plate.

Picture this… Tender albacore sashimi with a little drizzle of truffle oil. The surprising combination created a luxurious union of earthy and oceanic undertones. The addition of artichoke brought a subtle crunch, taking this dish to the next level. It became a mix of tasty textures and flavors that just clicked.

Lobster with truffle
Lobster Tempura with Truffle

4th Course: Tempura Lobster with Truffle

When our server said that she was bringing out tempura for this next course, I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed. I didn’t know what to expect with this dish, but it totally defied my expectations.. in a good way. I was excited to see that the tempura was hiding my favorite- lobster. I’m from Maine, so big lobster girl right here. 

After breaking through the crunchy layer, I bit into the meaty lobster which was steamy, with a hint of sweetness (as only the best lobster is) and so full of flavor. The crunch of the tempura combined with the richness of the succulent lobster for the perfect combo. It was (*kiss*), amazing. The truffle gave it that extra something special. My sister and I fought for the last bit of lobster.  

Caramelized Cod at Nobu, Malibu
Caramelized Cod

5th Course: Caramelized Cod

This was a masterpiece in and of itself and one of the standout dishes of the entire meal. 

As simple as it was, the cod, with a charred and caramelized exterior was so complex, unveiling layers of flaky, succulent flesh when you bit into it. It had an unforgettable caramelized flavor almost like brown sugar. That, combined with the sauce that dotted the plate made the cod highly addictive. Had I been alone, I would have licked it off the plate. Needless to say, I wanted more!

Skillet Sizzling Wagyu at Nobu, Malibu
Wagyu

6th Course: Skillet Sizzling Wagyu

In the beginning, before creating our menu, our server asked if we would like a combination of meat and seafood. Of course, I said yes. Especially since I enjoyed the Wagyu I had at Nobu LA. Plus… what kind of foodie could ever pass on Wagyu?

It was served on a sizzling, flaming skillet with a slight pink hue, accompanied by an array of grilled onions, mushroom and asparagus. The savory flavors of the meat were an umami explosion in my mouth.

Sushi Platter at Nobu, Malibu
Sushi Platter

7th Course: Sushi Platter

This was a perfect place to sneak the sushi platter in as we weren’t expecting it. I love a good mix of nigiri and sashimi. All of the fish was fresh and perfectly prepared. They gave us two sashimi of every kind.

My only complaint is that we specifically requested that there be no mackerel, which to our disappointment, we found on the plate. As this was a personalized meal tailored to our preferences, I do wish that they had replaced the mackerel with something else, especially since we informed them of the mess up. Other than that, everything was delicious.

Affogato
Affogato

8th Course: Affogato

This sweet treat was the perfect way to end our meal. Our server asked us which flavors we enjoyed. We had a choice of fruit, chocolate, or caramel, to which I replied that we enjoy all three flavors, but mostly chocolate or caramel.  

For the grand finale, we enjoyed a nice Affogato. The coffee was poured right over the ice cream. It was satisfying to watch it melt and even more satisfying to taste.

Geeves drinking sake at Nobu
Nobu’s Sake

Perfect Pairings

I highly recommend starting or ending your meal with a Summery seaside cocktail on the Nobu patio. You will want to bottle the vibes. Cocktails by the ocean was the perfect way to kick off the meal.

Sake and Pinot Grigio complimented the courses to come, enhancing the flavors without overpowering. They both can both be paired with pretty much anything on the menu it seemed. This is your safe bet if you don’t know what to order to drink. We also ordered a bottle of sparkling water for the table which was crisp and refreshing.

Nobu’s Service

Tahir, our guide through this gastronomic journey and later our second server, was effortlessly warm, charming, and attentive. From the moment we took our seats, he curated a personal dining experience for us.

I appreciated how well timed all of the courses were. The staff moved very swiftly to collect, clean, and provide new dishes before the next course.

There was the occasional hiccup, like an unwelcome mackerel. Also, our first server was a bit occupied, overlooking the edamame, rice, and the anticipated wine pairing with our Wagyu. Surprisingly, it worked out for the best, considering the abundance of food. Tahir, taking over for the first server on a lunch break, pleasantly surprised us with the wine just in time for dessert.

The hiccups were forgivable given the overall quality of the meal. The quality of the meal, Tahir’s friendly and personable demeanor, coupled with the team’s careful consideration of my mother’s food allergy, showcased an excellent standard of service.

Foodie review of Nobu Malibu
Save for Later

The Nobu Experience: A Recap of the Bliss

Overall, the views were amazing, food was divine, service was great. 

It’s exciting when dining out challenges your expectations, especially the high ones you come in with at a place like Nobu. While anticipating their usual freshness and quality, this time, I was pleasantly surprised by their unique twists on familiar dishes, making each one stand out in a memorable way.

I’m happy we opted for the customized experience rather than choosing from the standard menu ourselves. We were introduced to Nobu’s signature classics as well as items only available at their Malibu location. 

Not even the backdrop of a beautiful sunny California afternoon in Malibu, with waves crashing around, could have stolen my attention. The setting, however, did provide the perfect backdrop for an exceptional seafood meal.

I savored every element of surprise in each of the dishes’ unfamiliar flavor combinations. It was a nice, well-rounded blend of flavors from truffle lobster tempura and jalapeño yellowtail to caramelized cod and albacore sashimi with truffle oil and artichoke. Every time food came to the table, I was secretly wishing for it not to not be the last course. We got way more than we anticipated and each dish was better than the last.

Was the Curated Menu Worth it?

The 8 course customized menu, priced between $140 and $190 per person, is a great value, in my opinion. If I get the chance, I’d jump at the opportunity to do it all over again.

Nobu Malibu isn’t just a restaurant; it’s an experience that takes dining to an art form. What I loved most was how they personalized the experience. Every dish wowed me, and I consider myself a seasoned foodie. The handpicked choices wiped out my usual struggle of deciding what to order.

The customized menu is perfect for anyone wanting a taste of everything, but also great if you want to explore Nobu’s signature classics and exclusive Malibu offerings. It was like Nobu’s greatest hits. They even consider the number of people at your table, so you won’t leave hungry. Honestly, I was already full before we wrapped up.

Getting a Nobu Reservation

I highly recommend you make yours well in advance. You can call or reserve on OpenTable. It’s also worth calling the day before like I did for a last minute cancellation.

You can request a table outdoors, which is noted but not a guarantee. I was excited and delighted when we were taken to an outdoor table, which in my opinion, offers a better dining experience.

That’s a Wrap!

Writing this review reminded me of why I love what I do… I get to relive my experience all over again and share a new recommendation with you. 

I hope you enjoyed my Nobu Mali review. Have you been to Nobu Malibu? Would you go? Comment below and follow for more finds and adventures!

a colorful illustration of geeves holding a martini glass and an ice cream

Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.

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Until next time… keep it real.

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