Mon-Sat, 11:45am-2:15pm and 5:45pm-11:15; Sun, 5:45pm-10:15pm
N, Q, R at Fifth Ave.-59th St.; F at 57th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
David Rockwell, who designed the original Nobu, goes to great (and no doubt greatly expensive) lengths to replicate the current fashion in New York Japanese restaurants for cavernous, excessively baroque rooms. There’s a spacious lounge downstairs, filled with low-slung cocktail settees and a long bar of polished wood cut from what appears to be a single gnarled cherry tree. Behind the bar, columns of sake barrels rise dramatically toward the ceiling, which is hung with narrow, wavelike chandeliers made of silvery abalone shells. Rockwell cultivates other aquatic themes in the crowded dining room and sushi bar upstairs. The food at Nobu 57 is what you’d expect it to be, although Matsuhisa’s ingenious flavor combinations (creamy spicy sauce with tempura, miso with cod, jalapeño with yellowtail) are so ubiquitous now that they’ve invariably lost a little of their magic. This restaurant is also larger and more hectic that its counterpart downtown, so opportunities for corner-cutting and slapdash service abound.Extra
If you like Kobe-style "Wagyu" beef, Nobu now serves several varieties, at $33 per ounce. If you can afford it, the best is the cool, gently seared tataki.Recommended Dishes
Toro tartare with caviar, $34; king crab tempura, $32