Nobu Raw Fish, Raw Service!

Dinner at a fancy sushi place: $100

Wet socks and bad service: UNACCEPTABLE!

Here is what happens when people stop being polite, and start being Nobu! This was contributed by a friend of


November 9, 2004 



Attn: General Manager

3835 Cross Creek Road, 18A

Malibu, CA 90265


Dear Sir or Madam:

 After various recommendations from friends, review of your Zagat rating, and a modicum of research on your company website, our family decided to celebrate my father’s 54th birthday, on November 8th, 2004 by having dinner at your Malibu location. After being seated in your patio section at the corner table in the back right, we enjoyed a variety of dishes from your hot, cold, and sushi menus. We were very impressed by the delicious and beautiful creations from the former two menus.

 Halfway through the enjoyment of our sushi order, the man sitting in the table directly behind us (a table of four with two men and two women), who clearly had had too much to drink, fell off his chair and proceeded to knock the entire contents of his table (nearly 5 plates, two glasses, and a couple sake bottles) onto the ground directly next to me and my father’s seats. Not only did this lead to a heart-stopping ruckus, but it sent a sea of broken glass, plates, and liquids next to our feet. My right foot (sock and shoes) were drenched, my father’s jacket, and his girlfriend’s (who was sitting to his right) sweater were sodden.

 The restaurant staff was quick to pick up the broken glass and perform a basic mop-up of the puddle that quickly formed. However, what greatly surprised me was that no one from the management staff came to our table to apologize for the inconvenience, check to make sure we were all ok, nor offer us some serviettes so that we could dry off our soaked parts and articles of clothing. Unfortunately, this oversight from your management staff led to the intensification of a damper that had been placed on our evening.

 As a connoisseur of great food, a regular contributor to the Zagat Survey, and a former restaurateur, I was greatly disappointed that the management of a restaurant with such an esteemed reputation, rich history, and even richer prices and ratings, would perform so poorly on a task that can be deemed simple damage control.

 In greater Los Angeles, there are many choices when it comes to fine dining, and even more when it comes to great Sushi restaurants (nearly 10 Sushi restaurants in The Zagat Survey’s 2005 “Top 40 Food”). Thus, it’s the attention to detail and service, such as a simple apology and basic damage control by the restaurant manager, that distinguish one restaurant from the rest of the best. I hope that your management can learn from this situation to ensure that another party’s special evening is not hampered by a lapse in the management’s function.




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