While the Bon Appetitbranded Vegas Uncork'd event unfolded this weekend, Nobu Matsuhisa took advantage of the increased media presence to unveil the first mock-up of Nobu Caesar's Palace, the largest branch of the restaurant yet, with 11,200 square feet and 327 seats. The restaurant is slated to open this fall as part of the Nobu Hotel at Caesar's, which the chef says was inspired by his hotel magnate business partner Robert De Niro.
David Rockwell will design both the hotel and restaurant (the second Vegas branch of Nobu), because, as Matsuhisa says, the designer "understands and knows me." The restaurant itself will feature teppanyaki tables and a few new dishes under the direction of chef Thomas Buckley, a vet of Nobu's Miami branch, though Matsuhisa, who claims to be traveling ten months of the year, swears he'll be making the easy trip from Los Angeles himself on occasion, insisting "cooking is my life, cooking is what Nobu does."
As far as how the 180-room Nobu Hotel will enliven the chef, he admits the biggest challenge is personally creating new room service menus that include breakfast and lunch items that deviate from sushi and teppan. Think items such as sandwiches and noodle dishes.
The $30 million hotel project will have a separate entrance in an effort to save Nobu guests from the steady throb of techno and boozed-up throngs of Vegas, and will exclusively offer the chef's sake in a minibar. And, of course, room service will be all Nobu, all the time, meaning yes, you can eat jalapeno-topped sushi in bed at four in the morning, or work off your hangover with some miso-marinated cod. Right now the whole huge project is tentatively scheduled to launch this fall.