I woke up to the afternoon sun beating through the blinds that I forgot to close the night before. It's thanksgiving weekend in LA and my plan for the day is to drive up to Malibu. Little did I know, I would be dining at one of the world's most recognizable Japanese restaurants.

wine, water
digitizedchaos on Flickr

During the drive, my stomach growls to let me know that  it's not happy that I skipped breakfast.

"Where do you guys want to eat?" I ask, thinking about all the great food Malibu has to offer. 

"Oh don't worry we made reservations at Nobu already," my friend replied. 

I nod but internally my heart is racing. Nobu? Like the world famous chef? Nobu? Like the restaurant Drake name drop's in Jumpman? Nobu? Like should I have checked my bank balance before leaving the house? 

coffee, beer, wine
Ishaan Pathak

Ten miles later we pull into the parking lot for Nobu. It's a single story building set right above the beach with a parking lot of cars I've only seen on Cribs. I'm excited at the prospect of the food we are about to try but can also feel my wallet shivering in my pocket.

Ishaan Pathak

For the first course, we order Nigiri and order yellowtail, crab and salmon. The salmon is buttery and melts in your mouth. Jonathan Gold once said that Nobu's greatest talent was his eye for fish and this seems true. The yellowtail is firm, but flavorful. Both Nigiri have a hint of wasabi to them.

avocado, nori, sashimi, rice, seafood, fish, wasabi, salmon, tuna, sushi
Ishaan Pathak

The second course is an albacore roll and a salmon skin roll. The tuna roll is great, but also very much what you would expect from tuna. The salmon roll is exquisite, wrapped in rice paper with a thinner layer of rice. The salmon has a smoky quality and is placed against fresh cucumbers that bring the dish together.

How to Navigate Nobu as a Broke College Student

1. By the Bottle

If you are ordering a drink, share a bottle of wine instead of individual drinks, it's cheaper , trust me. 

2. Order the Special

Black Cod w/ Miso - The House Speciality

Nick J Webb on Flickr

Don’t be like me and completely forget that Nobu is known for their signature black miso cod. If you do happen to forget, try making it yourself.

3. Skip the Rolls

Sushi Regular at Nobu

Smart Alex! on Flickr

Nobu obviously has amazing sushi, enjoy the quality of the fish by going for sashimi or nigiri—but avoid the rolls. It doesn't offer anything unique. 

4. Take the Crew

Hit that sweet spot where you are with enough people to order and share multiple menu items. 

5. Expect to Be Hungry After

Nobu is not meant to fill you up. A least not on a broke college student's budget. Enjoy the food, but don't expect to leave full.