Nobu Matsuhisa and business partner Robert De Niro were in town over the weekend to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace. After being presented with a proclamation declaring it Nobu Day on the Strip and a symbolic key to the Strip, the pair hosted a party Friday evening in the Nobu Villa atop the hotel tower. On Saturday, the chef treated guests to a seven-course caviar dinner, debuting several caviar-themed dishes that are being added to the menu.
The hotel has only been open for five years, but the Nobu brand has been around since the original Nobu restaurant opened in New York in 1994. Many of the chef’s signature dishes date to his Beverly Hills restaurant Matsuhisa, which opened in 1987.
Speaking to members of the press, the chef noted that couples who originally came to those two restaurants on dates are returning with a second generation of customers.
“The parents loved our food and introduced it to their kids. Even the yellowtail jalapeno, the kids love it, and the edamame, the rock shrimp, the black cod and the tempura.”
When asked about the numerous restaurants around the world that have imitated those dishes, Matsuhisa said, “I love that people copy my food.”
“People can copy my food,” he added, “but, I say nobody can copy my heart.”
With regard to his role in the brand’s success, De Niro admitted his celebrity status helped, but never could have carried the chain if the chef didn’t deliver.
“I can get people in the door once. Maybe twice, to say ‘I’m not so sure it was good the first time, I’m going to try it one more time just to make sure.’ But they’re not coming back a third time.”
Caesars Palace also used the weekend to announce they’ve extended the agreement for the boutique hotel for 10 more years.