The Other Critics

Brad A. Johnson Hammers Laurel Hardware; Rodell Reveals No Surprises at Nobu Malibu

Nobu Malibu
Nobu Malibu Photo: Nobu

Brad A. Johnson’s experiences at Laurel Hardware sound much more like our own than Jonathan Gold’s did, as the Time Out critic calls out the vintage signage and tree-lined patio as the restaurant’s best features. “Like the stereotypical blonde bombshell who looks good in a bikini, there unfortunately isn’t much going on upstairs,” he writes, calling the kitchen “lazy,” dealing with a dingbat of a hostess “who couldn’t care less” (oh yeah, we think we met her!), and decrying burgers as “overcooked”, the salad “rotten,” and pizza as “gummy.” One-star gets hammered into the threshold. [Time Out]

Zach Brooks thinks that “Umami fans will find a lot to like about U-Mini…Not only is it almost half the price of a lunch at a regular Umami Burger, the burger is a bit smaller by an ounce or two- meaning that patented Umami stomach ache is mercifully smaller as well.” However, he says the supposedly extensive R&D; on the fries is yet to be worth it. [Midtown Lunch]

Besha Rodell unleashes L.A. Weekly’s dining budget on Nobu Malibu, “packed to the gills with beautiful people.” A full measuring of the country’s “standard-bearer for upscale Japanese eateries” feels more like the critic is catching up than one catching us up on the city’s vital new additions. Nonetheless, she still loves the “stunning” new home for Matsuhisa’s Malibu empire and finds the food “as precise and bright as ever.” She nearly cops to the redundancy of the review herself by writing, “If you’ve ever eaten at any Nobu location, little at Malibu will come as a surprise.” Hmm. “Comforting?” “Problematic?” Quite. [LAW]

Brad A. Johnson Hammers Laurel Hardware; Rodell Reveals No Surprises at Nobu