My Space: A Tour of Nobu Matsuhisa’s Home Sushi Bar

My Space: A Tour of Nobu Matsuhisa’s Home Sushi Bar

- in Real Estate
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Nobu Matsuhisa

Age 68

Occupation sushi chef; restaurateur; author of “Nobu: A Memoir” (Emily Bestler Books/Atria)

The bar setting includes a traditional Daruma doll. Mr. Matsuhisa cooks at home for a select group of diners — his family. “There’s no house specialty,” he said. “They like anything I make.”

Credit
Emily Berl for The New York Times

Location Los Angeles

His Favorite Room

The home sushi bar he designed and had built next to his training gym and pool in the downstairs of his large house. The bar sits eight, and no one cooks but Mr. Matsuhisa. “My sushi bar is more of playroom,” he said. “It is my laboratory.”

The wood block is carved with the Japanese word for “continuation.” Or “keep going,” as Mr. Matsuhisa translated. “I like to move forward even it’s just millimeters a day.”

Credit
Emily Berl for The New York Times

It would be a dream to eat at your private sushi bar. Who do you invite?

So far with this house I don’t invite anybody. Just my family. I cook for my family once or twice a year. Like for Christmas or New Year’s. There’s no house specialty. They like anything I make.

A chef’s knife engraved with Mr. Matsuhisa’s name. The knife is “the most important” sushi-making tool, he said. “It has to be sharp to slice fish.”

Credit
Emily Berl for The New York Times

So no famous dinner guests have dropped by?

Not at this home. I had a sushi bar at the house where I lived before this one, and Bob De Niro came to eat my sushi. A house is very important for me because I travel 10 months a year. I have to be alone. I need my privacy. I don’t see anybody but my family.

You’ve been cooking in sushi bars since your teen years. You can’t escape work even at home.

Most sushi bars in my restaurants have a sushi display case. Here, no display case. Just counters, a fridge, everything but the fish and rice. It doesn’t feel like work. It’s fun. It’s my stage. I don’t want to lose my stage. I also don’t want to forget how to make the good sushi myself. Now I teach how to make the sushi to my granddaughters.

I notice a lot of tequila bottles behind the bar. Does it get wild in here some nights?

Yeah, because I like wine, I like sake. But when I am with good friends, after I finish with wine, I like to drink the tequila shots.

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