The evidence: Jay references the pricey Japanese restaurant in a verse on "Success," a collaboration with Nas from his American Gangster album: "How many times can I go to Mr. Chow's, Tao, Nobu?/Hold up, let me move my bowels (I'll shit on y'all n*ggas)."
Jordana's verdict: "In the space of a single sentence, Jay manages to call out three of the worst and most overhyped restaurants in New York City. Granted, Mr. Carter is bemoaning the ennui of rich-guy life, explaining that he's tired of the splurgy restaurant circuit, yet it's clear that these spots were in his rotation back in 2007 when American Gangster dropped. It was a different time in the food world, when Asian big-box spots still had currency—but the verse, like the restaurants, didn’t age well. Nobu is the least offensive of the lot, although with too many international locations to count, there’s something unconscionably corporate about the place and the experience of dining there. The signature miso-glazed black cod was a revelation when the first New York Nobu opened in Tribeca in 1994. But the fish long ago earned its place in the Molten Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame—in other words, it's a dish so slavishly replicated there might as well be a rendition at Applebee’s. Bottom line: The food won’t offend, but it should be too boring for true tastemakers (or anyone else)."
105 Hudson St at Franklin St (212-219-0500, noburestaurants.com)