There will be plenty of exciting moments both on and off the court as the BNP Paribas Open gets underway this week and continues through March 16.
Stadium 2, a new 8,000-seat venue, has opened along with a bar and three pop-up restaurants — Nobu, Chop House and Piero’s Pizza Vino — that will offer something for everyone.
Many Coachella Valley residents are already familiar with the amazing steaks and sustainable seafood served at the Chop House in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, and the authentic Neapolitan pizzas that pop out of Piero’s 800-degree wood-burning oven in just 90 seconds.
But this will be the first foray into the desert for the acclaimed Japanese restaurant Nobu, which has locations around the world from Beijing to Budapest and Melbourne to Moscow. The chain has also done pop-up locations in the Hamptons and in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix.
Brian Leon, general manager of Nobu Malibu, notes that this seemed like the ideal moment to bring Nobu to the desert.
“Due to the exciting new opportunity granted by the expansion of the Tennis Garden with Stadium 2, and our relationship with the BNP Paribas tournament and Larry Ellison (the chief executive of Oracle who purchased the BNP Paribas Open and the Tennis Garden in 2010).”
“We also felt that Indian Wells was a great place to share our cuisine and passion with the wonderful people we know reside out here and are guests of ours elsewhere around the world,” he adds.
Nobu will have 140 seats in a space designed by Severine Tatangelo, one of the founders of Studio PCH, a Malibu-based architectural design and development firm.
“We will be offering all of our signature, classic dishes from Chef Nobu, such as yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, king crab tempura with amazu ponzu [a Japanese sweet and sour sauce], and black cod with miso,” says Leon.
The restaurant will also feature specials created by Chef Gregorio Stephenson of Nobu Malibu, including red snapper with sweet shiso salsa and crispy shiitake mushrooms, and lobster sweet and sour with crispy leeks.
So regardless of what happens out on the courts, this year’s tournament will be a culinary grand slam for ticket holders.