Nobu

Nobu at Indian Wells Tennis Garden Feels Like a Secret Sushi Club

Discover the allure of this high-end sushi haven located atop Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Emily Chavous Foster Restaurants

Nobu

The popular yellowtail jalapeño at Nobu Indian Wells. 
PHOTO COURTESY NOBU INDIAN WELLS

I first dined at Nobu Indian Wells, located on the upper level of Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, during off season. Our reservation was late. With the sun long gone behind Mount San Jacinto, an eerie silence hung over the 122-acre complex. It felt as if we might be trespassing, save for the fact that we entered the parking lot through Gate 2, as directed, and found the valet.

As one attendant parked our car, another drove us in a golf cart to the base of Stadium 2, where a man in a suit waved us into an elevator. Exiting onto the second level, another suited fellow pointed toward the dim restaurant entrance and radioed in: “Two diners coming your way.”

The door swung open, and immediately, light and warmth and laughter spilled out — like we had discovered a secret club hidden away in the darkness. This secret club just so happens to serve my favorite food: sushi. Of course, Nobu — a high-end chain that began in New York as a collaboration between chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, and Meir Teper — serves a menu that fuses traditional Japanese fare with South American flair, there’s plenty to order besides raw fish. For the true Nobu experience, servers advise diners to order a mix of cold plates, hot dishes, sushi, and dessert (in that order).

Nobu opened as a pop-up during the 2014 BNP Paribas Open and became a permanent fixture in February 2023. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially this month, as tennis comes to town.