Saturday, January 05, 2013

President Obama, First Lady Dine At Nobu Waikiki With Friends

Threepeat: President visits same restaurants on this year's vacation as last year's...
After a day of golf, President Obama on Friday night had a long, late dinner in Waikiki, spending more than 3 1/2 hours at Nobu restaurant.  Joined by First Lady Obama and an unidentified group of friends, the President arrived at the "perennially hip" Waikiki Parc Hotel at at 8:35 PM, home to Nobu, which bills itself as "yet another canvas for Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to display his legendary dishes."  The closed-off streets around the hotel filled with excited crowds as word of the President's presence spread through Waikiki.

President Obama likes the the chef's canvas:  Nobu was his first dining outing of 2012, when he had dinner there with Mrs. Obama last New Year's Day.  The visit makes the President's dining excursions for this year's vacation a threepeat from last year's vacation.  During both island getaways, he also dined at Alan Wong's restaurant and dined at Morimoto.  Mr. Obama had his annual shave ice run on Thursday, so he's now hit all his favorite hotspots before he leaves for Washington late on Saturday night.
Nobu's pricey menu offers raw and cooked seafood and beef, "Nobu Style," with cold delights such as Nobu Style Sashimi Tacos,  Lobster Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing, Bigeye and Blue Fin Toro.  Cooked dishes include Black Cod Saikyo Miso, Squid 'Pasta' with Light Garlic Sauce, Blue Fin Toro Tabanyaki, and Beef Tenderloin.  Entrees range in price from $23 to $48, with the Blue Fin going for a much higher market price.  Appetizers are between $6 and $25.

As usual for the vacation, the press pool was held far away from the action: The President and Mrs. Obama "were visible to the pool only from a few hundred feet back as they exited the motorcade," reported pool, who spent the evening "eating at a restaurant several blocks away." Above, Twitter user @RustyWhitaker posted this photo of the crowd gathered outside Nobu hoping for a chance to see the President.  "Back to our hotel after dinner, turns out Barack Obama is eating in the restaurant next door to our hotel! #carnage," Tweeted Whitaker.

At 12:09 AM, the President emerged from Nobu to cheers from the crowds, and less than a minute later the motorcade was rolling for Kailua.  The President arrived at his vacation home at 12:43 AM.

Earlier on Friday, President Obama played a windy and rainy game of golf for more than five hours on the championship Arnold Palmer Course at the swank Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore.  His fivesome included Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass, Hawaiian pal Bobby Titcomb, Chicago pal Marty Nesbitt, and White House aide Marvin Nicholson, the White House said.

The President and First Family are scheduled to depart Hawaii late on Saturday night, flying overnight on Air Force One back to Washington, with an expected arrival at the White House on Sunday morning at 11:45 AM.

"The President will spend next week in Washington, DC and attend meetings at the White House," the White House said.

*Top photo by pool; second by @RustyWhitaker