Most Malibu locals might agree that Nobu undoubtedly remains at the forefront of Japanese fine dining in this coastal city. But for those in search of slightly less pricey sushi in a more casual, modest joint that is open all day, Bui Sushi, less than a mile from Nobu, offers a decent alternative.
Located in the Malibu Colony Plaza, Bui—pronounced Booey—Sushi may still be considered to be slightly on the expensive side by most, but by this affluent town's standards, the prices are average.
The five-piece Paradise Roll, for example, costs $18—there's not much that's paradisiacal about it, save for a tropical flower garnish that I had to remind the chef to apply (a waitress informed me that a flower is used to decorate this roll; the chef stated it depends on his mood). Were it not for the efflorescent centerpiece, the roll would have been quite unappealing visually—brown bits of crispy fried onions almost completely cover the baked lobster pieces which sit upon the soy paper-wrapped roll beneath, which consists of a crab mix, avocado and asparagus. Both the blackened, baked mayonnaise and crunchy onion effect make this roll rather worthwhile, but you are somehow left anticipating more.
Another popular roll on the menu is the one called “27 miles,” an obvious reference to the city’s “27 miles of scenic beauty” along the coast. This five-piece roll, which costs $15, is encased in a cucumber wrap, and contains tuna, scallop, avocado and sprouts, with a final drizzle of spicy ponzu sauce.
One of the best and most distinctive items at the sushi bar is the pepper-crusted tuna, which may be ordered as nigiri topped with jalapeno salsa, consisting of chopped tomatoes, red onions and Serrano chili. Not only is the fish exceedingly fresh and perfectly spiced, but the unique topping gives it an extra kick.
If you’re considering a hot specialty appetizer, choose the Lo Mein Garlic Noodles with Tiger Shrimp for $8, which are mind-blowingly good in the way that only garlicky noodles can be good. In the mood for something crunchy? The Crispy Rice Cakes come laden with your choice of spicy tuna (with spicy mayo and wasabi tobiko) or spicy albacore (with truffle oil and chopped cucumber).
With its relaxed atmosphere and surf-themed wall art, Bui Sushi offers a beachy feel with a touch of class, Malibu-style.
23733 Malibu Road, Malibu