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First bite: Nobu, Hamptons edition

Miso black cod served on a dish from

Miso black cod served on a dish from Nobu at Capri restaurant in Southampton. (June 2011) Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti

Is that all there is?

Nobu at Capri is Nobu on Vacation: a trimmed-down menu, a slapped-together dining room, and, perhaps beneficially, an experience more rushed than that at its branches elsewhere. The tab, however, is up to the old standard.

To anyone not familiar with the Capri or the departed Pink Elephant club, know that the only signage designating Nobu is a storage container at the entrance, which advises Nobu New York. Otherwise, it's a GPS moment.

On the upside, Nobu at Capri does have a telephone number.

And, yes, you can sample the black cod with miso, a good dish that has lost some of its excitement; and the tiradito Nobu-style, a version of seviche with whitefish that here is overpowered by pepper.

The Nobu tacos, mainstays in L.A., are nice, little nibbles. And the Wagyu beef specials are tender — at $28 per ounce, they should be. But tomato seviche borders on parody. Things do improve with crisp soft-shell crab in tart ponzu-plus sauce; and with the more familiar sushi.

Still, for all the overbearing blogging, all the insufferable ink, all the nose-to-the-window anticipation and the relentless hype, the fact is that you can get a better meal, either nouveau or traditional Japanese, in at least a dozen eateries between Great Neck and East Hampton. And you'll do it comfortably without the busy signals, the very early or very late reservations, and the oversize check.

Expect this to be a seasonal entry. Maybe it will get better before July 4.

Nobu at Capri, 281 County Rd. 39A, at Montauk Highway, next to the Lexus dealership, Southampton; 631-488-4248.

Black cod with miso at Nobu at Capri.

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