Where are the celebrities? They’re not “here,” not like they used to be. Some are on Instagram, hosting talk shows in their pajamas they will soon sell to media conglomerates for millions of dollars. Others are on Zoom, meeting up with former castmates they don’t talk to anymore, reminding the public they were famous in the ‘80s. The more daring have taken to the streets, or even scarier, participated in group PSAs that apologize on behalf of—and subsequently renounce—literally all white people. But most are at Nobu Malibu, waiting for the world to end.
Last week, Kylie Jenner was spotted at Nobu Malibu with Caitlyn Jenner and her not-girlfriend Sophia Hutchins. Later that week, she went again, with sister Kendall. They were not necessarily the first famouses to dine out at the Los Angeles hotspot, but they were the most notable. Kylie, bedecked in a faint-yellow trench coat, reminded me of the scene in The Matrix where Neo realizes he’s living in a simulation. Her arrival seemed to break the ice; since then, more celebs have followed the Fit Tea Federation past Nobu’s weary valet.
For the uninitiated, Nobu is a chain restaurant made famous by the Kardashians, athletes, and actresses who have all rolled up to its Malibu location. Sure, the food earned it critical acclaim on its own merit, but its entrance into the lexicon of modern wealth was cemented by the celebrities who treat it like a kitchen pantry. Their Teslas and near-identical sports cars lined up in twos and threes, as though the parking lot is Noah’s Ark, Nobu has become a fixture in the tabloids. DailyMail.com wouldn’t exist if Splash News photographers didn’t gild its site with pictures of Demi Lovato or Kevin Hart or Kim Kardashian trundling through the entrance. Likewise, many of these celebrities would also not exist in the collective consciousness without establishments like Nobu, tailormade for them to have their photos taken and remind the world-at-large just who they are, exactly.
But these photos, which are becoming increasingly common yet again, have taken on a new context, as coronavirus cases continue to surge across California mere weeks after the state’s rushed “reopening.” On its official site, Nobu claims it is “taking extra measures” to ward off the virus, “as the safety and health of our customers and staff is paramount.” You can see these procedures in photos: Certain paths and entrances are roped off. Valet attendants and servers wear gloves and masks. Even the tables seem evenly spaced, and menus are available digitally now, allowing diners to order without coming into contact with a contaminated paper menu. Among the celebrities hitting up their favorite sushi spot, some wear masks. Some wear gloves. But a fair amount have been showing up and leaving with neither. While it’s not uncommon for celebrities to ignore rules and guidelines everyone else must follow—in fact, it’s almost a staple of the gig—in the middle of a global pandemic, when more than 100,000 Americans have needlessly died to bureaucratic incompetence, it feels almost unforgivable.
To their credit, many of the celebrities who’ve passed through Nobu in June appear to be following the rules. They wear masks, they come in small groups. But they’re still out, rolling up to restaurants in sports cars, bedecked in Birkin bags and designer clothing while essential workers go above and beyond their previous job requirements to keep them and their millionaire friends—with more than enough money to order takeout—safe.
Here are just some of the celebrities who simply can’t resist their cravings to fine-dine and, more importantly, be photographed.
Kevin Hart opted for no mask or gloves while out with wife Eniko Parrish.
Kelly Osbourne also went without a mask.
Kaia Gerber—heard of her? Here she is in a mask.
Chris Rock opted for a fedora and gloves, but no mask.
Demi Lovato and that man she’s hanging out with wore a mask too.
Steph Curry, however, did not wear a mask.
Caitlyn Jenner did not wear a mask.
Kylie Jenner, like Caitlyn, also went without a mask.
Later that week, neither Kendall Jenner or Scott Disick wore masks.
Luckily, Charlize Theron and her family wore masks.
Jamie Foxx also wore a mask.
While her more famous counterparts seem unable to follow simple instructions, Madison Beer was able to wear a mask.
And lastly, while she seemed to struggle with how to wear it, Bella Thorne also wore a mask.