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Matsuri in South Miami

  • m

Does anyone know if they are done with their renovations yet and open for business again? Tried calling last night to no answer, but was not sure if that was just because they are closed on Mondays. Thanks for the help as always.

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  1. I've been calling regularly since early September (just tried today too), and each time there's been no answer, so I assume that they're still not done. Maybe someone who's driven by can give us a bit more info.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CarolinaB

      Just went there for lunch yesterday! Nice renovation, nothing fancy, just a well needed stylish redo. The box lunch is still there, somewhat expanded and up to $8 (from $7.50ish). All was good, the place was about 40% Asians, so you know they're doing something right :-) The cats on the sushi bar are all gone.

    2. I passed by on Monday, you can see its boarded up with white plywood. I'll see if I can stop into the shopping center. Maybe there's a sign that will say when they're going to reopen.

      1. Matsuri will re-open soon. I passed by on Wed. This time I got out of my car. The place was still boarded up, but the construction guys had the door opened. And it looks great! They were just finishing the outside. I only took 2 quick peeks thru the door. 1st, Theres lots of wood, and lighting looks better. Also it looked as if the bar is closer to the door, so they may have increased the kitchen area, But then it could be just that I could see the bar better because of the light. Also even though the place wasn't open. There were 2 sushi chefs behind the bar in full uniform. They were probably doing a test run. I could see Matsuri opening this weekend, at latest, next week, either way its going to open soon.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Auger

            Thank you for taking the time to look and let us all know! Great news!!!

          2. Where exactly is Matsuri located in South Miami?

            2 Replies
            1. re: jessicam29

              great... i hope they fixed up the bathrooms. They were filthy last time i went right before they closed up. I can't wait to go back.

              1. re: jessicam29

                In the Redbird shopping plaza on Red Rd. and Bird Rd.

              2. Passed by today and the white plywood is gone. But don't know if its open yet.

                1. Still calling and the line is busy! lax2mia, did you actually go and eat there? Does anybody know if its really open or not?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: kushbaby

                    In another thread someone said the plywood is down and they should open mid-month.

                    1. re: lax2mia

                      passed by today-plywood down and it was dark in there. people were passing by and looking in, i saw someone open the front door, maybe they worked there? no signs though as to when they will open.

                      1. re: LAandMiami

                        when are they going to freakin open? this is getting ridiculous. it seems like they dont care to inform anyone by placing a sign on the door. In the meantime I tried a sushi place called Itsikaya in the gables which is also good.

                        1. re: LAandMiami

                          Common issue with restaurant remodelings / openings (or any other kind of construction) and you can't blame the owners. Often they are waiting for final inspections which they can't control the timing of.

                          The place in Coral Gables you're referring to is Su Shin Izakaya and it is pretty good.

                          1. re: Frodnesor

                            "Hello, how are you?"

                            "How many?"

                            "By the window!"

                            yeah, it is way way better than sushi maki down the street.

                            1. re: sprmario

                              My favorite is the lunchtime farewell: "See you for dinner!"

                    1. re: kushbaby

                      just had sushi there last night...............then I woke up from the dream! How long will it take, last time I was there I saw that they took the old sign down, to put a new one up. From what I know, this is one of the last steps to competion. I always see other people driving by and looking in while I am there. Anybody care to drive by tomorrow and give us an update?

                      1. re: LAandMiami

                        Passed by yesterday...new sign is up, I guess they are moving along. Maybe within the next month or so?

                          1. re: LAandMiami

                            I was wondering if anyone has been by recently to see if it is open? Also the italian restaurant next door, is it any good?

                            1. re: MiamiSarah

                              There's a sign in the door "Will Open 11/16 Fri 5:30 p,m". I had to drive around the parking lot twice, cause there was an old lady trying to open the door blocking he sign, then 15 seconds later, 2 bleached plastic surgery junkies tried to open the door again

                    2. YOU ARE THE BOMG AUGER, you gave the news that everybody was waiting for. Oh the beauty of the internet. So, surprised how many people MISSED Matsuri and the people in general who were waiting for them to open...FINALLY! I've been forced to eat elsewhere for the past couple of months, since I get a Japanese Craving every other day.This is definitely the best place for great sushi. Lets just see how "different" they are after the whole renovations. I'm definitely going tomorrow night!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kushbaby

                        This place is gonna be PACKED at 530 sharp! Im gonna try to go around that time so I can chow down and catch teh Heat game afterwards. Looking forward to uni sashimi!!

                        1. re: Blind Mind

                          So here is the big question.....are they actually open and if so was the food amazing?

                      2. Any updates? They open yet?!?!?! I need my Hotate Yaki!!

                        21 Replies
                        1. re: Blind Mind

                          Yes, Matsuri is open. I would have gone last week but was to busy getting Thanksgiving ready. I'm suprised no one has posted anything. The new look is casual upscale, lots of wood. Servers wear all black. First thing I noticed was the sushi bar. They covered the fish area, so you cant see what the itamae or 3 assistants are doing, you just see the torso and above. I sat at a table and was first given a Japanese menu, but said I couldn't read Japanese, I asked if there were a difference between the 2 menu's and the host said that some soups are different. Maybe someone else can confirm if thats the only difference. My green tea came boiling hot, couldn't even hold the cup for more than 3 seconds, so I had to leave it for about 10 mins to cool down.

                          Ordered Hotate Yaki, Yaki Ika, Blue fin O-toro sashimi, Madai sushi, and Anago sushi. O-toro came first, thick slices about an 3/4 of an inch. But since the slices were so thick, it didn't excatly melt in my mouth, had to do some mouth work to break it down. Also it didn't come with any ginger, so when my hotate and ika came, I had to stick with the toro since I had nothing to cleanse my palate. Hotate was great with a little lemon on it, and the ika was great too. They cooked it in teriyaki sauce, before, they'd just give you a bowl of sauce on the side. Right? or am I thinking of another place. My anago nigiri came dry. No nitsume or eel sauce and the rice fell apart as soon as I grabbed it. The madai had too much wasabi. I got a mild flavor of the tai for about 2 seconds, then wham, wasabi took over the whole thing. The rice also seemed a bit bland. I was also given a comp. cup of a "roasted brown tea" but it was again boiling hot, and I couldn't wait for it to cool down, but it smelled great.

                          Overall it was a good experience, much better than any other Japanese restaurant around here. I do have some reservation about whether the fish they have listed is actually what it is. Madai could be some other tai. Also they have kanpachi on the menu for $2, I thought true kanpachi was more expensive $3-$4. I'll be interested in what everybody else thinks. I think I have an old take out menu somewhere, if I find it, I'll let you know if there's anything new on the menu.

                          -----
                          Matsuri Japanese Restaurant
                          5759 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33155

                          1. re: Auger

                            THe old Japanese menu used to have a few different items than the English one. Ive been trying to find a time to get over there. Tomorrow lunch might be it. Looking forward to seeing the new design!

                            1. re: Blind Mind

                              Actually, they're closed for lunch on the weekends, only open for dinner. I know I'm surprised that they're not open for lunch on weekends also on weekdays they serve lunch until 2:15pm. Didn't they close at 3 or 3:30 before? Well I went again for lunch. The engawa ponzu ae and chu-toro say zuke. Both were great, but the toro could have been marinated for a little longer. The waitress told me that they had sold out of both the night before. I also had some nigiri kanpachi, hamachi, and hirame. This time the rice was better, more flavorful and none fell apart. The kanpachi was forgettable, especially when eaten with hamachi. Though to be fair kanpachi is best in early summer. I also found nothing special about the "Special fried doughnuts".

                              1. re: Auger

                                Made it there last night. They expanded a part of their menu with new type dishes. One consisted of three baguette slices topped with various forms of chopped tuna and some mayonaisey sauce. I saw so many going out that I figured it must be good. It wasn't. Gloppy mayo and untoasted baguette slice made it awful. The rest of the menu has remained intact for the most part and, suprisingly, prices haven't jumped after the revamp (the place looks entirely different and does not belong in a strip mall next to Mario the Baker). The vibe is definitely hipper but it also means it's not as casual as it was.

                                1. re: lax2mia

                                  I also heard they have also disappointed the Japanese community by getting rid of the three tatami tables. Is this true?

                                  1. re: taiga

                                    They got rid of them, but come to think of it, not once did I ever see any Japanese sitting at those tables.

                                    1. re: lax2mia

                                      Come to think of it, l2m, Ive never seen any Japanese sitting there either... I went to Matsuri last night hoping to scarf down some great sushi in their new diggs, but alas, I forgot that they are closed on Mondays!! Ended up at Tropical Chinese instead and had a killer meal. The Squab Song cant be beat!

                                      1. re: lax2mia

                                        Perhaps that is because of the wonderful assertiveness of the Western customer in occupying them more rapidly. Japanese customers, especially families, loved those tables.

                                        1. re: taiga

                                          Think of it as us Western customers' revenge for not knowing what dishes are in the Japanese language menu versus the English one!

                                          1. re: taiga

                                            Ok, the night after my first attempt (see above) I returned to Matsuri to check out the renovated restaurant and menu. Afterwards, I almost needed a cigarette because it was better than sex. The Japanese Risotto was incredible. Rice, shrooms, scallops, and gooey parmesan holding it all together. It was more sticky than soupy and was awesome. I got my favorite as well - Hotate Yake - and it delivered as expected. I also had the tuna/hamachi uzusukuri and another couple commented that they had never had it with the hot radish which I recommended they try. The tuna was so fresh it was a blackish-purple! Then it was time for the negitoro which had a nice spicy punch to it complete with shiso leaf which I scarfed down much to the surprise of the people next to me at the bar. I finished the meal with another fave of mine - nama uni (aka uni sashimi) which was uber fresh and made my chi glow a nice golden color :)

                                            The decor blew me away. It was a HUGE transformation and I commented to the owner that it looked great. Funny how a place that is holed up in Red Bird Plaza looked good enough for the SoBe crowd!

                                            1. re: Blind Mind

                                              TY for the report. Sounds delicious! If you don't mind me asking, what was price range for your meal? Or an omakase?

                                                1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                  Well, I kinda went nuts on that visit since they had so many new items and I was starving and fired up to go on vacation the next day. I had 2 beers and the 5 items listed above and my total, including 20% tip + $2 for the sushi chefs was $66. Here are the prices for the food - risotto $10, Uzusukuri - $10, Negitoro - $7.95(i think), Hotate Yaki - $6, and Nama Uni - $9. Keep in mind that I went overboard and left stuffed. I probably couldve done without the negitoro and nama uni and still have been full. Also, the only dish that contained rice was the risotto. You definitely get a good deal at Matsuri, especially if you go with an adventurous group and share.

                                                  1. re: Blind Mind

                                                    TY,
                                                    Sounds very reasonable for all that you had. Have you ever tried an omakase there?

                                                    1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                      I have not had the omekase there, or anywhere for that matter. I always find things that I want/crave and that usually does the trick. The one thing I forgot about the Japanese Risotto was that there was bacon in it! I would eat just about anything if it had bacon in it. My 2 cousins and I ate a pound of bacon during a drunken binge over the holidays...yeah. I must say though, that even for a bacon psycho like myself, I thought there was a little much in the risotto and it kinda overpowered the dish. I will definitely get it again though to see if that changes! :)

                                                      Glad you enjoyed it M2M! You should try the nama uni sometime though. It will give your chi a nice golden glow :)

                                                2. re: Blind Mind

                                                  please tell me what Japanese Risotto is called on the menu I asked the waitress and she had no idea what I was talking about. I did order the rest that you suggest and loved it. Except the uni, I did not order that.

                                                  1. re: mom2mateo

                                                    It's called "Matsuri's Risotto". It's #165 in the menu towards the back of the menu. "Brown rice, Japanese scallops, bacon, & mushrooms risotto. $10"

                                                3. re: lax2mia

                                                  Perhaps some of our Japanese fluent Chowhound friends would be willing to give us non-speakers a heads up on what may be different between the two menus and/or suggestions on what to order from Japanese version. Domo arigato!

                                                  1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                    I've gone underground, but it is easiest to go with someone Japanese or ask one of the bilingual, female staff what they recommend from it.

                                                    1. re: taiga

                                                      Arigato gozaimasu! Peace and health to you in 2008!

                                2. A Very Big Thanks to all who rec'd Matsuri!

                                  I finally had a chance to swing by for a quick lunch and will definitely be going back again and again for a bigger taste.

                                  I don't know how the old space looked, but I liked the clean lines and form of the new. I sat at the bar and pressed for time just ordered some maguro, hamachi and unagi nigiri sushi along with a "crunch hip hop" specialty roll that was rec'd by my waitress.

                                  Let me start by saying that the hamachi was as buttery as any I've had in a long time and the maguro was equally fresh and rich (I already have the blue fin big eye toro on my radar for next time). The unagi, which btw was equally fresh and perfectly moist, disappointed a little because it didn't have as much sauce as I normally prefer. I admit that this maybe a personal preference, and in fact with unagi this fresh and perfectly grilled it probably didn't need more "cover". The roll on the other hand I would not order again. It is basically a cut-up tekka roll topped with a mayo based spicy (mild) sauce which is covered with a mound of coarse bits of tempura batter (the crunch). While the roll itself was fine I didn't care for the crunch which bordered on the greasy or at least gave me that sensation.

                                  Had a chance to quickly study the menu and realized that there is a lot more to it than just the sushi/sashimi. I wanted to have the risotto but felt it may have been a little heavy for lunch and will leave for next time which will hopefully be very soon indeed.

                                  The discovery of Matsuri for me represents all that is best about this site and you Chowhounds. I had said on another post that I've been going to the Gilbert's Cuban Bakery (btw a great place for all cuban pastries and sweets) in the same strip mall for many years and had never even suspected that this gem was only a few storefronts down. A very sincere Thank You chowhounds for opening my eyes and enriching my palate!

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: eatnbmerry

                                    Hells yeah, glad you enjoyed it. You definitely ought to check out the rest of the menu. Lots of great items that arent sushi/sashimi. Im making it a point to revisit when I get back in town so I can get my fix of hotate yake. :)

                                    1. re: Blind Mind

                                      Yes I think am gonna try your grilled scallops with the risotto! Safe trip.

                                      1. re: eatnbmerry

                                        My girlfriend ordered the spicy tofu last night and that was delicious too. Also, try the "invitation from the white house" - never had the roll part chargrilled and it was DELICIOUS

                                        1. re: mikek

                                          I woke up today thinking about the place the fish was that good. TY for the suggestions some of their names are very kool!

                                      2. re: Blind Mind

                                        I usually disagree with most everything that comes from a Bostonian but while at Matsuri last night I remembered how much you'd harped on the hotate yake so I decided to give it a shot. Holy crap! Between the soft sweet scallop muscle and the salty roe I couldn't remember where I was. It took all my will power to not swipe the whole thing and rob my girlfriend of her fair share. When she tried it I saw that look on her face that she wanted to do the same thing to me. Luckily we amicably shared. Thanks for the advice.

                                        1. re: lax2mia

                                          God, I love that dish. I cant share it with anyone. Its my precious haha.

                                          Glad you smahtened up and listened to a Bostonian. :)

                                      1. Is it just me....???? Or are ALL the busboys at Matsuri watching you like a HAWK? They come and take your dishes so quick that you really feel a lil RUSHED!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: kushbaby

                                          For sure. We live a few blocks from Matsuri, and for this very reason only, we've decided it's a take-out only place for us. We usually only go out on weekends, and it's just not very relaxing at Matsuri. I imagine it is different on weeknights?

                                        2. Went to lunch at Matsuri recently and had a great experience as always but this time I did something I have been dying to do which is point to the meal the obviously Japanese customer was having at the table next to mine and say I want that! Their bento box lunches are very good value but I get bored. The English menu lunch bento boxes are square and large. The gentleman next to me was having lunch in a rectangle bento box. I do not know the name because I when I pointed to it and said what is that and the waitress just told me it was Japanese menu. It was a rectangle with 3 divisions one had salmon roe on rice, the next sea urchin on rice and the third was tuna (tartare style). I changed the sea urchin for eel and it was great. Now having said that my lunch friend had a regular English menu bento box that cost $8.00 and mine was $18.00.It did come with miso soup and they were super generous with the toppings,