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sushi and seafood in south beach

  • g

hi folks, going to south beach for a couple of days at the end of the month and i would really apprecciate your help for the best sushi bar and fish that i can find in the south beach area or within an acceptable taxi ride, i am looking for traditional sushi, (sushi and sashimi mainly, not those americanized rolls) with the freshest fish and variety possible, i hope you can help with this sushi crave! thanks !! garz.

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  1. You are in trouble with sushi: Bond st and Toni's are your best bet. There is no killer sushi here...

    Seafood you can do better at Joes Stone Crab (expensive) and Alta Mar (moderate).

    1. I have not been in a while, but for seafood, consider Nemo as well.

      1. I hit Oishi Thai in North Miami beach this weekend. It's was some of the best and freshest sushi i've had in a very long time. The owner is a former Nobu chef and carries some of their specials, like the rock shrimp and black miso cod. Both of which were incredible.

        1. I agree with tpigeon on Bond Street at The Townhouse Hotel, but the dungeon-like atmosphere is bit of a turnoff. I think the best sushi is at Shoji at 1st & Collins, and Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road at Pennsylvania - both have consistently outstanding sushi and sashimi, with Shoji having extraordinary specials and rare finds. They also both have extensive sake lists. Pricey, no doubt. For other seafood dishes, the clams at Sardinia, the fish & chips at Clarke's, the mussels at Oliver's, the salmon at China Grill, the crispy prawns at Nemo, the sea bass at Prime 112, and the seared scallops at The Food Gang on 94th.

          10 Replies
          1. re: ciao_hound

            Ciao - how recently have you been to Shoji? It used to be a favorite of ours too but the original sushi chef left and it took a rather dramatic downhill dive. Haven't been back in a long time.

            I've also been disappointed at Sushi Samba more than once, including most recent visit when the hamachi was inedibly un-fresh, we said so, and they couldn't have cared less.

            The sushi bar in Evolution at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel was recently touted by New Times. We tried their sushi once while snacking at the bar and were somewhat underwhelmed, but perhaps it's improved. Article says the chef came from Yakko San which is a good sign.

            Speaking of which, if the OP is willing to travel about 20-30 minutes off South Beach, Hiro's Yakko San in North Miami Beach is a fantastic place for spanking fresh fish. They do not do nigiri or maki but they will do several sashimi and usuzukuri items as well as (and primarily) lots of cooked Japanese tapas-style dishes. Specials board will have whatever is the freshest catch of the day (often multiple varieties of local snapper, tilefish, etc.) plus occasional items brought in from Japan.

            1. re: Frodnesor

              If I may jump on the bandwagon, I couldn't agree more with Mr. Frodnesor. Sushi Samba is a scene, sometimes a great scene, but the food is an afterthought. The sushi is second-rate in both quality and freshness. Shoji is also expensive, mediocre fish. Of course it pairs perfectly with the below-Fifth types who dine there. I would recommend Yoko's. The fish has been fresh and tasty on my recent visits (about three months ago, actually). Good service, and not too expensive. It's not the best location (9th and Alton), but that's usually a good sign when it comes to South Beach dining.

              1. re: Miami Danny

                Forgot about Yoko's not bad (haven't been in years though...). The ritz was good too the time I tried it, so it may be an option.

                1. re: tpigeon

                  Is that the same Yokos that used to be in Coral Gables on Ponce near US1?

              2. re: Frodnesor

                Replying to Frodnesor and Miami Danny - being South Beach, we all know that consistently outstanding food of any sort is a difficult task. Regarding Garz, the original poster, I made my recommendations based on more hits than misses; yes, Samba can be a scene, but if you go when it's not slammed, the food and atmosphere are quite solid, the sushi fresh, complemented by interesting menus. I was last at Shoji about 2 months ago. And with all due respect to Danny, Yoko's is disgusting - we were there last month and course after course sucked at any price. It's not even the same ballpark as Shoji. In the end, I stress inconsistencies occur all over town.

                1. re: ciao_hound

                  I can forgive - well, maybe not forgive, but tolerate - bad service in South Beach. What I have trouble stomaching (sorry) is bad or unfresh fish at a sushi place. It's only compounded when you're sitting right at the sushi bar, you tell someone their fish is no good, and they don't care.

                  Perhaps the ultimate point is that you're not going to find the greatest sushi on South Beach (though I've never tried Bond St. and haven't been to Toni's in about a hundred years).

                  1. re: ciao_hound

                    Same Yoko, Mr. Frodnesor. CH-I was trying to be gentle with both SS and Shoji. I have both laughed and cried at both places. Laughed at the prices and service, and cried at the poorly cut, not-fresh, below-grade sushi. The whole idea of a piece of raw fish as big as your hand (like at Shoji), was invented for people who don't understand the idea of small thing/big taste, the basis of sushi, and to mask the lack of quality or freshness of the fish ("well, it's not that good, but at least it's a big piece!"). And I agree that Shoji is not in the same ballpark as Yoko!

                    1. re: Miami Danny

                      OK, a sushi update. I took the posts earlier to heart and hit Toni's for the first time in about a year. The bottom line? $235 later (for 2), we had everything from yellowtail, to sea urchin, to giant clam, to scallop, to tuna, to masago, to tamago, to tempura rolls, to yellowtail collar and beyond. Verdict? Sucked. Sucked. Sucked. The edemame came room temperature, unsalted. The tuna tataki was paper thin, nowhere close as good and thick as Doraku's (IMHO the best tataki on the beach; their only standout commodity dish), every roll came with warm rice which bogged down and robbed flavors and sensations, the giant clam was tasteless and tough, the scallop sushi was way too fishy, the tamago omelette had zero sweetness, and the rest of the sushi/sashimi was average quality at best. The only standout was the yellowtail collar, which was large, hot, savory and naturally flavorful. And yes, for $235 we had several different cold sake's, the characteristics about which our server was absolutely 100% clueless. Zero wow factor for $115pp. Maybe it's time to hit Bond Street again! :-)

                      1. re: ciao_hound

                        Our sushi just isn't that great is the bottom line.

                2. re: ciao_hound

                  Shoji used to be our favorite, but we actually walked out of there about 6 months ago. Since Shin-san left, it has become a shell of its former self. The sushi was awful (not fresh) and the attitude of management is "tough."

                  Shoji Sushi should be avoided at all costs.

                3. Joe's Stone Crab re-opens October 15th.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Miami Danny

                    Great, now we need tips on how to get in without waiting an hour. ;)

                    1. I agree that Bond Street is great sushi and I like the atmosphere there. Thats my personal taste though. I also like Samba, but it is a tad overpriced and since youre looking for traditional Japanese, it would be for you as the rolls, etc tend to be more Americanized. Tony's is great too and Id recommend giving it a try yourself seeing that most people here recomended it and only ciaohound bashed it. I also like Doraku on Lincoln Road.

                      Bottom line is that the best sushi does not exist on Miami Beach. If you want the best, go to Matsuri on Bird Rd and Red Rd at the Red Bird Plaza. I believe it reopens on October 15th. Best sushi in Miami, hands down. If you know Japanese, they have a Japanese menu that has many different items that dont exist on the English menu. The place is loaded with Japanese people, which usually means the food is good. I love the hotate yaki there. The scallops are seared with garlic and you get the whole scallop, not just the muscle as found at 99.9% of restaurants and supermarkets. The sushi is incredible as well.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Blind Mind

                        Sushi Saigon on washington and 11th- best japanese/ vietnamese place, miamis best kept secret. beautiful, clean restaurant with wonderful service and incredible food. we go several times a week, havent had a bad meal there. we will be back in a few weeks after being gone for the summer and that is all we are craving!
                        find atmosphere, food and price way superior to nobu. sushi samba is all scene, our sushi was insulting, should not have left the kitchen and horrible service. though i understand why its busy, nice to sit outside on lincoln road. i wouldn't go back though.

                        same with alta mar for seafood- not fresh fish. i am definitely spoiled from spending my summers with all the fresh fish in new england, but i have given alta mar a fair shake and DO NOT recommend it!

                        1. re: Blind Mind

                          Quick clarification-When you say the whole scallop, are you saying they serve the coral, as well as the muscle? Because that sounds delicious!

                          1. re: Miami Danny

                            Yes and yes. It kicks major ass and is probably one of my favorite things to eat in Miami. Check it out sometime.

                            1. re: Blind Mind

                              Holy moly-I'm there the day they open-I live for offal

                        2. i can't say enough BAD things about bond st sushi in miami. for the same price, so have great sushi at nobu, where the food and service is actually good

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: etatsunis1234

                            Interesting. Two posts to your resume on the same topic and no others. . .our minds run wild curious to the agenda behind your puerile antics