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Sep 16, 2008 05:43 AM

Abokado- Miami/Brickell

This is my first post but I figured the boards were lacking info on this place that opened in Mary Brickell Village. I went for dinner this past weekend with a fairly big group and some did the Spice menu, but I did not.

First off, the service was mediocre at best. Waiter made sure he was visible, but lacked any knowledge about the food or sake options. I asked him to recommend the best roll they had to offer and he of course pointed to the two priciest items on the menu.

The rolls on the menu were lacking any sort of creativity! Most of them featured some tempura aspect, which I tend to avoid. I ended up ordering El Diablo roll and a mixed green salad with Ginger dressing. I judge most sushi places by how well they can make their ginger dressing and abokado's was alright, but was only lightly tossed with the greens. Half of the salad remained dry.

El Diablo roll has spicy snow crab, cucumber and avocado topped with striped bass, jalape wafer and spicy mayo lightly seared. Again, it was one of the few that without tempura. The roll was passable, but definately not worth returning for. Also, the restaurant refuses to sub with brown rice- which the waiter tried to convince me wasn't even that beneficial health-wise without my asking for his personal opinion.

The table shared a sampler with tuna and salmon tartares, as well as some of their "cebiches". The tartares were OK, again nothing worth noting. Generally, everyone in the table felt this way about all of the dishes, even those paying the Miami Spice price. All in all, the experience was not worth what it cost and I doubt I'll go back. The food was just OK, the kind i could probably find at any run of the mill sushi spot, and the waiter really turned me off with his two cents and lack of knowledge-- the guy didnt even know what a carafe was!!

If abokado wants to stick around I recommend a new menu and more training for servers.

p.s. the menu online is not very accurate- looks much better than what I was given there!

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  1. Hmmmm. Totally different than the experiences I've had. Not great, but not bad. But I judge sushi places by the freshness of their fish. Maybe I should focus on their ginger dressing?

    1. When you say the menu was different from what is online, do you mean the regular menu or the Miami Spice menu? Many places change their Spice menu often.

      On the (online) regular menu, out of 15 "signature" rolls, there are 6 that have a fried component which doesn't seem unusual. Was the menu you got significantly different?

      Mind you, I'm generally wary of the whole "sushi fusion" thing in the first place. To me, sushi is about pristine fish and rice. I really don't need - or want - cream cheese, avocado crema or chipotle crema slathered on it.

      Was it busy when you visited? I haven't been anywhere in Mary Brickell Village for a while, curious how those places are doing.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Still going to give Abokado a shot, haven't been yet. Was not impressed with Rosa Mexicana and it's reputation coming from NY. Went first time to first judge for ourselves (eh : /) then again with god-daughters who wanted to go before Miley Cyrus concert and that is it for us. I admire what they did with the whole area is turning into a Cocowalk kinda of thing for me. PF Chang is typical PF. Delores (the long restaurant name) wasn't bad, presented a little like a banquet hall meal, but the price is right, ambiance is great as well. Perricone's is still churning out good things.. Not sure what else is there that I haven't covered but sure you will get some other input.

        There are some interesting things going on on the fringe of the village. Have yet to venture out there yet.

        1. re: jmdhsmiami


          if you note above, i said i judge "most" sushi places- mediocre ones like abokado- based on their ginger dressing since they are lacking in the sushi department. obviously i wouldnt pass such superficial judgment on a place serving noteworthy rolls. what i meant was that if you can't make a decent ginger dressing then the likelihood that the sushi quality will supercede is quite unlikely.

          perhaps it was an off night.


          The menu i got only featured about half of the signature rolls that are online. i noticed that after my post when i checked the website. The Spice menu looked like a decent combo of the regular menu but i dont remember what exactly was on it (thanks to 3 carafes of sake).

          I understand the beauty of simplistic sushi, but im a fan of the fusion movement too-- if its done right. i just think abokado didnt.

          the place was empty when we got there just before 8pm on friday night, although it filled up later. i dont think there were many people dining outside or at the bar.

          1. re: Marsjt

            p.s. to all- please post back if you do get to go. i'd love to know about your experience!

            1. re: Marsjt

              While I agree that Abokado does leave something to be desired, I disagree about the ginger dressing argument. Matsuri's ginger dressing I find to be quite sub-par, but you cannot beat the quality of the fish there. Similarly, I love the ginger dressing at Miyako, but the quality of the fish is somewhat suspect at times.

              To sum abokado up, I went with my sister and after the meal asked her to name me a roll that she would go back there for, that she thought stuck out in the meal. Both of us drew a blank. I then asked her which rolls she thought we just flat out bad, and again, we drew a blank. It is what it is, but I do not think for those prices it should be just that. For similarly priced rolls, you may as well go to Bond St.

              1. re: mikek

                Place has gone to hell. Roll selection has shrunk by half. Pre-dinner munchies are basically out-of-the-bag mix of plantain, pita and yuca chips. Ordered tuna/salmon tartar which was chopped fish on top of out-of-the-box pre-made guacamole. We asked the waitress to cancel the rest of our order and left.

                1. re: lax2mia

                  I heard that the chef that was fired from the Regent in Bal Harbour is now there....that could be the reason, he was awful!

                  1. re: dlgc

                    wait, didn't you rave about that place when it opened and he was the chef?

                      1. re: The Chowfather

                        Chowfather, he started off great and then it went downhill very quickly. The restaurant is beautiful and was empty all the time. It was hard to find something one wanted on his menu. Chef Gerdy took a beautiful venue and chased everyone away with terrible cooking, choices and presentation.

                        Mark has taken over the food service and we have had dinner in One Bleu a few times and it has honestly been great. We had dinner there Firday night with some friends and they also thought the food was wonderful. The new bar menu is out and is very reasonably priced, with lots of choices.
                        The Christmas dinner menu looks good, and is also priced right at $45.00 a person.

          2. I went to Abokado before seeing the Cirque show and thought it was OK. I really liked the tuna tartar that came on the fried shiso leaves (dont remember the name). I also thought the hamachi jalapeno roll was good. They served an amuse as well which I believe was a tuna tartar (its been a few weeks since Ive been there, sorry for the fuzzy memory). There wasnt really anything I would say that was "bad" and those fried shiso leaves with tuna were kinda awesome. That was the only really memorable and different dish for me though. The place was relatively empty but we were also there for a 630 rez on a Saturday so I guess thats understandable. The only thing Id say was a HUGE buzzkill was the price. Our meal came in at $180 after tax and tip which was a tad absurd. I think I had 2 or 3 Basil Haydens and my date had one glass of wine and we had a few apps and rolls and a few pieces of sashimi. While I dont remember everything we had, I do remember that the meal was not too memorable (clearly) and definitely not worth the final price. I probably wont go back but that is largely in part to the fact that there are many more places to eat in the area and because the cost just doesnt justify the quality of the dishes. Its not because I thought the food was bad.

              1. re: lax2mia

                Haha, oh well!

                Im proposing we start a thread where we do a restaurant death pool for Miami. I just thought of this 1 second ago when reading this post and its becoming a more awesome idea by the second. :)

                1. re: Blind Mind

                  haha.. next up- Devito's! If its still open...??

                  1. re: Marsjt

                    A restaurant death pool? BRILLIANT! Count me in. I propose everyone pick 5 or 10 places they think will go down the tubes during 2009. Being from out of town I'm obviously at a huge disadvantage but I'd be willing to participate.
                    On another note, my wife and I will be making our semi-annual sojourn to South Beach in February. By pure coincidence we will be there during the SB Wine and Food Festival. We booked at the Loews but now my wife is getting a little spooked by the possibility of the mongol hordes descending on the place and we are thinking of moving our base camp north, possibly to the Regent Bal Harbour. I've seen reports of 1 Bleu and mention of La Goulue. two part question:
                    1) what other Bal Harbour (or North Beach) recs do you have? My wife is really into Steak, Italian and we can get away with Mexican/Cuban. Oriental is unfortunately a "no go";
                    2) we still want to hit restaurants in the design district and places like Sardinia and Talula. Would the cost of cabbing it be prohibitive enough that we would be better off renting a car? Likely would be a three night stay.
                    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

                    1. re: Rondo

                      Info on Bal Harbour and surrounds on this thread (it's somewhat off-topic here) ->
                      Google map of North Beach and surrounds options here ->

                        1. re: Rondo

                          In Surfside you will find Ragazzi and Pechacante both good italian restauants.

                          The Regent has Mark and the food is good.

                          In Adventura The Grill on the Alley has great steaks, salads and fish. Its good for lunch or dinner.

                2. re: lax2mia

                  Abokado isn't closed permanently. It closed temporarily and has now re-opened for dinner service from Thursday-Sunday.

                  1. re: kellymel13

                    From the posts I have read, it doesn't seem worth going too. Have there been significant changes?

                    Is bond street good enough for some fun maki roll not too serious sort of thing to do?