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Feb 11, 2009 06:26 PM

Sushi SoBe - Loews Hotel Miami Beach

Oh well. Another so-so overpriced hotel sushi bar. Sushi SoBe seemed like it might have promise, given its touted association with a "Master Sushi Chef", Fuji Fujita. A little googling seemed to suggest that this "Master Sushi Chef" thing was at least somewhat legit - anyway, it seemed that there were in fact some impressive folks who had that title. Fuji apparently has been plying his craft at the Loews Lake Las Vegas in a restaurant called Marssa. The place has gone unmentioned on the CH Southwest board, and an inquiry there was responded to by a chorus of crickets. Hmph. Apparently the Loews folks are looking to roll out the sushi bars in other locations and SoBe is among the first.

The setup is basically a small "island" in the middle of an open lounge area in the hotel's lobby level, and the menu is pretty abbreviated. About a half dozen app type items, maybe 8 different types of fish for nigiri or sashimi, all pretty pedestrian options, and maybe 8-10 various maki-type items. I had a 6-piece sashimi sampler (for $25) and an osaka box-style roll topped with tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, and chile-flavored fish roe ($18).

You would think (I would, anyway), that with a 6-item sashimi sampler you would get 6 different fish. We would be wrong. Two pieces each of maguro, 2 of a white tuna tataki, 2 of a lightly smoked salmon. Yawn. Quality was passable but unexciting, the salmon was sliced somewhat oddly in a sort of sheet that made chewing through the connective tissue a bit of a chore. The box-style roll was a nice presentation but the flavors were an undistinguishable hodge-podge (the crab done in a mayo-salad style), the only thing holding much interest being the chile-spiked roe. Of course, it was nice to have gotten tuna and salmon in the sashimi sampler when they were already coming in the roll. This couldn't even begin to compare to the traditional box-style Battera Roll topped with saba that I get at Sushi Deli (and which I could have nearly 3 of for the same price).

With a beer and an 18% tip added on, my sashimi sampler and roll came to $60+. I feel like a schmuck.

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  1. We should start a fund - "Frod's I'll Take the Hit for the Team and Try the New Place" fund.

    I thought this place would've had promise also, but your description sounded too polite. I would've been furious had a sampler been so narrow in scope. You should've given them a sample of your credit card and given them three different ones to charge - that way $20 per card doesn't sound as bad as $60 on one. This makes me really, really miss Shoji.

    1. that's one less I have to try. Thanks.

      1. Anyone wearing sunglasses??? *inside joke

        1. Do we know what the issue is with obtaining quality raw fish in Miami?

          1. Thanks for the report Frod. I offered to do this when I'll be down there later this month, but nooooo, you had to instead :-)
            Anyway, thanks for being the schm. . .er, foodie pioneer, to test the sushi waters. I'll be crossing this off my list thank you. Frankly there are no good restaurants at the Loews (although I've yet to try Emeril's whose Las Vegas outpost was good) which is why I'm such a "noodge" with you folks for recs when we make our twice yearly sojourn to SoBe. Keep up the good work Frod and as lax said Thanks for taking one for the team. I'll be glad to contribute to that fund.