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Feb 27, 2010 11:15 AM

South Beach - Best Italian (Northern) & Sushi

Will be going to SoBe in 2 weeks. Need dinner recommendations for 4 nights. We will be staying at The Hotel and would prefer something within walking distance, but will take taxi if necessary. Right now looking at Wish (located at The Hotel) and Talula (taxi ride). Wondering which Italian you would recommend. Not looking for traditional Italian (red sauce and meatballs). Looking at Spiga and Grazie (which are close to hotel) and Osteria del Teatro, Quattro and Scarpetta. Which of these Italians would you recommend?

Also, which restaurant for sushi would you recommend? Shoji is close to the Hotel as well as Toni's Sushi Bar. Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road was recommended. Just wondering if one of the closer sushi restaurants might be better.

Thanks for you help.

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    1. I would go to Osteria and/or Scarpetta -- Osteria will be closer.

      What about doing bond st for sushi. I think they are the best in SOBE (not that it is saying much...)

      2 Replies
      1. re: tpigeon

        TP: I'm not a big sushi fan but is bondst really the best in south beach? That's good to know. Is Osteria still as good as it used to be? Havent been in years.

      2. Sushi Samba is really that good. Not a fan of chains but I'd eat there every night if this were possible.

        I also really like Nobu but it is more of a scene.

        1. The most I can say about sushi in South Beach is at least it won't make you sick. That said, Shoji went downhill years ago when the original chef left and it never recovered. I haven't been in a while so can't say if it's gotten better. Sushi Samba is a step above Shoji, but not great. Toni's is the type of place you'd find anywhere. Though I haven't been to Bond St. in a while, I'd take TP's advice.

          If you want something unique, and don't mind a hike in a cab, there's Naoe. Like nothing else in Miami. Chef is completely serious about his ingredients. You start with a bento box (not what you're thinking) of incredibly intricate small dishes. From there it's a la carte with whatever he's gotten locally or flown in that day. Sakes and soy sauces are from family brewers. Again, it's a bit of a hike, but it's a meal you'll remember.

          9 Replies
          1. re: lax2mia

            NAOE is the only good sushi I have had in Miami.

            1. re: tpigeon

              Agreed. Although I'm going to give Oishi Thai another shot. And for me, Miyako in South Miami (Dadeland area) is good enough to satisfy most low-level sushi cravings.

              175 Sunny Isles Boulevard, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

              1. re: tpigeon

                Have you tried Sushi Deli / Japanese Market?

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  Good point. I've got to get out there. Are there good and bad times to go? It's a small place so I don't want to show up during rush hour (unless it is always rush hour).

                  1. re: MRPR

                    It is tiny and popular but it's not like there's a line out the door. Probably best to go after the 12-1 lunch hour. They close early, though - 7pm weekdays, 8pm weekends - so it's tough to get there for dinner.

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      And silence your cell before you sit down. Trust me.

                    2. re: MRPR

                      Good sushi, sometimes.

                      I got accused of stealing some sushi one time. They went back, checked the tapes, realized they made a mistake, then served me some sushi that was not up to their usual standards. I've been pretty sore since then and have not gone back. I know some other people have complained about quality here and there, though don't expect too much if you are going to go in and order crunchy rolls and whatnot.

                      1. re: Icantread

                        Icantread, are you talking about Sushi Deli?

                        1. re: Frodnesor

                          Yeah, I found it kind of funny, until I got a so-so piece of sushi. Otherwise, my experiences there were top-notch.

              2. Matsuri is best in miami hands down. I would only send someone to naoe who wants to experience authentic japanese, similar to hiros yakko san. For your standard sushi dinner you cant beat Matsuri. Bond Street is def best on sobe. Shiso near publix (i think thats the name) has delicious fish but the service sucks.

                6 Replies
                1. re: morganeats

                  Wrong. NAOE, while qutie a bit more expensive, is far superior to Matsuri. It is not even close.

                  Shiso is "under renovations" now. We will see if it remains.

                  1. re: tpigeon

                    NAOE is much more expensive and you have to get the bento in order to get sashimi. While i can appreciate the interest in NAOE as a unique restaurant and the appeal of authentic japanese food, i would not feel comfortable recommending NAOE to your average sushi eater. I feel that the average sushi eater would not appreciate the bento box and like many people ive talked to, leave hungry, somewhat unsatisfied and with a hole in their pocket. If NAOE had the option of just getting sushi and skipping the bento, it would be a different story. Matsuri has very high quality fish and still the option of some japanese cooked dishes for those who want to try something new/different.

                    1. re: morganeats

                      Their fish is better than average, but not "very high quality".

                      Maybe it's just the people I tend to go with who get a variety of rolls. . .
                      For that level of sushi, I'm partial to Katana (on north Beach, probably a closer drive from South Beach). Incidentally, they recently bought out Shima in Miami Lakes.

                      1. re: Icantread

                        ok i agree that the rolls at matsuri are blah, but the sashimi is very very good. I like katana bc its fun but its no where in the same league as matsuri

                        1. re: morganeats

                          I actually like Yakko San's sashimi better than Matsuri

                          1. re: tpigeon

                            I agree, but wish they had more sushi/sashimi options bc I dont adore the funky japanese fare