Dreams of Miami often go hand-in-hand with dreams of Cuban cuisine, but given the city’s proximity to the ocean, it’s no surprise that seafood-centric Japanese food has also found its sea legs in Miami.
Armed with fresh ingredients, inspired decor, and creative menus that both break and honor tradition, these three restaurants are lending new takes to Japanese meals and showcasing the culinary innovation and excellence making Miami’s rising food scene one not to miss.
Sushi Garage honors the Japanese cultural concept of prioritizing both culinary beauty and taste. Housed in a former car body shop—hence the name—the restaurant’s design is just as important as its food. Beneath 200 metal koi fish constructed by artist Alberto Cavalleri, diners can dig into simple but inventive seafood dishes like the unagi white pepper rosemary aioli roll or the miso maple seabass, all made with fresh ingredients from around Miami.
Designed to mirror a sultry, Tokyo-style cocktail lounge, Kaido allows guests to move seamlessly from drinks to dinner to dancing. Located in Miami’s Design District, Kaido encourages guests to follow a familiar progression: Begin with an innovative cocktail like the Hokkaido Sour, dreamed up and carefully constructed by their in-house mixologist; cozy in for dinner, their menu designed by renowned chef Brad Kilgore and offering everything from seafood and vegetable fondue to robatayaki; and end the night by heading to their second-floor lounge for an evening of DJ-curated music.
Those interested in intimate experiences should gather their closest friends and wander into Hiden. The omakase-style restaurant—one in which there is no menu and the chef selects what dishes diners will enjoy—accommodates only eight guests at a time. Seasonal meals of seven to eight courses created with both local and imported Japanese ingredients make this place extra hot—secure reservations far in advance, and leave your expectations at the door.