Japanese Restaurants in Brownsville

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French entrepreneur Siben N’Ser founded the first Planet Sushi in Paris in 1998. Its combination of sculptural cuisine and sleek, modern interior design quickly caught on. Within a few years, he had built sister restaurants in Miami Beach; Ibiza, Spain; and in a handful of towns across France. At the Miami location, purple lights lend a nightclub vibe to the dining room, where guests can watch the chefs work via several flat-screen TVs. Creative maki such as the crab- and asparagus-filled crunch salmon roll radiate color from plates. Starters such as tuna-avocado tartare brim with French influences, and desserts such as lemon sorbet celebrate Florida’s famous citrus. Chefs also shape whimsical specialty dishes such as the Planet Sandwich, which stuffs spicy tuna, American cheese, and avocado between triangular slices of “bread” made from rice.

Guests seeking an extra-romantic atmosphere can toast glasses of sake in a private room or head to the patio to reshape tuna maki into hearts beneath the stars. Alternatively, a fleet of scooters delivers most of the menu to homes and offices.

26 SW 8th St
Miami,
FL
US

Tony Chan's Water Club's menu bridges the gustatory gap between China and Japan with a menu that includes both Hong Kong–style Cantonese cuisine and fresh sushi. Earning their food a Zagat rating of "very good to excellent," the chefs accessorize stir-fried orders of chicken, seafood, and vegetables with many different sauces, lending spicy, savory, or tangy flavors to the entrees. At the counter, they carefully arrange orders of nigiri and specialty sushi rolls, which can include premium fillings of shrimp tempura, jalapeños, and parmesan cheese.

The spacious dining room tempts diners with two distinct views: floor-to-ceiling windows gaze directly out onto the waterfront, while a similar wall of windows enables diners to peer into the kitchen. Behind the glass, watched chefs stay calm as they wok-fry entrees and hand-write inspiring quotations on grains of rice.

DoubleTree Grand Hotel, 1717 N Bayshore Dr, Ste 131
Miami,
FL
US

Sushi Leno’s chefs merge Japanese and Chilean dishes to satisfy cravings for empanadas and sashimi in one stop. After visitors enter the 75-seat restaurant and take a peek behind the sushi bar, the diverse menu diverts their attention to pasta dishes and Chilean-inspired sandwiches such as the chacarero, with steak, steamed green beans, and an avocado spread. With dishes that cater to a wide range of tastes, Sushi Leno can whip up a memorable meal after a long day of disposing grass clippings down a neighbor’s chimney.

4615 NW 72nd Ave
Miami,
FL
US

Miyagi Sushi Bar & Grill's menu brims with Asian-inspired eats and fresh fish rolled into succulent sushi. The chopstick-ready morsels range from the salmon skin hand roll ($3.75) to the elaborate Miyagi roll, in which spicy tuna, black tobiko, shrimp tempura, cucumber, and cream cheese huddle together beneath a delectable drizzle of tempura flakes, eel, and avocado ($15.95). Visitors craving cooked comestibles can dive into stir-fries, salads, or prepped dishes such as the Tsunami teriyaki with flaky red snapper stuffed with shrimp, crab, fish eggs, and scallions ($16.95). Reward taste buds for not playing with their Nintendos during dinner with an ice-cream-covered gourmet cheesecake tempura ($6.45), or feast eyes on the restaurant’s modish décor, full of clean lines and crimson walls.

10480 SW 72nd St
Miami,
FL
US

Recently profiled in the Miami Herald, Sake Blue crafts freshly made sushi rolls and classic Asian entrees with a contemporary twist. Hungry eyes can peruse upscale lunch and dinner menus stocked with sushi rolls, shareable plates, and main dishes, and adult mouths sip on more than 30 types of sake. Chilled lobster, red pepper, cucumber, and avocado join forces to create lobster sui sushi rolls ($16), and the dinnertime tuna poke crudos’ combination of yellowfin tuna and mango dazzles with more tropical flair than a hermit crab juggling coconuts ($13). Diners also delight in the sichuan beef with potato gratin ($25), and munching on the wok-charred salmon relaxes incisors more effectively than gnawing on a neighbor’s car tires ($19).

225 Altara Ave
Coral Gables,
FL
US

Zuma Miami: A User's Guide

Contemporary Japanese Food | Izakaya-Style Dining | Sushi Counter | Specially Brewed Sake | 350+ Wines
Sample Menu
  • Cold dish: scallop tartare
  • Grilled dish: beef skewers
  • Sushi: spicy-yellowtail roll
  • Drink: Biwa No Choju sake, which is made especially for the restaurant with water from Lake Biwa
Where to Sit: Grab a spot at the counter to watch master chefs practice the complex arts of rolling sushi and searing meat over the open flame of the robata grill. Alternatively, diners who arrive via boat (the restaurant is one of the few in the area with boat access and a bayside entrance) can enjoy river views while keeping an eye on their vessel from Zuma's terrace.

Inside Tip: The Miami New Times urges diners not to overlook the spicy beef tenderloin, which it ranked as one of the best dishes of 2012. It calls the dish "so tender that you question the validity of beef tasting this sublime."

Vocab Lesson
Izakaya: a Japanese style of dining where dishes are brought to the table in a consistent, casual fashion designed to encourage sharing.
Shōchū: an alcohol native to Japan; depending on the region where it's made, it can be distilled from everything from sweet potatoes to barley to brown sugar. This gives each variety a distinct flavor, much like scotch.

While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Treat yourself to some last-minute primping at Exhale spa, which, like Zuma, is located in the Epic Hotel.
After: Enjoy an after-dinner cocktail at Avenue D Downtown (8 S. Miami Avenue), a 1920s-themed bar with live jazz music.

If You Can’t Make It, Try This Like Zuma, Naoe (661 Brickell Key Drive) has been named one of the best Japanese restaurants in Miami. It also has an impressive sake selection—the chef comes from a family of sake brewers in Japan, and he imports their blend directly to the restaurant.

270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami Shores,
FL
US