Red Koi Thai & Sushi Lounge?s interior is as striking and colorful as the symbolic fish it takes its name from. Walking inside, you'll find a high-hanging chandelier illuminating Japanese paintings and ornamental bamboo suspended against a backdrop of tomato-red walls. The Japanese minimalism that defines the first-floor dining area also features upstairs in a slick, straight-lined lounge, where a full bar stands ready to complement a candlelit meal or add spice to weekly karaoke and DJ events.
This dramatic presentation extends to the Coral Gables restaurant's cuisine: diners may find their appetizers arranged to resemble petals on a flower or their sushi rolls stacked into a tower. That?s thanks to Bangkok native and resident chef Tasha Tang, who also incorporates creative, globally inspired ingredients such as guava paste and sweet plantains. In addition to artfully wrapped sushi, diners can also sample traditional Thai dishes, including five types of curry and pad thai.
At Siam Oishi, Bangkok native Poompaka "Pio" Komolvasri plates sushi, japanese noodles, and traditional Thai cuisine using skills she honed at Le Cordon Bleu in Miami. Handmade dishes imported from Thailand enhance her already artful presentation of sushi, which range from hand rolls to larger 10-piece maki.
The delicate scent of lemongrass and galangal wafts from a bowl of jumbo shrimp, whose coconut-milk broth belies the fiery undercurrent of jalapeño chilies. Nuanced dishes such as these have earned Chef Johnson Teh's Yuga Restaurant its status as Best Japanese Restaurant in 2011. His pan-Asian dishes were heralded in a New Times article as “subtle yet stunning, a dainty but daring calibration of sweet, tart, salty, and spicy that ignites into singular bursts of exquisite taste.” Not content to linger in the kitchen, Chef Teh further deepens the public's appreciation of Asian traditions by hosting themed dinners whose topics have included macrobiotic cooking, Filipino comfort food, and tips for discerning cryptic fortune cookies.
There's nothing quite as satisfying as a meal that's made from scratch. The chefs at The Little Asian Kitchen know this. That's why they go the extra mile to prepare as much as they can in-house, ensuring that diners receive the most authentic, least jet-lagged dishes possible. Their home-cooked menu blends Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese classics, including savory pho topped with thin slices of beef, pad thai sprinkled with crunchy bean sprouts and peanuts, and more than a dozen types of sushi.
Situated in Miami’s Little Havana district, where you typically would find Latin restaurants, is the pleasant surprise of contemporary sushi bar Mr. Yum. With its stark white tables, concrete floor and vermilion-colored wall accent, this restaurant is hip, funky and a bit loud. Owner Bond Trisransri is going for a bit of the South Beach flair, and each plate that is presented to you furthers the notion of food as performance art piece. Its signature dish is the Havana roll, a concoction of tempura white fish, avocado, cucumbers, masago and spicy mayo, while the unique menu offers both Thai and Japanese specialties, including Y-shaped Thai doughnuts for dessert. Although parking is typically difficult on Calle Ocho, the adjacent parking lot makes it that much easier to enjoy Mr. Yum.
At 2B Asian Bistro, it's actually possible to begin your dinner with a bag of gold. That's because the Bag of Gold appetizer uncannily resembles its namesake—its tiny fried pouches contain shrimp, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. The appetizer paves the way for the menu's larger dishes, which present diners with a choice: Japanese or Thai? The former category covers teriyaki entrees as well as sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls. Specialty rolls include the Golden Dragon—spicy tuna and mango topped with plantain slices—and the Pink Snow Roll, smoked salmon and avocado wrapped in soy paper. As for the Thai plates, they range from curry to Bangkok duck paired with cinnamon-plum sauce. You can even order your pad thai accompanied by an entire lobster, rather than just its tail and signature top hat.