Kone specializes in sushi hand rolls known in Japan as temaki—te, which means hand, and maki, which means roll. These tiny wonders rely on a strong Brazilian influence, and contrary to traditional sushi principles and intense protesting from old-school fishermen, they are crafted in a cone shape. Though Kone has more than 60 temaki recipes in salmon and tuna, patrons can modify rolls or create their own to specifications for pairing with a wide array of appetizers, salads, sashimi, and traditional-style house rolls.
Located in South Beach less than 1,000 feet from the Atlantic Ocean, Kone's modern dining room harbors a black-and-white color scheme, with glints of red in chairs and wall segments. In a separate lounge area, diners can also sip on Sakerinha, the sake version of Brazil's most popular liquor drink, or dish on a brazilian waffle treat called brigadeiro, made per tradition with chocolate and fresh fruit.
King Kone reinvents the typical sushisperience by hand rolling fresh and portable morsels. The chefs hand craft an array of tapered, cone-style arrangements, with select chefs capable of constructing rolls in a stopwatch-shattering 10–15 seconds. Chopstick through traditional combinations such as the salmon, eel, avocado, and scallions of the Shock Kone ($5.99–$6.99), which complements the rogue innovation of the coconut shrimp roll ($5.99–$6.99), an amalgam of tempura shrimp, coconut, pineapple, and scallions. King Kone’s ingredients can also be liberated of their oppressive vestments and by traveling in a no-rolls-barred rice bowl ($7.99). The bar also fills ice-cream cones with sweet and succulent spreads including nutella and strawberry flavors ($3.99).
Kung Fu Kitchen & Sushi suppresses burning appetites for elegant tastes with a flavorful menu of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese delights. Satisfy yearnings for delicious art by partaking in a selection of sushi, including the customer favorite Kung Fu crunch roll, in which crab sticks, avocado, and cream cheese huddle under an umbrella of spicy tuna to stay dry from a tangy eel sauce ($15).
Founded by 2011 and 2010 James Beard Best Restaurateur semifinalist Myles Chefetz, Shoji Sushi impresses epicurean palates with maki the Miami New Times calls "cutting edge." The menu's 27 rolls carefully balance flavors and textures, from jalapeño peppers' spice to deep-fried oysters' crunch, and cooked entrees range from crisp tempura to Maine lobster that's grilled or steamed, served within the mocha-hued interior of clean lines and dark woods.
From the moment you walk in, it's clear that Moonchine Asian Bistro is up to far more than pan-Asian eats. High-backed banquettes, jet-black walls, and soft red lighting all give rise to a clubby vibe; after 9 p.m., Moonchine turns into a full-on lounge with the help of dance DJs, bottle service, and even the occasional poetry performance or high-stakes geography bee. Miami New Times hailed Moonchine as "the gem of the Mimo District," advising guests to "arrive around 6 p.m., have a few rolls, and then head to the music lounge to warm up the dancing shoes."
Indoors and in the huge garden area, bartenders keep spirits high by mixing specialty cocktails and recommending bottles of sake from an extensive list. Which isn't to say that food's an afterthought—indeed, chefs have a lot on their plates, so to speak, juggling Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Korean culinary traditions. House-made kimchi mingles with creative sushi rolls, classic Thai and Indochinese dishes anchor one large corner of the menu, and there's even an almost-traditional bistro section: mussels, duck, and a "thai burger," each given light Asian accents of their own.
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.