Zuma Miami: A User's Guide
Contemporary Japanese Food | Izakaya-Style Dining | Sushi Counter | Specially Brewed Sake | 350+ Wines
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."
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.