Moonchine Asian Bistro's lunch and dinner fare congregates the exquisite dishes and soy-sauce sensations of Vietnamese, Thai, and sushi traditions. Embark on a Southeast Asian gastro-voyage on a pontoon of crab rangoon ($6.95) before exploring the Thai-style Gang Dang red curry ($12.95)—super-charged with bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and coconut milk—or Indochine fried rice ($12.95). Sushi samplers can dabble in a variety of fish-squeezed rolls, such as the Vampire Roll ($9.95), packed with shrimp tempura, tomato, and roasted garlic to exasperate and/or melt Draculas and their ilk. Irrigate a bellyful of Asian cuisine with an appropriate libation, such as the popular Gekkeikan Cap Ace Sake ($9.50) or the Hakutsuru Sake Draft ($8.50). Banana tempura with vanilla ice cream ($6) and the fried Thai doughnut ($6) highlight the coffee and dessert menu, providing after-dinner sweet-tooth appeasement or pre-dinner appetite spoilage.
The chefs at Asia Bay Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar wrap crab, avocado, and masago inside paper-thin slivers of cucumber to create Naruto maki, just one of many offerings from the eatery's sushi bar. Along with Japanese sushi and sashimi, the menu spans other parts of Asia with red curry lobster, pad thai noodles, and mango and kani salad, which is sure to inspire the level of health necessary to run a marathon in scuba flippers.
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.
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).
There's a jewel-box quality to Little Lotus Miami. Dark wood shelves set into crimson walls hold carvings of sea creatures, and the small plates that come out the kitchen bear morsels that can be practically byzantine in presentation—two-tone paintings in sauce, tricolored arrangements of roe, delicate nests of avocado and mango. And then there's the location: a stall within the International Jewelry Center. Fittingly, the tiny restaurant earned the Miami New-Times' vote for Best Hidden Gem in 2012 for its "delicious, well-priced Asian fare," co-crafted by chefs Michael Asalie and Inyoman Atmaja.
An earlier New-Times profile outlined each chef's specialties: Atmaja masters the flame in the kitchen, grilling and frying everything from tempura oysters to chicken-skin yakitori, while Asalie, who studied under Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, helms the sushi bar. Elaborate sushi rolls continue the trend of complexity with offerings such as the Big Mac roll, a gargantuan combination of spicy tuna, snow crab, and tobiko, waved over a hamburger for extra savoriness before serving. Most plates are designed to be shared, so parties can sample the bounty of both sides of the kitchen as they trade bites at small white tables or the three stools overlooking the sushi bar.