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 jazz, karaoke, and DJ events.
This dramatic presentation extends to the Coral Gables restaurant's cuisine: diners may find their rolls arranged to resemble petals on a flower or stacked into a tower shaped like tragedy. 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.
Sawa's chefs creatively cook up the distinctly different cuisines of Japan and the Mediterranean, fusing the flavors into a menu of tapas, soups, sushi, and kebabs. Prevent an unnecessary belly vacancy and entertain taste buds with small plates of tempura vegetables with honey-yuzu sauce ($6.75) or pan-fried frog legs in roasted garlic aioli ($9.75). More than 20 sushi options, such as the Black and White roll of cream cheese, caviar, sesame seeds, scallions, and lobster ($12), keep company with six grilled kebabs, including the filet-mignon kebab ($18). A wide selection of beers, sakes, cocktails, and wines patiently wait to compliment mains—such as the pan-seared chilean sea bass ($25) and grilled lamb rack in a jalapeño mint-demi reduction ($24)—on their impeccable taste and ability to sit completely still.
Sushi may be synonymous with Japan, but Chef Adrian Rojas draws on international influences when creating Miyako Japanese Restaurant's menu. In addition to working in modern sushi bars, Chef Rojas has cooked his way through Europe and South America. The flavors he picked up along the way add tasty flair to each plate, whether he's rolling up sushi or cooking a noodle dish.
Chef Rojas and his team infuse unexpected notes into hot entrees such as breaded, deep-fried pork, or spicy chicken sautéed with onions and carrots. But it's the sushi rolls that best represent the kitchen's culinary fusion. The red kryptonite roll, for instance, combines spicy tuna with jalapeños, while the coconut shrimp roll holds tropical ingredients including guava and mango. Equal detail is lavished on presentation—rolls and sashimi can be strapped into tiny life vests and loaded into sushi boats, or served atop live models during body sushi events.
The chefs at Yukihana furl both Japanese and Korean fare into a menu stuffed with schools of sushi and fresh entrees prepared tableside. Guests can control their dinner's destiny with Korean barbecue and shabu shabu platters, and servers set up tabletop grills for parties of two or more to char thinly sliced beef bulgogi or spicy marinated chicken breast, which can be wrapped in fresh lettuce cups and seasoned with scallions and Korean pepper. For shabu shabu meals, guests sit around a pot of boiling broth and swish an assortment of fresh meats and vegetables in the simmering mixture to soak up savory flavors.
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.
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.