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.
Shing Wang Restaurant may not have the traditional Chinese flair in décor, but one can still enjoy the delightful menu. Although it offers such favorites as vegetable spring rolls, crispy soy chicken, chicken lo mein and lemongrass chicken, it’s mostly frequented for its Taiwanese bubble teas. The bubble tea comes in two sizes – regular and large – and can be made in a variety of ways, to suit the open-minded tea drinker. Flavors include almond, papaya, lychee, black sesame, coffee, green tea and passion fruit, nearly all of which are fan favorites with a certain segment of the locals who frequent Shing Wang. The interior is simple, with lots of mirrors, blonde wooden café tables and tile flooring, making takeout orders the most popular option.
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.
Cofara Restaurant’s chefs Yoshio Takahashi and Mr. Bom decorate the dining room's all-white interior with vibrantly colorful maki, Thai cuisine, and seafood. As customers glance around the room, they see the chefs’ careful plating presentation atop tables, which may include arrangements of ruby-red roe sparkling atop a sushi roll's yellow sauce or leafy greens contrasting with a whole orange lobster tail. Thai curry and noodle dishes slake cravings for spicy-sweet flavors, and a selection of creative ceviches mixes Asian and local flavors for a unique take on fusion.
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.