The Michelin-starred, sushi-only original location of Azabu in New York, founded in 2008, has expanded its concept with a full dining room and bar in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.
“Our goal is to introduce world-class Japanese cuisine to Miami,” says Mahmood Abousalem, managing director of the Miami Beach restaurant. “The goal is to expand the Azabu brand nationally."
A charcoal robata grill in the open kitchen allows for a lengthier, izakaya-style menu featuring corn tempura with curry salt ($8), yakitori chicken skewers ($12), udon soup with shrimp tempura ($20) and Wagyu tataki with truffle ponzu ($24).
Wood decor surrounds a 6-foot bonsai tree. Another bonsai anchors the terrace with umbrellas, floor lanterns and yellow banquettes. An 11-seat cypress sushi counter is concealed behind a Japanese curtain and door, where reservations are required for the chef’s tasting ($120 or $150).
"We wanted to offer our guests a true omakase experience, just like something you would experience in Tokyo, where chefs are giving you the best, freshest ingredients sourced from Japan and locally," Abousalem says.
A marble bar showcases 30 sakes and 45 Japanese whiskies. The Spring in Tokyo cocktail incorporates lemongrass shochu, yuzu and egg white ($15).