After must anticipation, award-winning chef and restaurateur Tom Aviv has finally debuted his first U.S. restaurant, Branja. Housed inside Miami’s Upper Buena Vista, it offers dishes reflective of Aviv’s Israeli background in an industrial, vintage setting.
Branja’s menu pulls inspiration from around the globe, with a heavy influence on Israeli cuisine and recipes. On the menu, diners will find unique takes on classics like the Falafish, a falafel and juice fish hybrid, and Fishwarma, made with a spiced fish mix that emulates classic shawarma. Other creative dishes include Krouv — “Cabbage” in Hebrew — which mimics a slow-cooked short rib, and the Tuktuk Kebab, prepared with Thai ingredients like tamarind glaze. Branja offers Layali Beirout, a modern take on a Lebanese classic, and Halva Crack Pie made with tahini to end on a sweet note. Cocktails like the colorful Purple Rain, made with za’atar-infused tequila and butterfly pea and rimmed with salt and dry za’atar as an ode to a classic Margarita, round out the menu.
Aviv was born and raised in Tel Aviv, and became a household name after winning MasterChef Israel in 2016, even though he had no formal culinary training. Since winning, he has opened several restaurants in Israel and Morocco.
Located in Upper Buena Vista, Branja’s retro, 3,000-square-foot space is split between a large outdoor terrace and an intimate indoor space. The 12-seat Chef’s Table offers two omakase-style seatings for guests each night with a side of retro Miami — the iconic bar from the Delano Hotel’s Florida Room, designed by Lenny Kravitz, is repurposed as the Chef’s Table. Outside, the covered terrace boasts a colorful stained-glass ceiling with fixtures like terrazzo-top tables and reclaimed synagogue benches, and a large mural by Tel Aviv-based artist Paul Curran, while guests dine with upcycled 1970s cutlery and pastel ceramic plates.
Branja is located at 5010 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami and is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, call 786-765-5555.