Omakase is the Japanese word that translates to a simple message: “I’ll leave it up to you” — and is the dining tradition of letting the chef choose what is served based on seasonality, quality ingredients, and minimalist preparation. It’s typically an exclusive and pricey experience shared in an intimate setting with only a few guests. Needless to say, the Magic City is on board in celebrating meticulously crafted dinners curated by top sushi chefs. Here’s a list of Miami’s go-to faves.Read More
Omakase in South Florida: 16 Stellar Spots
Like going to Japan — without the long flight
Minimalism elevated to an art form best characterizes this Wynwood favorite. From the architecturally stunning wood beam ceiling to the thoughtfully curated omakase menu, a visit to Hiyakawa often leaves diners spellbound. The restaurant offers four omakase options, called Moriawase (meaning “selection” or “assortment” in Japanese), ranging from a traditional Tsuru platter with seven nigiri and one cut roll of popular fish like tuna, salmon, and hamachi, to the Kame, composed of more seasonal and Japan-native fish such as aji (Japanese horse mackerel) and kinmedai (golden-eye perch). Additionally, there is a 10-piece sashimi platter and a sushi and sashimi omakase — featuring six sashimi, six nigiri, and one cut roll.
Begin the omakase experience à la James Bond by discovering the “hidden” restaurant in a bustling taco stand in Wynwood. Venture to the back to find a nondescript door leading to an intimate, eight-seat omakase haven. Under the expert guidance of chef Seijun Okano, guests dine on a 15-course omakase featuring ingredients flown in from Japan. Think delicacies such as Shigoku oysters accompanied by pineapple, caviar, and tamarind-sudachi green tea; succulent bites of toro; Japanese scallops gently cooked in brown butter and yuzu sauce; and melt-in-your-mouth bites of A5 Wagyu ribeye.
This Austin-based favorite boasts an extensive menu that will delight every Japanese food lover. The menu features three omakase options: a 10-course chef’s tasting, a six-course signature tasting, and a six-course vegetarian tasting, all curated by chef de cuisine Dina Butterfield. The omakase selection changes daily and has recently included scallops with kosho butter, bluefin tataki, Kaluga caviar, and A5 hot rock with kizame and tamari.
Miss Crispy Rice
As the name suggests, crispy rice takes center stage in this omakase experience. The warm, crunchy foundation delivers the ideal blend of flavors, whether topped with truffled avocado, hamachi, or scallop and uni. Recent additions to the menu feature the Firefly, comprising baby squid in blood orange Thai chili, tuna crudo with watermelon and nam pla Thai chili, and a panko shrimp hand roll.
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Omakai Sushi (Multiple locations)
Who says that well-priced sushi can’t be found in Miami? Omakai Sushi offers an authentic omakase experience starting at just $26 per person, with options up to $84 for its deluxe, multi-course meal featuring seasonal fish. Various hand rolls, nigiri, and sashimi are available a la carte.
Katsuya (Multiple locations)
Katsuya has established a global presence, boasting locations as distant as Dubai and Qatar. The two Miami establishments combine upscale Japanese cuisine with a chic Miami ambiance. The omakase selection features luxurious offerings such as tableside toro tartare with beluga caviar, Wagyu gyoza, king crab tempura, and liquid nitrogen snowball cheesecake. Patrons can also enjoy sake flights and an extensive collection of Japanese whisky.
Opened in November 2022 by Riviera Dining Group, MILA Omakase is located on the second level of MILA’s trendy rooftop lounge. The serene, minimalist space features cherry blossom trees, sleek wooden elements, a marble countertop, and a 500-year-old hinoki wood cutting board. Under the guidance of chefs Michael Michaelidis and Reiji Yoshizawa, the 15-course, 10-seat omakase experience embraces Japan’s 72 micro-seasons while incorporating a Mediterranean twist, appeasing fans of both culinary traditions.
Even the most seasoned omakase diner will be surprised by this restaurant, which features a stunning assortment of nigiri and a generous helping of theatrics. The experience begins with receiving an envelope containing the secret password to enter the speakeasy-style dining area. Once inside, guests gather around a dimly-lit circular bar to savor a 16-course meal based on the freshest ingredients flown in from Japan. Recently, Nossa Omakase introduced a more affordable option every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. During this weekly event, diners can enjoy a slightly abbreviated version of the lavish 18-course dinner, typically priced at $375 per person, as a 16-course offering for just $185 per person.
Sushi Bar Miami Beach
Chef Francis Arguilla mans the experience at this Austin import nestled in the stylish Esmé Hotel. Expect contemporary nigiri augmented with ferments, salts, koshos, and distinctive condiments. Although the menu changes frequently, diners can look forward to unusual offerings such as aged bluefin akami with dehydrated red miso, bagel spice, and Hokkaido scallops accompanied by white truffle salt, shaved black truffle, and spherified truffle caviar.
Queen Miami Beach
Patrons opting for omakase at the restaurant nestled within the historic Paris Theater can anticipate a VIP escort to the opulent second-floor speakeasy lounge. Here, they will partake in an exclusive, eight-seat, multi-course meal. Executive Chef Max Kamakura, influenced by his Japanese-Brazilian heritage and classical training, skillfully guides diners through the experience.
This tiny Downtown spot lacks all the bells and whistles of some of its ostentatious brethren — which is just fine. The focus here is on the omakase experience that features a perfectly paced selection of nigiri, including memorable surprises like Chawanmushi, a Japanese egg custard packed with flavor, along with a miso soup to end things off. With an extremely limited seating capacity, reservations are a must.
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Azabu Miami Beach
Tucked away within the Michelin-starred restaurant Azabu Miami Beach is its exclusive sushi bar, the Den. Led by Tokyo-trained chefs, this intimate space offers a seasonal omakase menu featuring a combination of grilled and raw items, with options such as a uni or toro tasting available for an additional fee.
Chef-owner Kevin Cory masterminds the intimate and minimalist setting at Naoe, where the website boasts seafood so fresh, “it’s not fresh...it’s alive.” Initially opened in Sunny Isles, the restaurant garnered a loyal following before relocating to Brickell Key. Naoe accommodates a maximum of eight guests per seating at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., sourcing ingredients from various locations, including Florida.
Ahi Sushi Bar
Little Havana is best known as a hub for world-class Cuban fare, but omakase-style Ahi Sushi Bar breaks the mold. Established by the same chef behind Miami’s Lung Yai Tapas (just down the street), this cozy venue serves pristine sushi, sashimi, and poke bowls. Be sure to reserve a table beforehand, as seats fill up quickly.
This no-frills spot tucked away in Coconut Grove shines bright, focusing on fresh fish and an authentic Japanese experience. Those seeking an omakase fix will be well-served whether they grab a spot at the tidy bar or a shady table outdoors.
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Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Miami
This California-based import, led by husband-and-wife chef-restaurateurs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee, first introduced Miami diners to their 17-course omakase experience last summer in a temporary space. The hospitable ambiance and unique flavors were so successful that they recently made that location permanent, transforming it into a 10-seat, counter-only omakase den, staffed by a team of three chefs and one bartender. Although the new space is larger, the experience remains intimate, featuring close interaction with the chefs. As is customary with omakase, reservations are required.