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Omakase in South Florida: 14 Stellar Spots

Like going to Japan — without the long flight

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Omakase is the Japanese word that translates to the simple message of “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 an exclusive and pricey experience often shared in an intimate setting with only a handful of 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 favs.

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Sushi By Bou

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Sushi By Bou first made its mark in New York City as a compact eight-seat speakeasy at The Sanctuary Hotel. It’s since found its way to South Florida (first in the luxe former Versace Mansion in South Beach, then tucked away in a Marriott Residence Inn in Pompano Beach. Fans will want to make their way north to Fort Lauderdale, where the latest outpost boasts a disco-inspired theme alongside an omakase that won’t break the bank. Plus, indulging on Toro nigiri under a disco ball while Gloria Gaynor belts out “I Will Survive” is a surefire way to a memorable night.

Gold Standard Omakase at The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour

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What was meant to be a brief pop-up inside Bal Harbour’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel has been met with such enthusiasm that it has been extended until the end of 2022. During the meal guests dine on a 15-course meal drawing inspiration from a selection of ingredients that include fish flown in from Japan daily, garden vegetables, and A5 wagyu beef. It all pairs well with the venue’s extensive offerings of Japanese whiskeys and sakes.

Sushi Yasu Tanaka

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Yes, one of Miami’s best omakase experiences can be found inside a food hall in the Miami Design District. Sushi Yasu Tanaka, from sushi chef Yasu Tanaka who formerly led The Den at Azabu, offers a pristine, nigiri-focused menu that can be purchased by the piece. But the real star is the $59 10-course omakase option, which is easily one of the best omakase deals in town.

Hiyakawa Miami

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Minimalism elevated to artform best represents this Wynwood favorite. From the architecturally stunning wood beam ceiling to the thoughtfully curated omakase menu, a visit at Hiyakawa has been known to leave diners spellbound.

Start the omakase experience here as James Bond would, by entering the “hidden” restaurant located inside a bustling taco stand in Wynwood then head to the back where a nondescript door takes guests to an eight-seat omakase gem. Under the guidance of chef Tetsuya Honda and chef James Heinlein guests are treated to a 15-course omakase using ingredients flown in from Japan. Think items like a Shigoku oysters served with pineapple, caviar, and tamarind-sudachi green tea; buttery bites of toro; Japanese scallops softly cooked in a brown butter and yuzu sauce; and bites of A5 Wagyu ribeye that almost melt in your mouth.

Those familiar with the Austin-based restaurant celebrated when it made its way to Miami, and rightly so. The extensive menu will tug at every Japanese-food-lover’s heart. Those struggling with a bout of indecision will be grateful for the omakase option that allows one take in the creative sampling of dishes like caviar with creme fraiche, Meyer lemon, and plantains; oysters with gooseberry, chile de arbol, and crispy shallot; and the ora king crudo made with king salmon, coconut, and pineapple bubbles.

Omakai Sushi (Multiple locations)

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Who says that well priced sushi can’t be found in Miami? Omakai Sushi offers a a proper omakase experience starting at just $26 a person, and running up to $84 for its deluxe, multi-course meal filled with seasonal fish. A variety of hand rolls, nigiri, and sashimi can also be ordered a la carte.

Katsuya (Multiple locations)

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Katsuya has made its mark world-wide with locations popping up as far as Dubai and Qatar. Miami’s two locations blend high-end Japanese fare with a stylish Miami vibe. Omakase here includes swanky bites like toro tartare and beluga caviar prepared tableside, Wagyu gyoza, king crab tempura, and liquid nitrogen snowball cheesecake. Beverage options including sake flights and an extensive assortment of Japanese whisky to choose from.

Nossa Omakase

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Even the most seasoned omakase-goer will be surprised by this restaurant, which offers a stunning array of nigiri along with a hearty dose of theatrics, beginning with receiving an envelope holding the secret password for entry to the speakeasy that begins the meal. From there, head to the dimly-lit circular bar to dine on a 16-course meal based on what arrives fresh from Japan. Rest assured that each meal includes generous amounts of caviar, truffles, and edible gold.

Mr. Omakase

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This tiny Downtown spot lacks all the bells and whistles of some of its ostentatious brethren — and that is just fine. The focus here is on the omakase experience that features a perfectly paced selection of nigiri include memorable surprises like Chawanmushi, a Japanese egg custard packed with flavor along with a nourishing miso soup to end things off. With an extremely limited seating capacity, reservations are a must.

Azabu Miami Beach

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Tucked away inside the Michelin-starred restaurant Azabu Miami Beach is its exclusive sushi bar, The Den. Helmed by Tokyo-trained chefs, it offers an intimate, seasonal omakase menu with a mix of grilled and raw items, along with options like a uni tasting or toro tasting for an added fee.

Chef/owner Kevin Cory is the mastermind behind this intimate and minimalist setting serving seafood that the website boasts is “it’s not fresh...it’s alive.” First opened in Sunny Isles where it garnered a steady and faithful following before relocating to Brickell Key, Naoe serves a maximum of 8 guests for each seating (6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and uses products from a variety of locations including Florida.

Ahi Sushi Bar

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Little Havana is best known as a hub for world-class Cuban fare, but omakase-style Ahi Sushi Bar breaks the mold. Brought to the neighborhood by the same chef who gifted Miami with Lung Yai Tapas (located just down the street), this intimate spot serves pristine sushi and sashimi along with poke bowls. Be sure to make a reservation in advance as it fills up quickly.

Osaka Miami

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Blending Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, diners with a hearty appetite can indulge in the Nikkei bar premium omakase platter. Complete with a special assortment of nigiris, sashimi, ceviche, tiraditos, and makimonos, it is as beautiful as it is tasty.

Sushi By Bou

Sushi By Bou first made its mark in New York City as a compact eight-seat speakeasy at The Sanctuary Hotel. It’s since found its way to South Florida (first in the luxe former Versace Mansion in South Beach, then tucked away in a Marriott Residence Inn in Pompano Beach. Fans will want to make their way north to Fort Lauderdale, where the latest outpost boasts a disco-inspired theme alongside an omakase that won’t break the bank. Plus, indulging on Toro nigiri under a disco ball while Gloria Gaynor belts out “I Will Survive” is a surefire way to a memorable night.

Gold Standard Omakase at The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour

What was meant to be a brief pop-up inside Bal Harbour’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel has been met with such enthusiasm that it has been extended until the end of 2022. During the meal guests dine on a 15-course meal drawing inspiration from a selection of ingredients that include fish flown in from Japan daily, garden vegetables, and A5 wagyu beef. It all pairs well with the venue’s extensive offerings of Japanese whiskeys and sakes.

Sushi Yasu Tanaka

Yes, one of Miami’s best omakase experiences can be found inside a food hall in the Miami Design District. Sushi Yasu Tanaka, from sushi chef Yasu Tanaka who formerly led The Den at Azabu, offers a pristine, nigiri-focused menu that can be purchased by the piece. But the real star is the $59 10-course omakase option, which is easily one of the best omakase deals in town.

Hiyakawa Miami

Minimalism elevated to artform best represents this Wynwood favorite. From the architecturally stunning wood beam ceiling to the thoughtfully curated omakase menu, a visit at Hiyakawa has been known to leave diners spellbound.

Hiden

Start the omakase experience here as James Bond would, by entering the “hidden” restaurant located inside a bustling taco stand in Wynwood then head to the back where a nondescript door takes guests to an eight-seat omakase gem. Under the guidance of chef Tetsuya Honda and chef James Heinlein guests are treated to a 15-course omakase using ingredients flown in from Japan. Think items like a Shigoku oysters served with pineapple, caviar, and tamarind-sudachi green tea; buttery bites of toro; Japanese scallops softly cooked in a brown butter and yuzu sauce; and bites of A5 Wagyu ribeye that almost melt in your mouth.

Uchi

Those familiar with the Austin-based restaurant celebrated when it made its way to Miami, and rightly so. The extensive menu will tug at every Japanese-food-lover’s heart. Those struggling with a bout of indecision will be grateful for the omakase option that allows one take in the creative sampling of dishes like caviar with creme fraiche, Meyer lemon, and plantains; oysters with gooseberry, chile de arbol, and crispy shallot; and the ora king crudo made with king salmon, coconut, and pineapple bubbles.

Omakai Sushi (Multiple locations)

Who says that well priced sushi can’t be found in Miami? Omakai Sushi offers a a proper omakase experience starting at just $26 a person, and running up to $84 for its deluxe, multi-course meal filled with seasonal fish. A variety of hand rolls, nigiri, and sashimi can also be ordered a la carte.

Katsuya (Multiple locations)

Katsuya has made its mark world-wide with locations popping up as far as Dubai and Qatar. Miami’s two locations blend high-end Japanese fare with a stylish Miami vibe. Omakase here includes swanky bites like toro tartare and beluga caviar prepared tableside, Wagyu gyoza, king crab tempura, and liquid nitrogen snowball cheesecake. Beverage options including sake flights and an extensive assortment of Japanese whisky to choose from.

Nossa Omakase

Even the most seasoned omakase-goer will be surprised by this restaurant, which offers a stunning array of nigiri along with a hearty dose of theatrics, beginning with receiving an envelope holding the secret password for entry to the speakeasy that begins the meal. From there, head to the dimly-lit circular bar to dine on a 16-course meal based on what arrives fresh from Japan. Rest assured that each meal includes generous amounts of caviar, truffles, and edible gold.

Mr. Omakase

This tiny Downtown spot lacks all the bells and whistles of some of its ostentatious brethren — and that is just fine. The focus here is on the omakase experience that features a perfectly paced selection of nigiri include memorable surprises like Chawanmushi, a Japanese egg custard packed with flavor along with a nourishing miso soup to end things off. With an extremely limited seating capacity, reservations are a must.

Azabu Miami Beach

Tucked away inside the Michelin-starred restaurant Azabu Miami Beach is its exclusive sushi bar, The Den. Helmed by Tokyo-trained chefs, it offers an intimate, seasonal omakase menu with a mix of grilled and raw items, along with options like a uni tasting or toro tasting for an added fee.

NAOE

Chef/owner Kevin Cory is the mastermind behind this intimate and minimalist setting serving seafood that the website boasts is “it’s not fresh...it’s alive.” First opened in Sunny Isles where it garnered a steady and faithful following before relocating to Brickell Key, Naoe serves a maximum of 8 guests for each seating (6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and uses products from a variety of 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. Brought to the neighborhood by the same chef who gifted Miami with Lung Yai Tapas (located just down the street), this intimate spot serves pristine sushi and sashimi along with poke bowls. Be sure to make a reservation in advance as it fills up quickly.

Osaka Miami

Blending Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, diners with a hearty appetite can indulge in the Nikkei bar premium omakase platter. Complete with a special assortment of nigiris, sashimi, ceviche, tiraditos, and makimonos, it is as beautiful as it is tasty.

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