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Sushi Bar Miami Beach – Omakase Meets SpeakEasy

Tucked away just off Española Way, one of the trendiest streets on South Beach, is a discreet black door simply marked with the letters SB.
Behind it lies Sushi Bar Miami Beach, a reservation-only, 14-seat, speakeasy-style sushi bar offering a 17-course Omakase dining experience. Situated at the rear of the chic Esmé Miami Beach Hotel, Chef Francis Arguilla and his team deftly combine responsibly sourced fish, traditional Japanese methods, and a creative flair that has made Sushi Bar one of the hottest tables in town.

Omakase, a dining style rooted in trust, has no menu. “The word ‘omakase’ means ‘chef’s choice’ in Japanese,” explains chef Arguilla, “so you’re going in trusting the chefs to make these bites that are absolutely amazing.” Guests need only mention any allergies and the chefs curate a 17-course culinary journey featuring the freshest fish sourced directly from places like Japan, Spain, and New Zealand.

Sushi Bar originated as a pop-up in Austin, accumulating a staggering 20,000-person waitlist upon its inception. Evolving from pop-up to brick-and-mortar, it expanded to Miami 1 1/2 years ago as the company’s first outpost and now also has restaurants in Chicago and Dallas.
“What’s great about this concept is that every location changes based on what we can acquire locally with produce and sourcing. So, I’d say here in Miami, it’s a little bit more Latin-based, with more Hispanic flavors. Chicago has a little bit more of like this Thai influence and Austin and Dallas have a little Tex-Mex. But I think every location is unique because we’re able to source from what they grow here and whatever the palate or cuisine is more relevant in the area.”

In Miami Beach, Chef Arguilla tantalizes taste buds with delights like Bluefin Tartar, truffle-infused scallops, and Shima-aji—a jack fish fermented in Fresno chilies, finished with Myers lemon juice and zest.

With nightly seatings at 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm, and 9:45 pm, visits are priced at $175 per person, inclusive of a welcome cocktail at Esmé’s El Salon cocktail bar. Indulge post-dinner with their curated Sake list, an excellent selection of small-batch wines, and the option to pair it with a cigar on their open-air patio or venture to nearby Española Cigars and buy your stogie there.

Pro tip:
Try to hold out until the 9:45 seating where you might be ‘forced’ to sample extra bites the chefs are experimenting with. It’s worth the wait.

This article appeared in the Mar/Apr 2024 issue. Subscribe today to get the magazine in your mailbox.

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