So Good Shoji

Shoji Sushi

For purists Shoji has standard fish-on-rice nigiri and riceless sashimi slices, both of which come two pieces per order (one piece is considered bad luck, and bad form, in Japan). The list of choices, though, has some unusual entries, like quail eggs and Alaskan king crab. Daily special fresh seafood during my visits included local grouper (black, the best kind) and wild salmon, more flavorful though less appealingly fatty than farmed fish. And there were three kinds of tuna: the usual red maguro, albacore (the only fish that's supposed to be termed "white tuna," though many other types are), and toro, almost always on Japanese restaurant menus and almost always unavailable. At Shoji toro was available in several forms. But none, frankly, beat the normal nigiri. Tuna carpaccio was tasty but not carpaccio, as the half-dozen slices dotted with garlic sauce and garnished with a tiny heap of hearts of palm salad were seared, not raw. And a circlet of tuna tartare in watery and tame wasabi sauce was really no better than a tartare of nonbelly tuna would have been; buttery texture is toro's main charm, and grinding renders that texture irrelevant.

In a short time, people have become really animated about sushi at Shoji
Steve Satterwhite
In a short time, people have become really animated about sushi at Shoji

Location Info

Map

Shoji Sushi

100 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: South Beach

Details

305-532-4245. Open daily for lunch noon to 3:00 p.m., and dinner 6:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

Possibly the most welcome Western touches at Shoji are the meal framers: alcohol and dessert. Rarely does Japanese-restaurant alcohol extend beyond lowest-common-denominator sake, wine, and beer. Shoji's offerings include an amusing saketini (sake, triple sec, and fresh cranberry and lime juices in a martini glass); unusual quality wines like a Dopf & Irion Alsacian riesling; and Anchor Steam beer. And desserts are astonishing, which really is not at all astonishing since they come from Nemo's pastry guru Hedy Goldsmith. Although her soufflé-light-outside, rich-and-warm-inside chocolate cake, which comes with a pitcher of sweet cream and a garnish of small cherries, rises to the top, every sweet we tried so far at Shoji (everything on the list except the homemade ginger ale float) has been fantastic, even the strange-sounding green-tea cheesecake. So the even stranger-sounding float will be for next time. And there will be many next times.

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