Wacky Maki

Sakura adds Korean — a rarity in these parts — to its bustling sushi menu

Dolsot bibimbob is a classic Korean rice meal cooked and served in a hot stoneware bowl (dolsot). The initial part of the preparation process calls for the bowl to be coated with sesame oil, which lends the layer of rice touching the hot bottom a crisp brown crust. Lean, slender slices of beef covered the rice, along with a fried egg on top that was too well done to run, and a series of neatly sectioned vegetables: bean sprouts, mushrooms, scallions, carrots, and gosari (brown fern stems). A side sauce of gochujang looks like ketchup but is piquant chili pepper paste. The idea is to stir all of the ingredients together, goose it with gochujang, and dig in.

Korean entrées come with soup, steamed short-grain rice, and the traditional side dishes known as banchan -- here translated to petite white dishes of kim chee cabbage, kim chee cubes of white radish, sweetly pickled zucchini, and boiled soybean sprouts. Prices run $14 to $26, which might have seemed a better deal had we actually been served the soup. Waiters were friendly and accommodating but not sufficiently trained, effectively managed, or especially observant.

Maybe they were too distracted by the six flat-screen TV sets placed around the otherwise minimally adorned, 70-seat room (plus eight stools at the sushi bar toward the rear of the rectangular space). Chances are you've been in dozens of Japanese restaurants that look just like this, and serve food just like this, too. Except Sakura provides its patrons with a wider range of dining options than most, as well as a means to think globally and dine locally -- as in a Florida roll of conch, avocado, lettuce, cucumber, masago, scallion, and spicy mayo. Or a Doral roll of banana tempura, cream cheese, and eel. Banana tempura, cream cheese, and eel? Well, I suppose it might be worse. We could be living in Hawaii.


Location Info


Sakura Japanese/Korean Cuisine

440 S. Dixie Highway
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Coral Gables/South Miami


Open for lunch and dinner daily 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Also located at 440 S Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables; 305-665-7020.
9753 Doral Blvd, Doral; 305-477-4477

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