The classic Shelborne Resort in Miami Beach has a modern vibe now. It's a whole new show. In addition to glam brasserie Vesper and Lucy's taco shack out back, Bar Tanaka brings sushi to the lineup. Modern American, Mexican, and Japanese -- all restaurant bases are covered.
The menu comes courtesy of a Philadelphia import. Chef Hiroyuki "Zama" Tanaka has a popular restaurant called Zama, where he offers the usual (tempura, California, and tuna rolls) as well as the unusual (smoked salmon and dried fig roll, $7). Both carryovers from Zama's offerings and new rolls specific to Miami appear on Bar Tanaka's menu. Kitsch reigns with the Miami Vice roll (lobster tempura, $24) and the Hurricane (eel and shrimp tempura roll, $16). What we really like is the pricing, which covers a wide range of both basic sushi bar staples and more outlandish rolls. Decide to spend less or more; the overall cost of dinner is in your hands.
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The extravagant tuna California roll seems expensive ($24) until you realize it's stuffed with lump crab meat, no kani kama here. But there's also a very reasonably priced California lump crab roll for $10; a spicy roll with salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and shrimp for $6; and a yellowtail roll with jalapeño and mango for $7.
There's also a well-rounded sake list covering everything from hot Ozeki (the California Chardonnay of sake) to some more interesting Ginjo and Daiginjo sakes. Almost all are available by the glass and carafe. Create your own flight or go with the "Taste of Jumai, Special or Expert," which curates the sake series for you ($15 to $22). Japanese beers? Check. Fruity cocktails? Check.
The surroundings are sleek, but the space is separated from the lobby by only a screen. However, if you're used to getting your sushi fix at the communal table at the Delano's Blue Sea (recently renamed Umi Sushi & Sake Bar) or those uncomfortable little seats at Bond St., you will consider the Shelborne's restaurant paradise.