The neon sign is still lit as dusk approaches, but a gander inside the Sunny Isles restaurant makes it very clear that Chef Ho is closed.
Tables at the restaurant, which had a loyal following, are still set, but a lobster tank is dry and the bar is deserted. A sign on the door reads, "seafood restaurant coming soon" and the lights are out.
A person at a neighboring business confirmed that Chef Ho quietly closed a few weeks ago.
Chef Ho opened in fall 2011 as Chef Philip Ho, when the former dim sum chef at the Setai went into business for himself.
Almost instantly, the restaurant became the go-to for serious food lovers to indulge in dim sum and other Chinese delights. In a review, Miami New Times' Lee Klein wrote, "For neighborhood Chinese fare, Chef Philip Ho is as good as it gets. You might want to work your way over there before all of this adulation goes to Ho's head."
Empty chairs at empty tables.
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About a year ago, the restaurant changed ownership and shortened its name from Chef Philip Ho to Chef Ho, with chef Ho still in charge of dim sum, and chef Lawrence Li taking over dinner duties, although the website never reflected the name change.