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Guy Fieri Visits Sakaya Kitchen, Dubs Richard Hales the "Ninja of Flavortown"

The mayor of Flavortown meets the ninja.
The mayor of Flavortown meets the ninja.
Courtesy Richard Hales

Guy Fieri, the platinum-spiked-haired mayor of Flavortown, rolled into Miami to film a few segments for his Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives TV show.

See also: New York Times Review of Guy Fieri's Restaurant Is a Snarky Must-Read

Guy Fieri gets some mad love at Latin House Burger & Taco Bar.
Guy Fieri gets some mad love at Latin House Burger & Taco Bar.
Latin House Burger & Taco Bar via Facebook

Word has it that Fieri visited a few restaurants, including Whisk Gourmet, Latin House Burger & Taco Bar, The Federal Food Drink & Provisions, Blue Collar, and Sakaya Kitchen.

Some people might scoff at the Food Network celebrity for his love of comfort food and brash ways (including the New York Times' Pete Wells, whose review of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar will go down in the history of food writing as the snarkiest piece of criticism), but there's no denying Fieri wields major influence on mainstream America -- you know, the people who actually go out to eat at the diners, drive-ins, and dives his TV show spotlights.

So when Sakaya Kitchen's Richard Hales got a call from producers to appear on the show, he was eager for the opportunity.

Fieri films at Sakaya Kitchen. Flavortown comes to Miami.
Fieri films at Sakaya Kitchen. Flavortown comes to Miami.
Courtesy of Richard Hales

For three days, the midtown fast-casual restaurant was turned into a closed set for about six to eight hours each day.

Hales told Short Order that although his restaurant and food truck were filmed for several shows, including Anthony Bourdain's The Layover and Eat Street, this shoot was unlike any he'd experienced. "Most shows film while you're open, with minimal setup. This was filmed like a major production, with nearly everything scripted. In fact, because of the position of the cameras, they had me plating food left-handed, which made for more than a few takes."

See also: Anthony Bourdain Eats at Food Truck With Michael Schwartz

Guy Fieri Visits Sakaya Kitchen, Dubs Richard Hales the "Ninja of Flavortown"
Courtesy of Richard Hales

Hales says Fieri was extremely hands-on during the shoot and worked closely with the chef/restaurateur to choose the dishes for the show. What made the final cut? "We made the cracklin' herb duck sandwich, ginger Brussels sprouts, chunk'd tots, and pork bao bun," Hales says.

Guy Fieri Visits Sakaya Kitchen, Dubs Richard Hales the "Ninja of Flavortown"
Courtesy of Richard Hales

Sakaya's chef/owner had nothing but good words about the experience, saying Fieri was "full of energy and great to meet" and the crew was awesome to work with. "They made it easy."

It looks like the feeling was mutual. Hales said Fieri raved about the food both on and off camera. "Guy gave me some sound advice and talked about the restaurant on camera better than I ever could. He said I was the ninja of Flavortown."

That's how we roll in Miami!

Guy ate here.
Guy ate here.
Courtesy of Richard Hales

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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Sakaya Kitchen

3401 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33127

305-576-8096

www.sakayakitchen.com


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