Sushi Samba,the Brazilian-Japanese fusion restaurant opens its newest restaurant in Coral Gables today. Located in the Westin Colonade Hotel, this is actually the third establishment in Miami for Samba Brands Management, with SushiSamba Miami Beach and Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill the other two Miami-area restaurants in the company's portfolio.
The new SushiSamba features the signature citrus colors of the Miami Beach location, as well as a large outdoor dining area. The 6,500 square foot restaurant also features dishes created especially for the City Beautiful, including items from the only Robata grill in Coral Gables.
In addition, Robert Woods, head of Samba Brands Management's cocktail and spirits development program, has created a list of brand new drinks designed to be paired with the food. Using freshly muddled fruits, premium spirits, and housemade bitters, Woods has designed a cocktail menu that features light and bright libations with touches of ginger, kaffir lime, and Japanese shiso leaves.
Though the restaurant is brand new, Short Order was invited to one of SushiSamba's friends and family nights, which are important "dress rehearsals" for a restaurant before they invite the general public to dine. We found the staff to be remarkably attentive and the food well executed.
Grilled shishito peppers with sea salt and lemon ($9) are a SushiSamba favorite.
The Samba Coral Gables ($24), specially made for this location, featured steamed lobster, avocado, red jalapeno, spicy Japanese rice cracker, sweet chili, Key lime mayo, and tobiko.
From the Robata: A trip of meats (ribeye, churrasco, and chorizo), served with rice.
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You simply must try the Chocolate Chili Peppers ($11), a sweet and spicy dessert of Peruvian chili mousse, red pepper tuile, respberry-red pepper sorbet, and chocolate crumbles.