Scientifically speaking, you are what you eat. But what if you're a Grammy-winning house producer and DJ? Does food fuel the creative fire in your belly? In the case of Ali Shirazinia, known to house music fans as Dubfire or half of D.C.-based duo Deep Dish, the answer is a resounding, speaking-with-your-mouth-full yes.
Turns out Shirazinia is a serious foodie. And if he ever gets tired of mesmerizing crowds with eclectic marathon mixes, he'd make a fine food blogger. That's why we wanted to know what the DJ/producer eats when he's in town for Ultra Music Festival, Winter Music Conference, and Miami Music Week.
So here is Dubfire's Miami foodie guide to the five best places to eat and drink. Disclaimer: This dude is not working on a budget.
Naoe. 661 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-947-6263; naoemiami.com. "This is a tiny gem tucked away in the Courvoisier Centre on Brickell Key Drive, a short walk from the Mandarin Oriental," Shirazinia explains. "Chef Kevin Cory presides over the seasonal kaiseki menu and pours his family's signature Nakamura brewery sake. The place is tiny, with a beautifully dim-lit atmosphere, and it's arguably the toughest reservation in Miami. But if you want true Japanese food, this is the only game in town."
Nobu Miami Beach. 1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-3232; nobumatsuhisa.com. "This is probably the restaurant I've frequented most in all of my years coming to Miami. It's a Nobu, so you know what you're going to get, and like any addiction, I somehow end up here whenever I'm craving chef Nobu Matsuhisa's signature Nikkei cuisine, which is a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian techniques. Without even looking at the menu, I immediately order the yellowtail jalapeño, salmon new-style sashimi, tiradito, red snapper with dried red miso, black cod with miso, some anticucho skewers, and a bottle of the YK35 Hokusetsu sake. The acoustics are terrible, the sake selection is criminally limited to basically one brewery, and it is astronomically overpriced for what you get — but hey, it's Nobu!"
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Quattro Gastronomia Italiana. 1014 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-531-4833; quattromiami.com. "Besides Prime Italian and Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante, this is my fave Italian spot in the city. The food is consistently good, matched by quick, sharp service and a great wine list. I've hosted many dinners here for large groups and have always been looked after in the best way possible by the staff. Go for the branzino intero in crosta di sale marino, the parmigiana di melanzane in forma, and la classica ricetta della cotoletta alla milanese."
La Mar by Gastón Acurio Miami. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-913-8358; mandarinoriental.com. "I used to frequent CVI.CHE 105 downtown for real Peruvian ceviche, and I've heard Ola has great ceviche as well. But for the real thing, head to La Mar from the Wolfgang Puck of Peruvian cuisine, Gastón Acurio. I used to go to La Mar a lot during my early years performing in Lima, and to this day it's still packing them in though there are far better spots. In the U.S., you can find another La Mar only in San Francisco. The NYC location flopped and is now shut. Really anything on the menu is going to be amazing, but begin with the ceviche and make sure you order the anticuchos."
La Sandwicherie. 229 14th St., Miami Beach; 305-532-8934; lasandwicherie.com. "I don't recall how I happened upon this place. But most likely it was the incredible word of mouth about that sauce! I've been coming to this sandwich and juice bar kiosk for many years, and I've still not tired of the delicious, made-to-order sandwiches topped with fresh toppings, piercingly acidic mini-cucumbers, and this insane sauce that you just repeatedly pour over it all as you eat! It's the perfect hangover lunch, especially when you're on the go during MMW and you need to fuel up!"