Gaijin Izakaya by Cake Has Closed

Gaijin Izakaya by Cake has quietly closed.

The Japanese-style gastropub, where chef Phuket "Cake" Thongsodchaveondee served sushi and hot dishes, was open just shy of a year.

The midtown Miami restaurant was best known for being an after-hours hangout for chefs who craved Gaijin's offerings after their shifts ended.

In an October 2017 review, New Times' Zachary Fagenson praised the chef's skills, saying, "Cake shows himself to be nearly as adept with Japanese cuisine as he is with that of his homeland."

Thongsodchaveondee is best known for creating authentic Thai dishes at his Upper Eastside Cake Thai Kitchen. The small storefront is often packed with diners waiting to dig into the chef's papaya salad and spicy pork noodle soup.

In December 2016, Cake Thai Kitchen opened a Wynwood outpost with partner Javier Ramirez. That location turned into Chinese restaurant Palmar a year later after restaurateurs Javier Ramirez and Leo Monterrey split with Thongsodchaveondee. An outpost of Cake Thai Kitchen is scheduled to open at the Citadel food hall in the future.

Not much is known why Gaijin closed, though a Facebook post cites "technical difficulties and unfortunate circumstances." Whether the restaurant will reopen remains to be seen.
Thongsodchaveondee did not immediately respond to messages from New Times regarding the closure.

Gaijin Izakaya by Cake. 3500 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-570-9430;
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss