Chef Dongwook Seo thinks eating fresh seafood is one of life's richest pleasures. His first restaurant, Hoshi & Sushi, serves sushi that's a mix of simplicity and invention.
Born in South Korea, Seo moved from Seoul to the Sunshine State more than a decade ago. He worked as a sushi chef at a restaurant in Orlando and then at the Fontainebleau's Blade before opening his own place. Located on the ground floor of a condo building on Millionaire's Row in Miami Beach, Hoshi & Sushi is a two-room, 60-seat eatery filled with hanging lanterns, wooden seating, and Japanese-themed wallpaper. Artistic Asian mirrors and contemporary pop music lend an unpretentious, friendly vibe.
Though Seo comes from Seoul, the menu lists mostly sushi dishes, along with a smattering of Korean items. He says he chose to serve sushi because it's more popular stateside than traditional dishes from his homeland. That being said, Seo hopes to introduce more Korean menu items and eventually open a restaurant serving those dishes. Selections at Hoshi & Sushi change seasonally and use both imported and local fresh fish the chef procures daily.
Begin your meal with hamachi jalapeño, made with the fatty belly meat of yellowtail and spicy ponzu ($12.95). Continue with the Korean-inspired bulgogi taco, filled with juicy teriyaki-marinated steak and sautéed mushrooms ($9.95); the takoyaki, a ball-shaped octopus fritter ($9.95); or coconut shrimp served with a sweet chili sauce ($10.95).
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Standout signature rolls are the Geisha, a fusion of salmon and avocado drizzled with truffle sauce ($14.95); and the Gangnam-Style, made with tempura shrimp, eel, tuna tataki, and avocado. Tempura lobster and avocado are crowned with tuna and salmon in the hearty ten-piece Godfather roll ($15.95), and sushi combos range from 16 pieces ($16.95) to a boat for two ($54.95).
Warm dishes include bulgogi ($17.95); deep-fried agedashi tofu with mushrooms, warm teriyaki, and ponzu ($8.95); and a tempura vegetable roll with avocado, cucumber, and asparagus ($8.95).
Pair your meal with a bottle of sake, such as the Hana Fuga Peach ($18) or Yuki Lychees ($28). Hoshi & Sushi also delivers directly to the sands of Mid-Beach, so you can eat while you sunbathe.
Hoshi & Sushi. 5401 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-763-8946; hoshiandsushi.com. Tuesday through Sunday noon to 11 p.m.