London's Zuma and NY's Shake Shack to Arrive in Miami 2010

After facing success in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul and then Dubai, where does a contemporary Japanese restaurant go to continue on it's golden culinary path? Why Miami, of course! At least that's the way German chef Rainer Becker sees things, since he's expected to bring the first American Zuma to the main floor of the Epic Miami Hotel & Residences in downtown Miami next spring.

PR reps couldn't comment on what the resto will look like or serve, but we can guess a few details from its current forms. For one thing, diners will eat and drink izakaya-style which, as far as we can tell, loosely translates to "share your food or you'll be considered a loser."

Secondly, the décor will be super-chic and hopefully reminiscent of the London locale created by Tokyo's Super Potato. (Can you think of a better name for a design firm?) And lastly, it isn't too far a logical jump to assume guests will be found inhaling the aromas emitting from the robata grill, which resembles a campfire; managing chopsticks at a sushi counter; and sucking down sake at a lounge.

Now Shake Shack will be an entirely different endeavor altogether. If the South Florida version will be anything like its New York outposts, here's what you can expect when it opens it doors spring/summer 2010 at 1111 Lincoln Road: thick burgers, an amazing selection of hot dogs and brats, and frozen custard often blended to make "Concretes," (a.k.a. those famous shakes). The restaurant's PR rep mentioned some special Miami Concretes are a-comin', too, and even your "Pooch-ini" can get in on the action with vanilla custard, peanut butter and a dog biscuit garnish. The one thing you New Yorkers hopefully won't miss are the long lines the Madison Square Park stand is famous for.  

What's that? Oh, go on, gourmands. Turn up your nose. We know we'll bust you with mouths full of cheese fries, sipping Shack Shiraz by the fountain sooner or later. 

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Riki Altman