After three months of speculation and hearing a few uncertain words from a Japanese waitress at Momi, we've finally uncovered just what the owners of Momi Ramen in Brickell have cooking.
Next to the authentic brick building that resembles a home and arguably serves the best ramen in town is a similar house with an equally distinctive design. A sign in Japanese hangs outside, and cardboard taped on the railings displays the address, which, unlike the sign, we can read and understand.
It's the address (21 SW 11th St.) of Momi's younger sibling, Sumi.
Momi's owner, Jeffrey Chen, wasted no time knocking out two dining establishments. This must be why he doesn't do interviews or talk to the press. With Momi operating 24 hours a day, it's impressive that he's able to open another establishment in such a short amount of time. Of course, it helps that the two locations can complement each other in terms of ingredients, staff, kitchen space, and clientele -- like borrowing a cup of sugar from the next-door neighbor.
Employees wearing Momi shirts prepped the interior space and tried to communicate with us, giving us a manager's phone number -- or at least that's what we understood. The manager did not respond to our call and text messages. Another walk-by proved to be a bit more informational. A young man said the place would open next month and that there's no menu yet, but the food will be authentic Japanese barbecue, called yakitori.
Yakitori is the Japanese term for grilled, skewered food. We hope, like Momi, that Sumi will have lots of pork to grill and feed hungry folks looking for a taste of Japan in downtown Miami.
In the meantime, there's always Momi.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha