Three months ago, Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, better known as Chef Bee, returned to South Beach with the opening of NaiYaRa, located at 1854 Bay Rd. in Miami Beach's Sunset Harbour neighborhood.
The chef, who made a name for himself at the now-shuttered (and rumored to reopen at some point) Khong River House, announced his Sunset Harbour restaurant two years ago, but neighborhood street construction delayed the project.
Finally open, NaiYaRa can be considered one of the most buzz-worthy restaurants around. A glance at the chef's Facebook page reveals photos of Miami celebs such as David Grutman and Lee Schrager posing for the camera, interspersed with snaps of dozens of dinner checks lined up — a testament to both food and staff.
That means snagging a late-night reservation on a weekend can prove difficult. Luckily, there's a way to enjoy NaiYaRa without the wait — and at a discounted price.
The restaurant has launched a nightly happy hour filled with great food and drinks at affordable prices. Seven days a week from 5 to 7 p.m. (yup, weekends included), the bar serves a host of offerings at simple pricing: Every food and drink item on the happy-hour menu costs $7 each.
Cocktails include the Tom Kha-Piña, made with Ilegal mezcal, charred pineapple shrub, lemongrass, and cilantro; the Stone Sour Jerk, made with jerky-infused Redemption rye, ginger-lemon bitters, and lime; and a refreshing Kai-Piroska, with Kai lychee, crème de cassis, and prosecco.
Pinot Noir-based sangria, Sapporo beer, and wines by the glass are also available. In addition, pitchers of select sake cost $21.
The food menu is plentiful. Start with two sweet and briny Kumamoto oysters topped with crisp shallots and nahm jim talay sauce.
Whitefish tacos are made with fresh catch of the day and topped with mango, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and yuzu.
Chef Bee's Thai guacamole is from his mother's recipe (though she likely never considered it guacamole). By any name, this shareable dip of grilled eggplant, hard-boiled egg, and jalapeño is a spicy snack that pairs especially well with beer or the aforementioned Kai-Piroska.
Chicken wings are seasoned with lemongrass, kaffir lime, and coriander.
Grilled shrimp skewers are served with a jim talay sauce for dipping.
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The pork skewers are especially flavorful and tender, reminiscent of sweet spare ribs without the mess.
In all, 11 food items are served at NaiYaRa's happy hour. Grab friends and get a spot at the bar early so you can try out a few — or all — of the dishes. It's a generous value and a budget-friendly way to experience one of South Beach's busiest restaurants.