When your name is Sushi Bar
, you better do sushi pretty damn well.
The Austin-based restaurant chain opened a Miami Beach location on September 20 on the ground level of Esmé Miami Beach Hotel
“What we do at Sushi Bar is so unique and specialized, we knew the concept would resonate well here,” says Ryan Stock, CEO of Adept Hospitality
, the group behind Sushi Bar. “A lot of our guests in Austin have been visitors from Miami and we kept being asked, ‘When will you open?’ so we’re excited to have a chance to bring the concept to the market. Sushi Bar is a whimsical, sophisticated, and sexy vibe, all aspects we find Miami to be as well.”
The omakase-style, speakeasy concept pays homage to the sultry, mysterious vibe of sushi bars circa the 1930s. The original Sushi Bar opened in Montecito, California in 2018 and moved to Austin – home of its premier location – in 2020. Additional Sushi Bars are planned for Dallas and Chicago.
Executive chef Ambrey Ouimette is at the helm of the menu and is among the few female omakase chefs in the United States.
“It’s great to see that South Florida has embraced the omakase landscape and we’re certainly proud to be sharing more of this world to diners in and around Miami Beach,” Ouimette tells New Times
. “Our sushi chefs and myself are all trained in centuries’ shaped methodology from how we grate our wasabi, to kombu-curing specific fish but we’re also boundless and lighthearted in our approach. We know that Sushi Bar will stand out given the duality of our deference for sushi making and the unexpected flavors, presentation, and showmanship of the concept.”
Each evening, the restaurant plans to host 36 total guests, with 12 diners per seating. The 17-course omakase experience boasts fresh fish selections from California, Japan, and Australia. Among an ever-changing spread of fresh finds, some Ouimette staples include a kanpachi (with pineapple, passionfruit, shishito vinaigrette, and shaved coconut) and aged bluefin akami with dehydrated red miso and everything bagel seasoning.
A Maine uni is only the beginning of what awaits at Sushi Bar.
Photo by Liam Brown
The 17-course full omakase costs $175 per person. Guests are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes early for a welcome cocktail. Sake, cocktails, wine, and beer are available for purchase as you venture through each course.
As for some pro tips for making the most of a Sushi Bar experience, Ouimette has the scoop.
“Arrive with no expectations,” she says. “What we’ve created with Sushi Bar is best experienced when you just come in and go for the ride. Arrive early for a welcome drink and settle in for a once-in-a-lifetime meal, though we hope you’ll be back again. By the end of the meal, our hope is that you and those you’re dining with at your seating are connected by having had this experience together. And if you’re lucky, you might get to try some of the nigiri we’re still testing after the formal dinner has concluded.”
Sushi Bar. In Esmé Miami Beach Hotel, 1438 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-423-5888; sushibarhospitality.com. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.