Chef Michio Kushi is from Katsuura, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. The first restaurant he ever worked at was called Yagumo, back in his hometown, from 1977 to 1980. That restaurant is still there.
From 1980 to 1983, Michio worked at Su-Shin at 1085 NE 79th St. He claims it was the only restaurant in Miami at the time that was serving raw fish sushi. From '83 to '86, he was head chef and manager of Su-Shin Kendall.
Michio's brother owned the location for Sushi Deli & Japanese Market until 1999, when Michio and his wife took over. They opened the sushi bar November 1, 2002, with four seats, eventually adding two more and some tables.
Here are some pictures from Sushi Deli (1412 79th Street Cswy.) and quotes from dedicated customers Victor and Irene...
Victor says, "We've been eating here about four years. We got sent here by the sushi chef at Tony's. We were eating there quite a bit, and after a couple of months of going in there twice a week, he said, 'Y'know, you really oughta go to this Japanese market.' And ever since, this is the only place we go."
"This is it. This is the best," Irene adds. The couple sits down for omakase every Tuesday and Friday like clockwork. Omakase is a meal where the chef decides what to make for the client. Victor starts by going straight to the back of the store and choosing a sake from what Michio describes as one of the widest selections in Miami.
I paid $8.95 for a "Regular Combo: Assorted 6 pieces sushi + california or tuna roll." I'm a sushi monster and seeing this made me hungry. It tasted damn good.
Here are some other random shots from the shop.
I asked Michio why he disliked cell phones so much and he said, "This is a place to eat, not a place to talk. Some people talk so loud I can't think."
Visit Sushi Deli & Japanese Market at 1412 79th Street Cswy., North Bay Village. It's directly across the street from WSVN Channel 7 headquarters. Call 305-861-0143 or visit japanese-market.com for more info.
Need another reason to check the place out? Here are four: Best Asian Market, Best Japanese Lunch Counter, Best Japanese Store, Pamela Robin Brandt's 2004 New Times review.