Monday, December 23, 2019

Miami's restaurants that defined the decade

It's nearly the end of the year – the end of a decade on top of that – which means it's a time for taking stock, for somber reflection ... and for posting lists. Yes, everyone hates lists, but here's the thing: everyone actually loves lists. A good list, anyway. Not the clickbait-y ones posted by uninformed bozos of places they haven't even visited and only read about on Yelp. But one that gathers a year, or a decade, of actual personal experience and tries to put it all in some kind of context? That could be a good list. And personally, anyway, I find these end of year rituals give me an opportunity to think about and say some things that I never found the time for over the past year.

This one, in particular, was inspired by a twitter post from Paolo Lucchesi, currently editorial director at Resy and before that the Food and Wine Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, which in turn was inspired by one from Jeff Gordiner (Food and Drinks Editor at Esquire):

So: what about Miami? (hat tip to Charlie Crespo, who asked that exact question).

When I started considering the answer to that question, one of the first things I realized was what an incredibly fruitful time the years immediately before 2010 were for the Miami restaurant world. Michelle Bernstein won a Beard Award in 2008 for her work at Michy's, which had opened two years earlier in the Upper East Side / MiMo District back when it was still a hotbed for motels-by-the-hour and those who patronize them. She also opened Sra. Martinez in 2008, providing a showcase for cocktail maestro Julio Cabrera as well as a bunch of dishes I still miss (R.I.P. uni panini, crispy artichokes, eggplant and honey, white bean and butifarra stew). Michael Schwartz opened Michael's Genuine in 2007 in the then very sleepy Design District, and picked up his own Beard Award two years after Michelle. Kris Wessel opened the wonderful, quirky Red Light back in 2008, where my family spent countless evenings at the counter (R.I.P. barbecue shrimp, oyster pie, roast quail). Kevin Cory opened the original Sunny Isles location of NAOE in 2009 and blew my my mind open with a bento box that was like a kaiseki dinner in miniature for $26, followed by the best sushi Miami had ever seen. Richard Hales opened Sakaya Kitchen in 2009, an early harbinger of the recent trend of chefs with high-end backgrounds doing the fast-casual thing. Add Bourbon Steak (2008), Scarpetta (2008) and Hakkasan (2009) to that list, among others I'm surely forgetting, and the end of the last decade was a pretty good era for Miami dining.

The next thing I realized was that I was going to need a bigger list. While I instinctively had some thoughts as to which restaurants "defined the decade" of dining in Miami, I needed to reconstruct the timeline to figure out which of those opened 2010 or after, and also see if there were others that I'd overlooked. After consulting the archives, there was a long list of more than forty potential candidates, from which I chose the dozen that to my mind best fit the bill. That selection process is pretty arbitrary, but includes consideration of how much that restaurant reflected or predicted local and national dining trends, as well as popularity and staying power.[1]

So, in chronological order below is my list of the twelve restaurants that opened since 2010 that defined Miami dining over the past decade, with brief explanations. I've also included other notable openings year by year, for the sake of posterity and context, with some occasional additional notes as well.[2]

1. Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill (2010)

Small plates? Check. "Dishes will come out as they're ready"? Check. Sushi, a globally inspired mix of tapas, and a French bistro style roasted chicken, all on the same menu? Check. Sugarcane, which opened in January 2010, embodied much of the experience of dining in Miami over the past decade. For better or worse, some might say, but I will say this: while Sugarcane has evolved into more of a "crowd-pleaser" over the years,[3] when it first opened chef Timon Balloo was doing some fun, delicious exciting stuff – I still crave that crispy tripe with Brussels sprout kimchi. The kicker: Timon is closing out 2019 with the opening of a small, intimate space that features a deeply personal menu at Balloo: Modern Home Cooking. It's the kind of food I always wished he would do, and a place I hope we're talking about through the next decade. (Here are my thoughts on Sugarcane from back in the day).

(continued ...)

2. Pubbelly Noodle Bar (2010)

Jose Mendin and Sergio Navarro were Sushi Samba alumni who, along with Casa Tua vet Andreas Schreiner, opened the original Pubbelly Noodle Bar in a lightly trafficked corner of Miami Beach's Sunset Harbour in late 2010. Styling itself as an "Asian gastropub," it clearly borrowed a good bit of inspiration from David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar, but also had plenty of ideas of its own – the "McBelly" sandwich with pork belly, kimchi and pickles squeezed into a Martin's potato roll, the hamachi crudo with romesco, hazelnuts and garlic chips, the pastrami and sauerkraut dumplings, the weird and wonderful veal brains meuniere with black butter, blue crab tartar sauce and bean sprouts (pictured above), the many different delicious things on toast. Many other Miami restaurants of the era played in the same sandbox – none did it as well or as creatively. The Pubbelly Boys[4] achieved their greatest success with sibling Pubbelly Sushi, which has now been duplicated in several iterations from Aventura to Mexico City, and the original Pubbelly Noodle Bar closed just a couple months ago. I'll miss it. (Here are my thoughts on Pubbelly from back in the day).

Other notable 2010 openings: Zuma.

3. Yardbird Southern Table and Bar (2011)

After first opening fast-casual Lime Fresh Mexican Grill in 2005, then licensing it out to Ruby Tuesday to franchise, John Kunkel turned his sights to a higher tier of the dining market, opening Yardbird in late 2011 with chef Jeff McInnis, fresh off an appearance on Top Chef, in the kitchen. The upscale southern spot with the namesake fried chicken was an instant hit, and remains one of South Beach's most popular restaurants. McInnis is long gone,[5] but Yardbird continued without a hiccup and has gone on to open in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Singapore, plus more on the way, with Patrick Rebholz now in as corporate chef.[6] (Here are my thoughts on Yardbird from back in the day.)

Other notable 2011 openings: LoKal, Makoto, Nemesis Urban Bistro (R.I.P.), The Dutch (R.I.P.), Tuyo.

4. Eating House (2012)

Eating House was not Miami's first "pop-up" restaurant – that would be Phuc Yea[7] – but it is the first to go from pop-up to permanent. Giorgio Rapicavoli started Eating House as an evening pop-up at a Coral Gables coffee shop. It was popular enough that he took over the lease the next year. Eating House was also maybe the first Miami restaurant to successfully combine the "molecular gastronomy" / "Modernist Cuisine"[8] bag of tricks with commercial success. The heirloom tomatoes with Thai flavors and nitro-frozen coconut milk became a signature dish, as did Giorgio's chicken and waffles (even though the foie gras that made them "foiffles" in the original incarnation was eventually dropped). His "Wakin' and Bacon" brunches, featuring things like candied bacon and Cap'n Crunch pancakes and carbonara eggs benedict, also made stoner food a thing that people lined up for on Sundays. (Read my thoughts on Eating House from back in the day.)

Other notable 2012 openings: BazaarBlue Collar, Estiatorio Milos, Josh’s Deli, Macchialina, MC Kitchen, Oak Tavern (R.I.P.).

A couple side notes here:

(1) José Andrés' Bazaar marked what I see as a new era of "invasive exotic species" restaurants in Miami. Previously, pretty much every time a nationally recognized chef opened a spot in Miami, it would be ... a steakhouse. Andrew Carmellini was an exception to that rule with The Dutch, which opened in the W South Beach the year prior, so maybe he deserves credit too. But the Bazaar was a real restaurant with a real concept, and even though it was one Andrés had already rolled out in L.A., the South Beach menu had a whole "Singapore Meets Miami" thing going on that was unique to this location. As I noted earlier (see footnote 1), the quality of our "invasive exotic species" has vastly improved over the past decade.

(2) A special word here about a couple special spots that both opened in 2012 and are kindred spirits: Danny Serfer's Blue Collar and Josh Marcus' Josh's Deli. Both are small, modest restaurants that would make no claim to reinventing the dining world. And both are absolutely vital, wonderful places that do what they do with dedication and passion, and have earned a tremendously loyal fan base as a result. People love a good diner because the food tastes and feels like home cooking, only better; that's exactly the spot that Serfer nails with Blue Collar. And Josh's is the only "fake deli" in Miami where you can get cured salmon, corned beef and pastrami all done in house, spicy tuna latkes, or a Jewban sandwich with pastrami, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on rye. I don't know if I could say that either of these tiny places "defined" Miami dining over the past decade; but it sure wouldn't be the same without them.

Notable 2013 openings: Bread and Butter (R.I.P.), BlackBrick, Cypress Room (R.I.P.), Lucali, Stanzione 87.

A couple more notes:

(1) Maybe my archive-diving was incomplete, but 2013 apparently was a very weak year for Miami restaurant openings. The Cypress Room, Michael Schwartz's old-school inspired fine dining venue in the Design District (now home to Ghee), with Roel Alcudia running the kitchen and a young Michael Beltran on the line, was wonderful and special, but not meant to last. It rebranded as the more casual Cypress Tavern in 2015, and then closed in early 2017. Cypress may not be around any more but its influence is still felt – and I picked up one of their fancily scripted "Employees must wash hands before returning to work" signs to hang in our guest bathroom at last month's "Genuine Yard Sale" as a fond remembrance.

(2) It seems like pizza places tend to come in waves here in Miami. Back in 2009 there were so many that we had a multi-round "Pizza Crawl" to try them all. There was another crazy wave of them in 2017. In between, in 2013, a couple stand-outs opened: Mark Iacono opened Lucali in Sunset Harbour, duplicating the sui generis style that had made him a legend in Brooklyn, and Franco Stanzione opened Stanzione 87 in Brickell, doing genuine Neapolitan style pies with grace and finesse.

5. 27 Restaurant (2014)

Broken Shaker started as a pop-up cocktail bar in the Indian Creek Hotel on Miami Beach in 2012. Since then, Bar Lab partners Elad Zvi and Gabe Orta have grown it into a collection of bars and restaurants in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. After turning the Broken Shaker bar permanent, a couple years later they added 27 Restaurant in what was now called the Freehand hotel. 27 and Broken Shaker accomplished at least a few notable things: (1) they created a successful merger of cocktail culture with the dining world; (2) they created a laid-back, casual space that feels equally inviting to locals and visitors; and (3) they created a menu that reflects, as well and as organically as any I've seen, the delightfully polyglot culture that is Miami, where malawach, griot and pikliz, brown stew chicken and arepas all happily share space. (Read my thoughts on 27 Restaurant from our Cobaya dinner with them.)

6. Zak the Baker (2014) 

Smart local chefs like Michelle Bernstein knew from Zak Stern well before he opened Zak the Baker; if a restaurant was serving great bread, it was likely because he was supplying it to them. But when he opened his own bakery in Wynwood, the Miami dining public was let in on the secret of his wonderfully crusty, hand-made, naturally leavened breads, plus an assortment of other baked goodies. The kosher bakery and café is a place that makes everyone happy – the Wynwood hipsters, the observant Jews, the gawking tourists, the locals who pop in for something simple and delicious to eat. This used to be a tough town to find good bread: now ZTB is everywhere, not just on restaurant menus but even in Whole Foods.

Other notable 2014 openings: La Mar, Matador RoomMignonette, Niu Kitchen, Proof (R.I.P.).

A side note: if there's a template for the kind of restaurant I'd like to see more of in Miami, it would be Niu Kitchen. A small space, built out on a modest budget, in a lower-rent district, with a distinct culinary perspective, and great, reasonably priced wines. Give me a dozen more of these, please.

7. Alter (2015)

Brad Kilgore upended[9] a lot of preconceptions about Miami dining – my own included – when he opened Alter in Wynwood in 2015. This was a city where "tasting menu format" restaurants were infrequently attempted and uniformly failed. Alter succeeded where others had not.[10] It could have been the pared down, industrial Wynwood vibe, with unfinished cinder block walls, bare wood tables, a glowing abstract neon sculpture and loud music. But I think it's largely the strength of the food, which is creative, experimental, and ambitious, but still lush, indulgent and flat-out delicious. His "soft egg" with scallop espuma, truffle pearls and caviar has become a signature item, but the menu is updated seasonally with new dishes. Alter's success also helped pave the way for Wynwood as a dining destination, as a huge influx of new restaurants followed. (Read my thoughts on Alter from 2015).

Other notable 2015 openings: Beaker and Gray, Byblos, Cake Thai Kitchen, Komodo,[11] Myumi (R.I.P.), Pao, Pinch Kitchen, Salty Donut, Vagabond (R.I.P.).

8. Ariete (2016)

If I were judging Ariete only on its opening year, I don't know that it would have made this list. Michael Beltran's first restaurant, after learning from some of Miami's best – Norman Van Aken at Tuyo, and Michael Schwartz and Roel Alcudia at Cypress Room – showed plenty of potential, but was still finding its voice and learning how to project it. It's grown up a lot in the past three years: if I were giving an award for "Most Improved Player," it would go to Ariete. You can see the influence of Beltran's mentors – the farm to table ethos, the attention to detail, the respect for the classics, the passion for cuisine in all its forms. But what makes Ariete truly special now is how it is a reflection of Mike himself: Cuban in heritage and Miami through and through. And Beltran is building on Ariete's success as Coconut Grove becomes an increasingly interesting dining destination, opening the Italian seafood themed Navé next door with chef Justin Flit, and Chug's Cuban diner just down the street (which has completely reinvented the pastelito game in Miami).[12] (Read my thoughts on Ariete from our Cobaya dinner.)

9. All Day (2016)

Panther Coffee, which first opened in Wynwood in December 2010, deserves the credit for bringing the "third wave" coffee movement to Miami. But All Day, opened by Camila Ramos and Chris MacLeod in Miami's "Entertainment District" on the northern edge of downtown, was the first to really bring together a serious – but fun! – coffee program with an all-day dining menu  – like the name says! – that was more than just bought-in pastries. That combination has made All Day a neighborhood hub and a vital part of the Miami fabric. (Read my thoughts on All Day from 2016).

10. Kyu (2016)

While the latter part of the last decade was seemingly dominated by high-tech in the kitchen – immersion circulators and precision steam ovens and hydrocolloids – the back end of this one has been marked by a return to low-tech methods – in particular, cooking with live fire. Franklin Barbecue's low-and-slow, wood-smoked brisket, Joshua Skene's ingenious uses of fire and smoke at Saison, a Josper oven in every new kitchen – this is what everyone was inspired by. Less El Bulli, more Etxebarri. That trend was embodied by Kyu, where chef Michael Lewis combines the slow-cooked, wood-fired methods of Southern barbecue with the flavors of Southeast Asia, all with the precision balancing of salt, acid and heat that comes from a long tenure with Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Along with ZTB and Alter, Kyu's success in bringing a spendy type of crowd into Wynwood has played a big role in the mind-boggling transformation the neighborhood has seen the past few years.

Other notable 2016 openings: Bazaar Mar (R.I.P.), Los Fuegos, Phuc Yea, Plant Food + Wine, Upland.

11. Ghee Indian Kitchen (2017)

I just said it in my nominations for the James Beard Award for Best Chef South, and I'll say it again now: Niven Patel's Ghee is not just a "great Miami restaurant." It's not just a "great Indian restaurant." It's a GREAT restaurant. He's taken the farm to table ethos he picked up as chef de cuisine at Michael's Genuine and integrated it so completely that he supplies his restaurants from his own backyard farm in Homestead, while viewing those local products through the prism of Indian cuisine in a way that is creative while also soulful. On top of all that, he's expanded our geographical horizons beyond the usual neighborhoods, opening up first in Downtown Dadeland before opening a second spot in the Design District, in the old Cypress Room spot.[13] (Read my thoughts on Ghee from my James Beard Award submission).

Other notable 2017 openings: Arson, Charcoal Garden (R.I.P.), Dizengoff / Federal Donuts (R.I.P.), La Petite MaisonLe Sirenuse, Palmar, Stubborn Seed.

12. Amara at Paraiso (2018)

Though we're virtually surrounded by water, it can be frustratingly difficult to find a Miami restaurant that combines waterfront views with good food. Michael Schwartz is helping to change that at Amara at Paraiso, with its spacious patio backing onto Biscayne Bay. The menu executed by executive chef Michael Paley is in some respects kind of a Latin American version of Michael's Genuine: craveable snacks like the yuca cheese puffs, short rib empanadas and taijin-spiced pickles, local fish and seafood ceviches and towers, and an assortment of meats, seafoods and sausages grilled over fire and best experienced as part of a parillada. It's among the first places I take out-of-town visitors to get a taste and feel of Miami.

Other notable 2018 openings: Azabu, Fiola, Hiden, KaidoItamae, ObraSanguich de Miami,
Surf Club, Wabi Sabi.

Some additional notes:

(1) 2018 was the year that the high-end omakase sushi trend made its way in earnest to Miami. Naoe has been at it since 2009, and there are other places where you could get it if you knew who, how, and when to ask. But while New York, L.A. and San Francisco have had a glut of the small, intimate places dedicated to serving sushi piece by piece for lots of money, it took a while for Miami to catch on.[14] That changed in 2018 with The Den at Azabu – a square counter in a separate room with an omakase only menu, from a group that started in Tokyo and opened in New York before making their way down here – and Hiden, another fancy private room in the back of a taco shop, from a group with restaurants in Mexico City and California. They are both very good, though I haven't been back to Hiden since the chef who opened it, Tadashi Shiraishi, left in a split with ownership. Since then we've seen several more join in, including Sushi by Bou in the Versace Mansion, and Omakai in Wynwood.

(2) 2018 also marked the advent of a new era of fast casual / food hall dining in Miami. While Wynwood Yard (R.I.P.) was ahead of the curve in 2015, and 1-800-Lucky opened late 2017, the past two years have brought us a surfeit of food halls, not all of which have survived: St. Roch Market, La Centrale (R.I.P.), Casa Tua Cucina, Time Out Market, Lincoln Eatery, The Citadel, Jackson Hall (R.I.P.), Central Fare, and surely more I'm not thinking of. While I can't claim to have tried every kiosk at every one of these food halls, as far as I'm concerned the best thing to come out of it all is Itamae. This spot in St. Roch Market from the Chang Gang – a/k/a Valerie Chang, her brother Nando Chang, and papa Fernando Chang – serves a delightfully fresh, bright version of Nikkei-style sushi that merges Japanese and Peruvian flavors in inspired ways. But the fast casual trend was not constrained to the food halls: stand-alone spots like Sanguich de Miami and Wabi Sabi by Shuji also showed that attention to detail and ingredients matters, whether it's Cuban sandwiches or chirashi bowls.

Notable 2019 openings: BachourBallooBoia DeCafe La Trova, Hometown Barbecue, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon / Le Jardiniere, Navé, Tigertail + Mary.

And one last round of notes:

(1) That is a very solid list of additions to the Miami dining landscape over the past year.

(2) Because I'm taking the long view here, I'm not quite ready to say that any restaurant that opened in the past year could "define the decade" of Miami dining. But having said that ... Yes, I'm happy to see two Robuchon places open in Miami, after waiting four years since they were first announced. But I'm even happier for places like Boia De and Balloo.

Boia De is the first restaurant from chefs/couple Alex Meyer and Luciana Giangrandi, after starting in Miami with their wonderful La Pollita food truck, and before that spending time in some of the best kitchens in N.Y. and L.A. I can't think of another local restaurant, other than maybe Alter, that was so sure-footed so early on. They do fun, playful, and absolutely delicious food that's Italian in inspiration but open to anything, in a laid-back but stylish spot in a dumpy Buena Vista strip mall that marks the border between the Design District and Little Haiti, with exciting, unusual low-intervention wines curated by Bianca Sanon that are a perfect match for the food. I love everything about it and wish there were more restaurants like this in Miami.

And Timon Balloo, after spending the past decade tending to the big-box venues spawned by Sugarcane, is turning back to his roots in an intimate, stripped down 21-seat space hidden inside the Ingraham Building downtown. Balloo the restaurant doesn't just bear his name; it feels like an autobiography, with a menu that narrates a family tree whose branches wander from Afro-Caribbean Chinese to Trinidadian to Jamaican to Colombian to Thai. (I can't even begin to capture it as beautifully as Carlos Frias did in this profile in the Miami Herald). Go and get the curried calabaza with labneh and black lime, the burnt cabbage with crispy pork and peanut nam prik, or the Jamaican curry goat, and you'll understand why I'm hoping this is what the next decade of dining in Miami looks like.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and if I don't get around to posting my annual "Best Dishes" list before the calendar turns, a very Happy New Year to all.


[1] I have tried – in small measure, anyway – to set aside personal biases and proclivities in compiling this list, and to pay a bit more attention to popularity and sustained buzz, which after all have a good bit to do with defining how we dined over the past decade. So you'll see some places here, particularly in the "long list" of "Notable Openings," that I don't think very much of, but the Miami dining audience feels otherwise. Still, I'll confess that I have tended to disregard, particularly for the "short list," the satellite restaurants of out-of-town chefs (what I often refer to as "invasive exotic species") even though they were, are, and probably always will be a sizable component of our dining universe. I disregard them simply because they rarely have much to say, by way of dialogue, anyway, about Miami. But I will note this: the quality of restaurants that we've gotten from the out-of-towners over the past decade vastly exceeds what we got in the decade prior. The aughts were the decade of the steakhouse: Bourbon Steak, BLT Steak, Gotham Steak, ad infinitum. This past decade we've at least seen some more diversity in concept, and many of these restaurants are genuinely very good: José Andrés Bazaar, Gaston Acurio's La Mar, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Matador Room, Stuart Cameron's Byblos, Paul Qui's Pao, Francis Mallmann's Los Fuegos, Justin Smillie's Upland, Thomas Keller's Surf Club, Will Durney's Hometown Barbecue, the late Joel Robuchon's L'Atelier and Le Jardiniere – you all are welcome to stay. And a note to Andrew Carmellini – you're also welcome back any time.

[2] This is also an occasion to look back on some of my truly gruesome early photography work. I have about a two-year cycle where, when I look back on my earlier pictures, I'm horrified and want to burn them all, so digging this far back is particularly painful.

[3] It has also evolved into a worldwide success: there are Sugarcanes in Las Vegas and Brooklyn now, and Duck & Waffle spinoffs in London and Hong Kong, which claim to have served over one million of their namesake dish which first launched at Sugarcane.

[4] Somehwere along the line Andreas Schreiner went off on his own, and is now part of the team opening the Basque-inspired Leku at the Rubell Museum.

[5] After spending some time cooking in New York, McInnis returned to Miami and has opened Stiltsville Fish Bar and Root & Bone with his now wife Janine Booth.

[6] A couple years ago, Yardbird got private equity backing with the goal of opening two new restaurants a year, and recently signed a lease for property in Washington DC.  Its success has not been matched by Kunkel's other ventures through his 50 Eggs Hospitality Group so far: Khong River House, BTW, Spring Chicken, Swine, and Ad Lib, all of which closed. 50 Eggs recently opened Chica with Lorena Garcia in the old Soyka's spot, after first opening one in Las Vegas.

[7] Phuc Yea made its first appearance as a temporary pop-up in a space in the Ingraham Building downtown in September 2011 (in the space where Balloo just opened last month). After going into hibernation for almost exactly five years, Phuc Yea re-emerged as a permanent restaurant in its space on Biscayne Boulevard.

[8] Let's face it, much as everyone justifiably complained about the misuse of "molecular gastronomy" to describe the El Bulli / Fat Duck / Alinea style that sort of dominated the back end of the last decade, nobody ever found a better term, and we all know exactly what we mean. I will also accept "whiz-bang science cooking."

[9] "Altered," you might say. *snare drum* *cymbal crash*.

[10] When it first opened, Alter had a short a la carte menu and a 5-course tasting option. By the following year, they'd switched to a predominantly tasting-menu format with a few different options, including the long-form "Chef's Counter" experience.

[11] These are the things I can do without: a club promoter turned restaurateur doing a $15 million build-out to serve a 90's era China Grill retread menu amidst loud untz-untz music.

[12] Bonus points: I am not a podcast person, but there is one I listen to regularly: Beltran's "Pan Con Podcast" with co-host Nick Jimenez and a lineup of guests that have included Michael Schwartz, Norman Van Aken, Matt Kuscher, Aniece Meinhold, Daniel Serfer, Eileen Andrade and more for some of the most candid, unvarnished and thoughtful discussion of the restaurant business and related issues – including addiction, work-life balance, racism, "influencers," Cuban identity and Cuban-American politics – that I've heard outside of private conversations. If those things interest you, I'd encourage you to check it out.

[13] Talk about expanding your geographical horizons: while Niven's gotten lots of attention recently for the pop-up preview of Erba, his new Italian spot with Tim Piazza coming to Dadeland, I'm not sure anyone in Miami even knows that Niven opened a spot called Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven, with a concept similar to Ghee, in Santa Rosa, California last year. Or that he's got multiple concepts in the works for the in-development Thesis Hotel in Coral Gables near U.M. As Lil Wayne says, "Real G's move in silence like lasagna."

[14] Myumi, which started in Miami in 2015, was a unique take on the concept, doing a surprisingly good omakase out of a food truck, but closed up the truck in 2017.

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