Food & Drink

Eight seats, unreal sushi

Published On 04/30/2012 Published On 04/30/2012

There's nothing worse than making decisions, except of course when they're highly publicized television events that involve LeBron coming to play basketball here. Good decision, LeBron!! Well, even he'll have a tough time getting a seat at a tiny sushi temple that makes all your decisions for you: NAOE

Quietly opened on Brickell Key after a stint in Sunny Isles, Chef Kevin Cory's new incarnation is about as simple as things get in some ways -- two seatings per night, eight people per seating, starkly minimal decor, an omakase menu you don't have to choose a single thing from -- and as impressively not-simple in one very huge way: its fully operational Large Hadron Collider the food. Once you're lucky enough to get a seat, they'll get in touch to prep for any food allergies (peanuts = no problem; sushi = might be a problem), then prepare a whatever-Cory-feels-like meal consisting completely of "natural Japanese cuisine" employing both local and Tokyo-imported swimmers. What you might encounter: horse mackerel w/ fresh-grated wasabi, urchin-topped egg tofu, fresh roasted & basted eel, plus "delicately sweet" nigiri including kohada (gizzard shad, a small fish related to herring), monkfish liver, Scottish salmon bellies, and cured squid, which apparently no longer has Ink Eye

You're actually given freedom of choice when it comes to a brief selection of brews like Ginga Kogen, and sake comes direct from Cory's family-owned (since the 1800s!), Mount Hakusan-perched Nakamura Brewery -- drink enough, and the appeal of bringing your talents to South Beach will be greatly diminished.

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1. NAOE 661 Brickell Key Dr, , 33131 (Brickell)

This eight-seat sushi temple on Brickell Key is the best of the best for Tokyo-quality sushi in Miami. Crafted by Chef Kevin Cory, Naoe is an omakase-only experience that begins with a bento box before graduating to individual pieces of art-like nigiri. Even if you aren't a sake fan, be sure to order some with your dinner -- it's sourced from the chef's family's brewery in Japan.

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