Maybe it’s just being so close to the ocean lately, but I have been really in to sushi the past couple of weeks. And even though I haven’t been staying in the coolest areas of Miami, there are still some pretty decent restaurants around the hotels that the team and I have been staying at.
Maido is one that’s particularly convenient, which is often what I care most about on Mondays, when I’m usually up by 4am to catch a flight, or Wednesdays, when any consultant is just counting down the hours until the flight home on Thursday.
But aside from being convenient, Maido is also really, really good. Despite being tucked away in a suburban strip mall, the sushi is very fresh, and Maido offers a lot of “izakaya” style dishes, which provide a welcome break from the krab, cream cheese, and mayonnaise-laden dishes so typical of suburban (and plenty of urban) sushi restaurants.
Though Maido does offer plenty of the “favorites” (i.e. California and Spider rolls), I was able to order several dishes I had never tried before. I love pickled vegetables, and ordered an assortment of pickled cucumbers, daikon, radishes, and some vegetables that I couldn’t identify, as well as kimchi that is made in house by one of the Korean chefs.
One other aspect of Maido’s menu I really appreciated were all of the different vegetables offered. They came in literally dozens of varieties and styles of preparation. A vegetarian could have quite easily FEASTED their brains out here.
Some of my favorites were the tako mentai – octopus with spicy cod roe, and the katsu-don, which to me is one of the ultimate Japanese comfort foods.
I didn’t go all out by ordering tons maki rolls and sushi this time around (but I couldn’t NOT sample the soft shell crab roll one of co-workers ordered…) because I feel like I’m still repenting for what I did order last week at a different sushi restaurant in South Beach, called Toni’s. Toni’s isn’t quite as Japanese as Maido, but has a great selection of sushi rolls, some of which are pretty inventive.
Here, my co-workers and I went all out, ordering an insanely large sushi boat, AND some additional rolls, ON TOP OF appetizers.
The age-nasu (fried eggplant) was good, but the age-tofu (fried tofu) lacked flavor compared to some others I’ve had. My favorite starter though was a special of the day – a cold, marinated jelly fish served with a cucumber salad.
The deliciousness of the sushi boat speaks for itself (see the before and after picture). We all could have stopped eating about three quarters of the way into the sushi boat. But did we? Of course not. And to push the gluttony to an even more embarrassing level, we made the terrible decision to fishing off the meal with some mochi ice cream (sorrynotsorry)….
Both Maido and Toni’s are casual, low key restaurants, but since they’re Japanese, it’s still impossible to escape a certain level of precision and elegance. Both I would return to readily.
Toni’s – South Beach, FL