Think of Katsuya Brickell as the serious, more refined younger sister of South Beach’s flashy outpost—earthy, moody and restrained. Designed in the style of a rustic Japanese izakaya, the upscale restaurant is uncommonly low-key featuring a laid-back courtyard and an ample center sushi bar with plenty of stools for solo diners. The seating medley makes sense for Miami’s financial district, where the hottest spots host power lunches and colleague happy hours to date night—and that’s exactly the miscellany of groups you’ll see.
Katsuya Brickell’s menu pulls from a variety of different directions, too, taking inspiration from the neighborhood’s Latin American influences, French flavors and Japan’s superior ingredients. Signatures such as the famed crispy rice with spicy tuna and miso cod make the cut but executive chef Denevin Miranda took some liberties with several traditional Japanese dishes, like the short rib gyozas and the Kilawin Roll, a shrimp and snapper maki topped with a delicate coconut-citrus foam. The perfect sweet ending to a night at Katsuya is none other than the Geisha’s Kiss, a lip-puckering berry dessert too good to share.