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  1. Midorie
    Photograph: Courtesy Midorie
  2. Midorie
    Photograph: Courtesy Midorie
  3. Midorie
    Photograph: Courtesy Midorie

Time Out says

In a city of club-restaurants and chains, Midorie is a quiet respite of exceptionally fresh sushi.

Restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda stood in the doorway of his restaurant Hiyakawa recently, holding out his hand. "Welcome," he said, "to not only the best restaurant in Wynwood, but in all of Miami."

An art dealer by day, Perez Miranda has immense confidence in Hiyakawa, which he built as a museum-like temple to the serious affair of sushi omakase. But Hiyakawa is a special-occasion place, not exactly an everyday option for most of us working stiffs.

The good news is that Perez Miranda puts out the same quality sushi at Hiyakawa’s sister restaurant, Wabi Sabi, and its new clone in Coconut Grove, Midorie. There’s more coming, too, with a second Midorie in the works for the South of Fifth neighborhood in Miami Beach. And there’s a case to be made that Midorie-slash-Wabi Sabi is putting out the best, reasonably priced sushi in the city.

Like Wabi Sabi, Midorie is tucked pretty hard off the beaten path in a mall-like building you probably didn’t know existed (Google Maps will definitely not help get you there). Behind Chug’s Diner, past a second-hand bike shop, take a left and then a right, and Midorie is back there in an open-air courtyard, just 12 seats outdoors and 10 inside. The idea here was to keep the place small, according to Perez Miranda, since he’s sourcing the fish directly from Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market and can’t produce quality in mass.

The entire space is flash-bright, with no music to set the mood, making it clear the experience is about one thing: fresh fish.

It all looks fairly simple and tidy, with wooden tables and backless chairs outside that’ll test your posture. Inside, there’s a row of window seats and sushi bar spots in a space probably as wide as a hallway in Brickell’s latest hotspot. Similar to Wabi Sabi’s much-photographed origami artwork, there’s a flowing art piece in Coconut Grove: a school of rainbow fish run along the wall opposite of the sushi counter. The entire space is flash-bright, with no music to set the mood, making it clear the experience is about one thing: fresh fish.

The menu is a one-sheet full of whatever is fresh, broken down by bowls, maki rolls, individual sushi pieces and what might be the best omakase deal in town. Seriously, $50 for 12 pieces of expertly prepared sashimi over rice almost seems hard to believe in this era of $25 cocktails at your average corner restaurant.

It’s hard to say what you’ll see if you go tonight, since it’s largely based on what’s just arrived. On a visit recently, the meal began with a crudo, with a perfect circle of sliced amberjack and dots of ponzu jelly, roasted jalapeño and a spray of yuzu-soy, looking as pretty as a spring flower.

Our 12-piece sushi sampler with a maki roll ($100) came with salmon, toro and uni so delicate they began to slowly melt atop the rice. There were also a couple white fishes dotted with just a bit of flavor from that yuzu jelly on one and a citrusy cream on the other—just enough to add a bit of something interesting without overpowering the fish.

Rolls and bowls here are largely simple, meant to accentuate the fish, like the Midorie with tuna, salmon, cucumber, avocado, seaweed and braised shiitake. At $24, that Midorie bowl is faultless, just a presentation of good, simple ingredients.

Meals end with either several flavors of mochi or panna cotta made in-house with creative flavors like mango and a black sesame so tangy-sweet it tasted almost like balsamic.

None of the items at Midorie, from the appetizers to the final bit of sweet, feel like an over-indulgence. There’s no fryer in the kitchen, and sauces come at a modest level. (This is not a spot for the fan of deep-fried rolls covered in breakfast cereal or whatever they’re putting on them now.) That is the whole point of Midorie, after all. In a city where club-restaurants and chains from Austin and New York seem to open daily, Midorie is a respite of exceptionally fresh sushi.

Eric Barton
Written by
Eric Barton


3444 Main Hwy
Opening hours:
Wed–Sun 12–9 pm
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