Open late Fri.-Sat.
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Doraku Restaurant Review: After working for 20 years with his dad Rocky Aoki (founder of the fun if gimmicky Benihana tabletop teppanyaki chain), Kevin Aoki opened his first South Beach Doraku, a cooler yuppie/hipster hangout, in the 1990s. In 2012, a downtown/Brickell location followed. You’ll find no slice’n’dice flying knives show at either; the identical menus focus on sushi and cold or hot Japanese/Pan-Asian small plates that are sometimes, fitting to Miami, Latin-accented. Plating is always elegant, and best of all items taste as good as they look, highlighted by fresh seafood (flown in daily) and accented by some typically Japanese ingredients that are rarely found in Americanized sushi bars --- shiso leaf, natto (fermented soy bean), etc. Especially recommended is the relatively simple but savory Geisha Roll (spicy tuna, shiso, pickled radish, kaiware sprouts, and kabayaki eel sauce), or for more elaborate tastes, the large, jewel-like Double Happiness roll (nori and thin cucumber slice-wrapped crab meat, shrimp, salmon, tuna, shiso and sprouts, topped with ponzu, garlic aïoli drizzles, and tobiko). Two daily happy hour menus, offered evenings but also at lunch, propose bargain prices on items like rock shrimp/basil tempura with spicy aïoli, or lighter salmon carpaccio with gingery dressing. The saké menu is unusually large (over 60 choices), and service is unusually efficient, for Miami.