Makoto Stephen Starr Bal Harbour Shoppes Bal Harbour Shops Makoto
From restaurateur Stephen Starr, an elegant, modern Japanese izakaya-style restolounge featuring sushi and robata-grill items.
Openings: Lunch & Dinner daily


Makoto, Bal Harbour, FL

Makoto Restaurant Review:

At this Japanese restaurant from Stephen Starr (whose previous Asian groundbreakers include Buddakan and Morimoto), chef Makoto Okuwa, a longtime Morimoto protégé, fully proves he deserves having his own name above the door. The menu's divided into two equal parts: both creative and traditional sushi/sashimi, and izakaya-style small or large plates. Among the latter are some complex composed selections showing off the chef's inventiveness and contemporary technique (like "frosty Kobe fried rice," featuring a molecular gastronomic combo of melting warm liver and a frozen beef "popsicle"), and others are more classically-inspired: thin Kobe beef strips, cooked tableside on a hot stone that barely melts the beautiful marbling to butter; simple but well prepared items from a coal-burning robata grill that imparts subtle smokiness to king crab claws, miso/truffle-glazed short rib skewers, and more. The sushi/sashimi side of the menu, featuring pristine Pacific fish flown in from the Tokyo market twice a week, is equally accomplished, whether you go for makis like a crisp soft-shell crab roll that puts the usual "dragon rolls" to shame, or individual nigiri assembled with the ideal amount of fresh wasabi. The dessert selection is topped by an imaginative East-West flourless chocolate cake with an odd-sounding but delectable yuzu/miso custard center. Wine selections, though global, are limited, but the saké list is extensive.

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