The luxury style of dining known as “omakase” is popping up everywhere in Miami, with existing restaurants launching omakase concepts as add-ons to their already upscale offerings.
South Beach’s vibey Mediterranean-Japanese rooftop restaurant MILA boasts a 10-seat enclosed omakase bar accessible via a mysterious staircase, and the recently opened Paris Theater establishment Queen Miami Beach later revealed an opulent eight-seat private omakase experience. To keep up with the trend, restaurants are adding an omakase menu even without an in-house sushi counter.
OMAKAI has been leading the omakase craze since before the pandemic surge, offering casual, high-quality omakase without the frills to a devoted following. Founded by brothers Diego and Pedro Quijada in November of 2019, OMAKAI has been a culinary pinnacle of the Wynwood neighborhood and a quintessential omakase option for those less familiar with the chef’s choice experience.
Food is brought from the kitchen to your table, rather than prepared before you at a sushi counter, and guests also have the option of ordering a la carte—the traditional restaurant way. As a result of increasing demand, OMAKAI has recently opened its doors in Coconut Grove, where it is warmly welcomed amid a slew of new eateries flooding the area. The space seats around 65 guests at 2,182 square feet and is the exciting precursor to additional locations in the near future.
We spoke with the Quijada brothers to dive into the deets about everything OMAKAI.
What is a unique aspect to the OMAKAI location in Coconut Grove that separates it from the rest? Why Coconut Grove?
Our Coconut Grove location is special in that we have a great corner spot with sweeping windows overlooking a bustling corner in the heart of the Grove. This location is elevated to match the Grove clientele, and has a beautiful bar where guests can enjoy a glass of sake and a handroll or a full omakase experience. Coconut Grove has an incredible pulse and energy right now and we only see that continuing from here—so needless to say, we were eager to be a part of its growing restaurant scene.
What originally inspired the launch of OMAKAI in Wynwood?
Our goal was to redefine the standard of sushi by introducing an authentic, elevated omakase experience for all. We set out to offer the highest quality fish and sushi to our guests at an accessible price point. We sought to educate our customers with our deep-rooted knowledge of sushi, while taking them on a culinary journey and encouraging them to leave it up to us throughout the process.
What is your favorite order at OMAKAI?
I either indulge in the OMAKAI Experience which is chef Aaron’s latest inspiration, or I go simple with an OMA and add specialty pieces like kinmedai white fish, uni, or wagyu.
How does OMAKAI stand out from other omakase offerings in Miami?
Accessibility is our key differentiator. We offer a variety of menu options to appeal to all types of consumers, from a lighter omakase option to specialty nigiris to vegan sushi and more. We also offer our signature 'Homeakase' boxes, which provide guests the option to enjoy OMAKAI's offerings in sleek packaging from the comfort of home.
What are you most excited about in OMAKAI's future?
We're excited to be able to expand outside of our original home in Wynwood, providing top-quality sushi to people all across Miami. We're constantly striving for consistency, while innovating along the way. With that in mind, we're looking forward to introducing the next iteration of OMAKAI, OMAKAI hand roll bar, in Brickell in the coming months.
What are you most proud of when it comes to what you've accomplished with the OMAKAI brand?
Our team works tirelessly to maintain an incredible level of quality and service, and we have stayed true to our goals since day one. When we consistently hear positive feedback and reinforcement from our guests and the community, we know we're doing something right—and it drives us to keep doing it every day.
Photography by: Courtesy of OMAKAI