Friday, May 23, 2008
Bond St. Lounge, Townhouse Hotel
People are always recommending restaurants to me. And Bond St. is one of those names that consistently comes up when discussing fantastic sushi joints in Miami. I figured it was about time I explored this shrine to Japanese delicacies. Word on the culinary street was that Mike the sushi chef from David Bouley Evolution had relocated to Bond St. Indeed it's true. Mike is there, with his debonair mustache and his flair for fish. The restaurant is located in the basement of the Townhouse Hotel in a dimly lit, cozy and noir-sexy space. Perfect for a quiet, private date. It felt like Tokyo with an intimate sushi bar where you can interact with the chefs and be entertained by the maki-rolling action. We started with seaweed salad - addictively chewy and dressed with a fiery orange sesame sauce. One of the specials that night was sea bass tempura with a garlic dipping sauce - a nice platter of lightly-fried fish.
We heard the bluefin tuna was luscious that night so we went with a blue fin scallion roll, a Japanese amberjack and fuji apple roll, a "mango tango" bluefin roll and a spicy hamachi. The rolls were delicate and impressive, full of buttery, spectacularly fresh fish. A little fanciful at times (the diced mango on top was more of a showpiece rather than a flavor enhancer), the bite size pieces were perfectly proportioned and sumptuous on their own. The spicy hamachi included pickled kimchi while the fuji apple roll came topped with the lightly breaded cooked fish - both inventive touches. We capped it with a green tea creme brulee, a silky and fragrant ode to the drink itself. If you're looking for serious sushi prepared by a maki guru, this is the spot. Bond St. isn't cheap, mind you, as those bluefin rolls are priced at $18 and $24 and most other rolls are about $10. But if you are in the mood to splurge on some of the best raw fish in town, grab a stool in this subterranean lounge. It may be in the Townhouse Hotel but its appeal extends way beyond tourists. Seasoned Miami locals return again and again to Bond St. and it's clear why.