The who: Tanuki, a brand known internationally for Pan-Asian cuisine with more than 60 locations worldwide, ventures into the United States with a first outpost in Miami Beach.
The space: The former Umami Burger spot on Alton Road has been outfitted with blond wood tables, cushy booths and Samurai swords bolted to the walls for sculptural effect. An expansive wrap-around bar that seats 20 is lit up with an LED panel giving it an Asian-metropolis feel.
The dishes: Pan-Asian staples such as sushi, sashimi, specialty rolls, dim sum and composed entrees. Prices are not as high as expected with starters $6-$20, maki rolls $9-$21 and mains $15-$42.
(Assorted sushi and sashimi from Tanuki)
Small plates of tuna crispy rice, tempura shrimp in creamy wasabi sauce and a variety of salads start things off. Rolls run the gamut from spicy tuna to truffle yellowtail to the “Black Dragon” made with shrimp, avocado, eel, scallion and sesame. The Robata section offers skewers of chicken, beef, shrimp or pork belly, while two noodle dishes include a Peking Duck soba and a vegetable udon. A handful of mains go from petite-portioned cashew chicken to miso cod and 16-ounce grilled rib eye.
(Tom Yum with mixed seafood, oyster mushroom, sweet coconut milk)
Desserts includes mochi ice cream, a green tea panna cotta and a raspberry cake with a shiso sponge.
Bottom line: A bit more approachable and wallet-friendly than other sushi spots in SoBe, this Asian eatery could become a neighborhood staple.