The goods: Cone-shaped sushi rolls by way of Brazil have landed in South Beach at Kone, the latest fusion joint to serve the playfully packaged Japanese delicacy. The cone-shaped hand rolls, also known as temaki, are wildly popular in Rio, offering a portable snack for post-club kids. Unlike King Kone on Alton with its fast-food setup, this spot positions itself as a sit-down restaurant and sake lounge, complete with waiter service and patio.
Ambience: The bright spot is decked out with dark wood tables and funky chairs. Red and black couches furnish a tiny lounge area in the back, and tiki torches lend ambience to al fresco seating that overlooks the busy intersection of Fifth and Collins.
The grub: Sushi and hand rolls with a Brazilian influence. There are about a dozen cones and traditional sushi rolls (maki) as well as a short list of appetizers. Prices are moderate — cones average $8, sushi rolls $6-$10 and starters less than $10.
Starters include standbys like shrimp and vegetable tempura, seaweed salad, miso soup and fried baby octopus. The “Crunchy Monster” cone is a large seaweed funnel stuffed with sticky rice and spicy tuna flecked with tempura flakes. A salmon tartar cone brings generous hunks of fish mixed lightly with mayo and scallions. Oversized tempura rolls include a “Love Park” with kanikama (imitation crab), cream cheese, salmon and avocado. Desserts continue the theme with sweet waffle cones filled with chocolate sauce and topped with ice cream.
Verdict: With a trendy South American pedigree, these cone-shaped hand rolls are a fun alternative to run-of-the-mill sushi.