Pubbelly Sushi: On A Roll?

Categories: First Bites
Yellowtail Roll 2.jpg
Lesley Elliott
Pubbelly's yellowtail roll with snowcrab and truffle yuzu.
Pubbelly's neighborhood takeover officially begins this week, with the opening of their sushi offshoot right next door to its' predecessor. We told you all about local artist, Erni Vales, responsible for Pubbelly Sushi's Japanese anime-inspired murals, and gave you a few hints on the menu. But here's our first look at the most important element of any new restaurant, of course, the food.

The space is reminiscent of the original, exposed brick and giant chalkboards will tell you what you can and can't order that day. The format is the same too, tapas style small plates meant for sharing. And there are a few menu items that have even been transferred over after popular appearances on Pubbelly's previous menus, like the salmon rilletes ($17) or "rockshrimp tempura" ($15), which is really their "buffalo style sweetbreads" reincarnated in seafood form (replacing the pickled celery with pickled carrots; chunks of blue cheese and green nori flakes remain). They've only been open for a few days, but the place was packed by 7:30 p.m., with a half-hour wait for a table of four people.

This isn't really for sushi traditionalists, although there are renditions of spicy tuna and nigiri by the piece, most roll offerings have been belly-ed by the boys in back. The pork and clam roll ($12) could actually be called the belly roll, as chopped up clam bellys line the inside, and slabs of pork belly with kimchee coleslaw are balanced a bit like Saarinen tables on top. Their version of a yellowtail roll ($15), involves the scent of truffle yuzu, chunks of snow crab, and little crispy bits of tempura batter that seemed to have salty nori kind of baked inside.

We will say that the bill adds up fast because the portion sizes are small, and especially considering that a 300ML of sake (about 2-3 small glasses each, for two people, $24 - $42) costs just about the same price point as an entire bottle of wine ($32 - $48) that intoxicates more people for less money. Although we respect their desire to deliver unusual sakes, not sure a tavern of this type needs a $79 bottle of sake on the list, even if it is a stellar "Junmai Daiginjo." Maybe we just drink our sake down, really, really fast.

Porkbelly & Clam Roll 2.jpg
Lesley Elliott
The "porkbelly & clams" roll has bbq'd belly, a creamy kimchee coleslaw and crispy clams. It's a big bite. You kind of have to open wide, like at the dentist, but success ensures the tastiest version of this roll - you really have to consume all the components at one time in order to get the most out of it.

Rockshrimp Tempura 2.jpg
Lesley Elliott
The "rockshrimp tempura" is okay for two to share, but if there had been more eaters at the table, this would have been a one bite wonder. The "buffalo aioli" reminds us of a fancy homemade, significantly better version of Frank's hot sauce. We could have eaten a hundred more of these, but at $15 a pop, we decided to feel satisfied.

Kimchee Sausage 2.jpg
Lesley Elliott
The "kimchee sausage" cooked on the robatta grill ($14) came directly on over from the kitchen at Pubbelly, Managing Partner Andreas Schreiner told us that it's not permanently on the menu, but they are thinking about adding it, depending on populace appeal. The dish is a fusion of German and Japanese, starting with a seriously juicy pork sausage made in-house (well, at the original Pubbelly...) and spicy mustard, along with apples and 'kraut.' There was a great mix of savory and sweet on this plate, completely worthy of a more long-term commitment.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio 2.jpg
Lesley Elliott
The Wagyu beef carpaccio ($13) has extreme potential; the slow poached egg oozed appropriately over our roasted mushrooms swimming in soy jus. Sadly, our dining partner nabbed all the actual carpaccio in one fell swoop, not realizing that one bite worth was the only slice of meat under the egg. And since chop sticks do not serve as the proper utensils for eating liquid egg without a base, we had to leave all the best parts behind. Do not, repeat, do not order this without a side of bread. It's too tragic.

Mochi 2.jpg
Lesley Elliott
For dessert we tried the classic mochi ($7), offered in green tea, passionfruit and red bean. This wasn't too sweet, which we really appreciated, but it was really hard to choose between this and the green tea crème brûlée. Maybe next time.

Location Info

Pubbelly Sushi

1424 20th St., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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I am Japanese (one of the few in Miami yes).  My friends insisted they were taking me to a new sushi place which would make me happy, as I've only found a tiny spot in Brickell to be "acceptable" Sushi.......with a true Japanese speaking owner/chef manning the creation for years.

I can say undoubtedly, Pubbelly Sushi  was the most Americanized poorly tasting "Sushi" I've ever tried in Miami.  I don't understand why people here will pay 50 dollars for horrible food in a "cool" "very loud" setting, and bash me when I point out the food in this city outside of Latin is generally very poor quality/unauthentic.

I couldn't even eat half of the "Sushi".  Also, just read on the site the new executive chef of Sushi Samba Dromo had NEVER worked in a Japanese restaurant???  I don't understand the logic of this city......There is a reason why most Europeans/New Yorkers/San Franciscans/Asians natives complain so much when they visit here.  Not only has South Beach become ghetto central in the past 5 years, chock full of the cheapest tourists........the food is extremely overpriced, unauthentic and low quality.

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