Get to Know Itamae Restaurant Miami: A Friendly Profile

by | Sep 27, 2023 | Restaurants | 0 comments

Itamae is a Nikkei restaurant located in Miami, Florida. It offers a unique blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, creating a fusion of flavors that is sure to delight any palate. The restaurant has gained a reputation for its sleek and modern ambiance, making it a popular destination for foodies and those looking for a chic dining experience.

Itamae has been recognized by Food & Wine as one of the Best New Chefs in 2023. The restaurant’s menu features a variety of cebiches and sushi, as well as other popular dishes like Conchitas a La Parmesana, Banadito, and Leche De Tigre Blanca. The restaurant’s Bluefin Tuna Tiradito and Pulpo Al Olivo are also highly recommended by patrons.

Itamae’s head chef, Nando Chang, is a master of Nikkei cuisine and has been instrumental in the restaurant’s success. He and his team use only the freshest ingredients to create dishes that are both visually stunning and delicious. The restaurant’s commitment to quality and innovation has made it a must-visit destination for food lovers in Miami.

History of Itamae Restaurant Miami

Itamae is a Peruvian-Japanese restaurant located in Miami, Florida. The restaurant was first opened in 2018 as a counter in MIA Market food hall, which was then known as St. Roch. The restaurant was founded by the Chang family, comprising patriarch Fernando and his two children, Nando and Valerie.

Itamae started as a small food hall stand meant to be run by Fernando (affectionately known as “Papa Chang” by his customers), but it quickly became a family affair with Valerie and Nando by his side. The restaurant quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike and became a favorite spot for its Nikkei cuisine.

In August 2023, Itamae announced that it would be closing its current location and reopening as Itamae Ao in Midtown Miami under a new concept. Nando Chang, who is the head chef of the restaurant, plans to open a new upscale omakase spot in the new location.

The restaurant has received positive reviews for its unique fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, as well as its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Itamae has become a go-to spot for those looking for a unique dining experience in Miami.

Cuisine and Specialties

Itamae is a Peruvian restaurant in Miami that offers a unique fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is known for its Nikkei cuisine, which combines the flavors and techniques of both cultures. Itamae’s menu features a variety of dishes that are sure to satisfy any palate.

One of the restaurant’s specialties is the ceviche. Itamae’s ceviche is made with fresh fish, lime juice, and a variety of spices and herbs. The dish is light and refreshing, making it the perfect appetizer for any meal.

Another popular dish at Itamae is the sushi. The restaurant’s sushi is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and is expertly prepared by the restaurant’s skilled chefs. The sushi is beautifully presented and is sure to impress even the most discerning sushi lovers.

In addition to ceviche and sushi, Itamae also offers a variety of other dishes, including grilled octopus, beef tenderloin, and quinoa salad. The restaurant’s menu is designed to showcase the best of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, and each dish is carefully crafted to ensure that it is both delicious and visually stunning.

Overall, Itamae is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for a unique dining experience in Miami. The restaurant’s fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine is sure to delight even the most discerning foodies, and the friendly atmosphere and attentive service make it the perfect place for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner for two.

Ambiance and Decor

Itamae restaurant is located in the Miami Design Center and offers a modern and elegant ambiance. The interior is sleek and contemporary, with a minimalist design that allows the food to take center stage. The lighting is dim, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere that is perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.

The decor is inspired by Japanese and Peruvian cultures, with subtle nods to both in the artwork and furnishings. The restaurant is designed to be comfortable and inviting, with plush seating and warm lighting that makes guests feel at home.

The sushi bar is the centerpiece of the restaurant, with a long wooden bar that seats up to 12 guests. It is the perfect spot to watch the chefs at work, as they expertly prepare each dish with precision and care.

Overall, the ambiance and decor at Itamae are sophisticated and stylish, yet approachable and friendly. It is the perfect setting for a memorable dining experience that will leave guests wanting to come back for more.

Location and Accessibility

Itamae is a Nikkei restaurant located in the Design District of Miami, Florida. The restaurant is situated at 140 NE 39th St #136 Miami 33137. Itamae is easily accessible by car, bike, or public transportation.

The restaurant is located in a courtyard across from the Politan Row food hall (formerly St. Roch Market). Itamae’s location is perfect for those looking to explore the Design District, which is known for its high-end fashion boutiques, art galleries, and luxury home design stores.

For those driving, there is metered street parking available nearby, as well as several parking garages within walking distance. Additionally, Itamae is easily accessible by bike, with several bike racks located nearby.

If taking public transportation, the restaurant is located near several bus stops, including the NE 2nd Ave & NE 39th St stop, which is serviced by several bus routes.

Overall, Itamae’s location in the heart of the Design District makes it an easily accessible destination for locals and tourists alike.

Chef and Staff Profile

Itamae is a Nikkei-style restaurant in Miami’s Design District that offers a unique culinary experience. The restaurant is owned and operated by brother-and-sister team Nando and Val Chang, who were both born and raised in Peru.

Nando Chang is the head chef at Itamae and has a passion for Nikkei cuisine, which combines Japanese and Peruvian flavors. He puts in long hours at the restaurant, starting with the morning’s fish delivery and ending with the close of dinner service at the sushi bar. Nando’s dedication to his craft has earned him recognition as one of the best chefs in Miami, and he was named a James Beard Foundation Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program fellow in 2020.

Val Chang is also a chef and co-owner of Itamae. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked in some of the top restaurants in New York City. Val’s expertise in the culinary arts and her passion for entrepreneurship have helped make Itamae a success. She was also named one of the Best New Chefs in 2023 by Food & Wine.

The staff at Itamae is made up of a team of dedicated individuals who are passionate about food and hospitality. From the front-of-house staff to the kitchen team, everyone at Itamae is committed to providing guests with an unforgettable dining experience. The restaurant’s staff is known for their friendly demeanor and exceptional service, which has helped to make Itamae one of the top restaurants in Miami.

Customer Reviews and Ratings

Itamae restaurant in Miami has received positive reviews from customers on various platforms. Many customers have praised the restaurant for its innovative Japanese cuisine and friendly service.

On Tripadvisor, Itamae has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers have left positive comments about the food quality, presentation, and taste. One customer wrote, “The sushi was fresh and delicious, and the presentation was beautiful. The staff was friendly and attentive.” Another customer commented, “The food was amazing and the service was excellent. Highly recommend!”

On Restaurantji, Itamae has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Customers have praised the restaurant for its unique and flavorful dishes. One customer wrote, “The food was absolutely amazing! Every dish we tried was packed with flavor and beautifully presented.” Another customer commented, “The staff was incredibly friendly and attentive. They made us feel welcome and comfortable throughout our meal.”

Itamae has also been reviewed by Condé Nast Traveler, where it received a positive review for its modern space and six-seat indoor dining area. The review noted the restaurant’s focus on fresh and locally sourced ingredients, as well as its unique Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine.

Overall, customers have praised Itamae for its innovative cuisine, friendly service, and beautiful presentation. The restaurant has received positive reviews on various platforms, making it a popular destination for Japanese cuisine in Miami.

Awards and Recognitions

Itamae is a Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant located in Miami’s Design District. The restaurant has received several awards and recognitions for its unique blend of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine.

In 2022, Itamae was recognized as a James Beard Award semifinalist, which is one of the highest honors in the culinary industry. The restaurant was also awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand rating in the same year. This recognition is given to restaurants that offer exceptional food at a reasonable price.

Itamae’s success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the Chang family, who own and operate the restaurant. The sibling duo chefs, Valerie and Nando Chang, along with their father Fernando “Papa” Chang, have created a menu that melds Peruvian ingredients and the techniques of Japanese immigrants.

In addition to these awards, Itamae has also been featured in several publications, including Miami New Times and Secret Miami. The restaurant was named one of the top 100 Miami restaurants of 2023 by Miami New Times and was recognized as one of the best restaurants in America by Secret Miami.

Overall, Itamae’s unique blend of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine has received widespread recognition and praise from both critics and diners alike. The restaurant’s commitment to quality ingredients, exceptional service, and innovative dishes has made it a must-visit destination for foodies in Miami and beyond.

Community Involvement

Itamae is not just a restaurant, it is also an active member of the Miami community. The restaurant participates in various charitable events and initiatives to give back to the community that has supported it.

One example of their community involvement is their partnership with the Lotus House Women’s Shelter. Itamae has hosted several fundraising events to support the shelter’s mission of providing shelter and resources to women and children experiencing homelessness.

Additionally, Itamae has also participated in the annual Taste of the Nation event, which raises funds for the No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

Itamae also sources its ingredients locally, supporting local farmers and businesses. By doing so, they not only provide fresh and high-quality food to their customers but also contribute to the local economy.

Overall, Itamae’s commitment to community involvement and support is a reflection of their dedication to being a friendly and responsible member of the Miami community.

Future Plans for Itamae Restaurant Miami

Itamae, the popular Nikkei restaurant located in Miami’s Design District, has announced its plans to close its current location and move into a new space in Midtown Miami. The restaurant’s current a la carte service ended on August 27, and the new location is set to open soon.

The new restaurant, Itamae Ao, will continue to offer the same fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine that has made Itamae a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The menu will feature a variety of dishes, including sushi, ceviche, and tiraditos, all made with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

In addition to the new location, Itamae is also planning to expand its catering services. The restaurant has already gained a reputation for its exceptional catering, and the team is looking forward to bringing their unique flavors and style to even more events and gatherings.

Itamae’s commitment to quality and innovation is evident in everything they do, from the carefully crafted dishes to the warm and welcoming atmosphere. As the restaurant continues to grow and evolve, diners can expect even more exciting developments in the future.