By Giovanny Gutierrez
As if there weren’t already enough reasons to obsess (crispy tuna rice anyone?) over chef Makoto Okuwa’s eponymous Japanese restaurant, the (Stephen) Starr-powered team and international designer India Mahdavi have given us plenty more. 244 to be exact. That’s the number of guests the revamped Makoto—now located on Level Three of Bal Harbour Shops—can accommodate in its ample, breezy, and seamless indoor-outdoor space. Hopefully that means you never have to worry about not getting a reservation or table again.
The vibe is sort of what you’d expect if Don Draper was visiting Miami and wanted to go out for low-key but elevated sushi. It may take a moment to get situated depending on what part of the restaurant you happen to get sat in. Are you in a Parisian brasserie, American diner or 1930s, rattan-rage Los Angeles? To be honest, once the dishes start appearing, the ambience fades and all attention is on flavor.
And while the vibe is completely different than Makoto 1.0, you can count on the menu to deliver all the hits: The sake collection is still extensive, the Edomae-style sushi is impeccable and the cocktails remain unique. One new addition you’ll want to take advantage of is the exclusive sushi bar for 16. And pro tip: you’ll be first to be let in on any specials or catch of the day if you happen to snag a spot.
If you’re new to the Makoto menu, do it right with my personal favorites starting with a Thai Mojito, the famous Serrano Chili Tuna Crispy Rice, followed by Rock Shrimp from the tempura section, Spicy Yellowtail uramaki roll and the Miso Sea Bass topped with Crispy Kale—all in that order for a perfect journey.