Miami, FL

Michelin-starred Sushi by Scratch is opening in Miami

Best of South Florida

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Husband-and-wife chef/restaurateurs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-LeeSushi by Scratch

Without question, Miami is having a Michelin moment.

The recent tidal wave of adulation from the revered guide — which includes a Bib Gourmand section alongside the traditional stars — the Magic City now has a number of restaurants to dub it an official dining destination.

On the heels of those big wins, California-based Scratch Restaurants Group is announcing the impending opening of its Michelin-starred omakase concept, Sushi by Scratch Restaurants Miami.

Slated to open at Coconut Grove’s historic Stirrup House on July 1, the restaurant will signal the arrival of husband-and-wife chef/restaurateurs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee to Miami.

Last year was a big year for the chefs: in 2021 both Sushi by Scratch Restaurants Montecito and Pasta Bar by Scratch Restaurants Los Angeles received Michelin stars.

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Sushi by Scratch

"Miami is a city we know well and have great affection for," Kallas-Lee, who lived in Miami as a teenager, tells News Break. “When we launched the Scratch Restaurants group a decade ago, we made a promise to ourselves to open restaurants in cities we loved and felt a genuine connection to. We were honored to receive a Michelin star in 2021 and are thrilled to be opening here just as the Guide is shining a light on this one-of-a-kind place.”

Housed behind the newly-starred Ariete restaurant in the heart of Coconut Grove, Stirrup House is a historic two-story bungalow that evokes the spirit and mystique of bygone Florida.

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants Miami is taking over the bottom floor of the building, transforming it into a 10-seat counter-only omakase den, manned by a team of three chefs and one bartender.

Lee fell in love with sushi as a kid dining across Los Angeles with his father. In fact, it was his first omakase experience with his father’s friend, a sushi chef, which laid the seeds for what would become the family of Sushi by Scratch Restaurants. Locations include Los Angeles, the Michelin-starred outpost in Montecito, Austin — and now Miami. '

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Sushi by Scratch

With three seatings nightly (5 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.), dinner at Sushi by Scratch Restaurants is a literal hands-on experience you won’t want to miss. Each bite is handmade and placed by our chefs, who engage directly with our guests over 17 courses, which lasts about two hours.

“Naturally the quality of our product must be and is of the utmost importance. But what was made clear to me over the years is that a truly exceptional omakase experience is about more than who has the best fish and rice," says Lee. "That is important but beyond being a showcase for sourcing and technique a great omakase experience must ‘tell a story and take diners on a journey. With every bite that is what we aim to do.”

A journey begins 20 minutes prior to the scheduled seating time with a complimentary welcome cocktail. From there, a progressive, intoxicating and alluring tasting experience consisting of strictly nigiri, each item handmade and served as is – no extras, no sidecars of soy sauce or wasabi. In fact, everything is made from scratch, including soy sauce and vinegars.

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Sushi by Scratch

Although the flavor profiles of our nigiri may not sound traditional, the approach to nigiri is, adds Kallas-Lee.

“Our niche has always been our flavor profiles. Someone might be surprised when a perfect slice of Hamachi is painted with a sweet corn pudding and topped with a fine sprinkle ofbread crumbs. But that one bite delivers a flavor you won’t forget and is also a call back to Phillip’s childhood and is designed, also, to trigger our guests most beloved food memories.”

Though the menu changes regularly signature items abound. A fan favorite is chef Lee’s signature "1-2 Punch."

These two signature dishes feature bone marrow. First, it's served as a roasted bone marrow nigiri seasoned simply with homemade soy sauce, sea salt, and freshly-grated wasabi root. For the following course, the chefs reserve the bone in their Japanese eel dish seasoned with a salt made from matcha green tea, mushrooms, and kelp. From there, the bone is given a pass with the blowtorch to render the excess fat, frying the eel in the bone marrow. Once fried crispy, they quickly sog it with soy, ponzu, lemon, sea salt, and yuzu kosho made from poblano peppers. Every evening ends with a sweet finale, paired with a complimentary hot green tea/sake cocktail.

A seat at Sushi by Scratch Restaurants Miami is $165 per person. Two beverage options include an $85 (featuring three different sakes, two cocktails and one beer) and $110 (featuring six different pours of sake) pairing. Reservations are required and can be made in advance via exploretock.com/sushi-by-scratch-restaurants-miami.

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants Miami. 3242 Charles St., Miami; dinner is served Wednesday through Sunday across three seatings; sushibyscratchrestaurants.com.

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