PHOTO CREDIT: SAKURA 736

For those who love sushi, spice and a week-long happy hour in the South of Fifth neighborhood.

By: Jennifer Barrios

Location: South of Fifth – Miami Beach
Address: 736 1st St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Meal type: Happy Hour & Dinner
Cuisine: Nikkei (aka Japanese-Peruvian Fusion)

Ambiance: Laidback Sophistication

Background music: Eclectic, think South Beach lounge playlist. The volume is loud enough to vibe to but low enough to have a comfortable conversation.

What to wear: Dress for the occasion. It’s South Beach so you’ll see everything from date-night dresses to after work suits.

What to expect: Dim lighting, hand-carved wood panels, natural coral walls and a glowing onyx bar set the scene for this SoFi culinary hotspot. The attention to detail shows in their décor and carefully crafted cocktails but more than anything Sakura736 offers great food and awesome vibes. Service was top notch and you can expect several food runners, bartenders, bussers, and servers to check in on you throughout the night.

The Menu: Sakura736’s Nikkei menu is a Japanese and Peruvian flavor mashup featuring a wide array of dishes that allow you to taste the best of both worlds. We got to sample the Happy Hour menu featuring hot bites and raw bar items all priced at $6 each. We couldn’t wait to grab our chopsticks and dig into the sashimi, but for those who prefer to roll with rice, there are four different sushi rolls that won’t disappoint! While the food was a highlight, it isn’t Happy Hour without booze – the Happy Hour menu offers an array of signature cocktails, wine, and beer all under $7!

What to order:

Crispy Paiche Bao Bun: The pillowy bread on these buns perfectly hugs the delicately flavored crispy Paiche, a white fish native to Peru. The combination of Japanese and Peruvian ingredients in this dish creates a delicious harmony of flavors and textures that left us craving more. This dish brings two buns, but we won’t judge you if you finish both before your friend makes it back to the table.

Ceviche Classico: The ceviche was incredibly fresh and had the perfect balance of creaminess and acidity alongside sweet potato and choclo. The Classico is the only ceviche dish on the Happy Hour menu but we took a sneak peek at the dinner menu and saw they had several other ceviche variations that deepen the flavor of this classic corvina staple.

Lamb Chop: Disclaimer, this one isn’t on the happy hour menu, but we just had to share! We asked our server to bring us his favorite dish from the full menu, and he surprised us with this beautifully presented lamb chop dish. These chops were perfectly seasoned, ultra tender and paired wonderfully with the Japanese yogurt sauce and aji panca that came on the side.

Suspiro Limeno: We couldn’t resist going back for an extra spoon of this sweet and creamy traditional Peruvian dessert. Our mouth waters just thinking of the golden, silky smooth caramel-like treat topped with small mounds of merengue. While it’s possible to finish on your own, it is sweet so we recommend you order this one to share!

Off the menu: Don’t forget to ask your server about any off-the-menu sashimi they can recommend.

How to score a table: The restaurant recently opened November 12, so anticipate the wait – especially with such great happy hour prices south of fifth. If waiting isn’t your thing, you can call ahead or use open table.