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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Azabu is named after a bustling district in Tokyo, Japan.

It’s first U.S. location is Michelin starred -and its NY’s Tribeca district.

Here at Azabu Miami Beach inside the Stanton Hotel on South Beach, there are many experiences going on under one roof.

“We basically wanted to represent true Japanese cuisine to a Miami audience. We actually have three concepts in one restaurant. We have the main dining room. We have a separate room we call the den, where we have omakase sushi, we also have a full bar with many Japanese whiskeys, we have 40 whiskeys. 40 Japanese whiskeys. That’s the most anywhere in Miami, I’m sure,” said Reina Matsuo,  Marketing Manager at Azabu.

The main dining room is relaxed and inviting with subtle hints of Japan throughout, like a bonsai tree in the center.

“We went very organic, lots of wood and our color here is Japanese indigo, so we have a lot of blues and indigo as well,” Reina said.

There’s a full Robata seating counter allowing guests to watch their dinner cook on the Robata grill and the den.

It’s an 11-seat sushi bar with a counter crafted from a Japanese Hinoki cypress tree.  In the den, it’s Omakase style, where the chef chooses the fish for you.

“We have fresh selections of sashimi of the day and also nigari, and you’ll get 10 pieces of nigari and it changes day by day as we only get the freshest fish of the day,”  Reina explained.

Back in the kitchen French born chef Christopher Robert is executing Head chef Masa Kubo’s culinary vision for us on this day preparing CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo’s Yakumeshi with eel and fresh vegetables. Everything is carefully placed and cooked on a Japanese fry pan and then untouched until its tableside and ready to  be stirred.

“The rice is special. It’s absorbed all these ingredients and there’s a chew to it,” said Petrillo.

Chef’s lobster tempura with crispy Bubu rice crackers in spicy mayo is simply elegant.

Then, it’s time for the dish Petrillo is most afraid of: Avocado Uni. It’s sea urchin inside warmed avocado.

“The whole sea urchin thing is freaking me out,” said Petrillo, behind the scenes while Chef is preparing the dish.

But once it’s plated, her fears melted away.

“By the way its smooth – it’s not fishy,” said Petrillo.

“It’s creamy,” said Chef.

“That’s the word. It has heat and it’s super tasty. I’m all about the Avocado Uni!” said Petrillo.

They toast the meal with the picture perfect “Spring in Tokyo” cocktail complete with edible flowers on top.

Azabu, where Japanese cuisine and experience go hand in hand. It’s opened 7 days a week for dinner only.

For more info visit

Lisa Petrillo