By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Buya Izakaya + Yakitori is described as a Japanese soul food eatery and bar right in the heart of Wynwood.

Buya, which means “small fire,” is owned by the team that founded KYU, a well-known hot spot also in Wynwood.

General Manager Felipe Ojeda explains the Izakaya and Yakitori concept.

“An Izakaya is basically like a casual drinking establishment in Japan, they’re really popular in and around Tokyo,” explained Ojeda to CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo while toasting sake.

Felipe describes the pub style look and food as both fun and off beat.

“It’s a small place, really casual, you can get great drinks great food. The yakitori side of it is a little bit more focused on the street food or the soul food of Japan. So, it’s not sushi, not hibachi. This is skewered food,” he said.

The look is edgy and cool where rock and roll meets downtown.

“If you see, there’s kind of like broken tiles and all of these posters and stuff on the walls. The idea was for her to look like an abandoned subway station,” he explained.

(CBS4)

“So, when you look at the wall posters, you’ve got The Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, a little Led Zeppelin, old Aerosmith posters. So, it’s meant to give you that rock ‘n’ roll feel to it,” he said.

The man behind the magic in the kitchen, is larger than the life executive chef Zach West who stands 6’ 7” tall.

Petrillo starts her tasting with chef West with his Tempura Beech Mushroom with onion ash and Tokyo ranch sauce.

Tempura Beech Mushroom (CBS4)

“I love the taste of chard and burned onion. It’s really delicious,” said West.

“Really delicious,” said Petrillo.” It’s so unique. It’s hearty. This is like it could be a light lunch.”

“That’s our number one seller. People can’t get enough of it,” he said.

Next up was chicken and scallion yakitori.

“This is a classic for any izakaya or yakitori spot. It’s the chicken thigh,” he explained.

“The lacquer on it is a kind of shell that has so much flavor. Then it has the fat of the thigh meat.  It’s so tender on the inside,” said Petrillo.

They wrap up with two Wagyu beef dishes.  First, the grilled Wagyu Kushiyaki served with shiso chimichurri and more.

“The marbling of it is just really, really buttery,” explained chef West.

“It kind of makes you go back on beef,” joked Petrillo.

Finally, the elegant Wagyu Tataki.  It has homemade kimchee, yuzu kosho and savory soy sauce.

“They say it’s street food, but it’s fancy looking,” described Petrillo.

“There’s just so much flavor and texture in the bite. Really nice job chef, you know what you’re doing,” laughed Petrillo.

“Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Occasionally I do,” he joked back.

Buya Izakaya + Yakitori is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and Saturday and Sunday brunch is offered.

 Click here for more information.

If you’d like to try the Grilled Wagyu Beef at home, here’s the recipe:

  • Take 8 ounces of Wagyu and cut into 1 inch squares. and skewer
  • Grill to desired temp

Shiso chiso chimichurri ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Shiso
  • Parsley
  • Confit Garlic
  • Mint
  • Salt
  • Sambal
  • White soy
  • Combine all ingredients in robocoupe and pulse
  • Separate half and blend until smooth
  • Combine both in mixing bowl and incorporate. Store and enjoy!

Lisa Petrillo