I will always remember Sushi Maki as the place where my hair caught on fire. It happened the summer between my freshman and sophomore year at UM when my friend Zac and I treated ourselves to dinner at the Sushi Maki on Sunset Drive as a reward for surviving another week as camp counselors. The meal began great (read: without incident). Per usual, we ordered edamame to start and two rolls each—a California roll and a salmon roll for me, please. Then the check arrived...
You know how girls rummage for their wallet when the bill comes and they are not sure if they are expected to pay? I don't do that. Instead, I ask to look at the bill when it arrives and take it from there. On this particular day, this practice prompted me to lean over the table so Zac and I could look at the bill together and discuss who owed what. The discussion was in its infancy when a terrible smell overpowered our nostrils. "Ugh, what are they burning in there?", I said as I turned toward the kitchen. That's when I noticed the flames traveling up the candle on the table up my long, brown hair. Houston, my hair was on fire.
Only five seconds elapsed from the moment we processed the smell to the moment I smothered the flames with my hands, but it felt like a good five minutes. In fact, no one at the restaurant but the man sitting solo at the neighboring table had the chance to witness my America's Funniest Home Video moment. They did, however, pick up the quickly-spreading scent of burnt hair (probably one of the worst, most persistent smells I have ever come across) so Zac, in tears of laughter, put down his credit card and asked me to wait outside while he paid.
Now that I am over the shock of watching half of my hair fall out in burnt strands on the Sunset Drive sidewalk, the big Sushi Maki hair fire of 2007 is one of my favorite memories. That's the thing about veteran Miami staples (Sushi Maki celebrates its 15th birthday this year!), they give you an opportunity to build memories with them. But, as important as it is to cater to nostalgia, it is also important that they continue to evolve. In the case of Sushi Maki, it means refining their beloved menu with new dishes and incorporating more sustainable seafood starting today.
We'll be talking more about Sushi Maki's sustainable seafood certification and what that means in our next #ThankYouMiami for our Natural Resources column. (Follow us on Bloglovin' so you don't miss it.) In the interim, here are some photos and brief descriptions of the new Sushi Maki menu items you HAVE to try:
|The Veggie Head Roll was one of the table's top three favorite items from the new menu. I attribute it to the aji amarillo sauce draped over this veggie roll. You don't even miss the fish!|
|The Salmon Ceviche is the perfect balance of flavor (subtle citrus from lime and grapefruit) and texture (creaminess from the avocado).|
|Another one that made it on our table's top three list is the Snowed In Roll. We can't believe no one has ever thought to pair a crab-based roll with ponzu butter before. Genius!|
|I'm not really a potato person, but the fantastic thing about the Sweet Potato with Shitake Bacon is that it has shitake bacon. And I am a bacon person. P.S. Mushroom bacon is another evidence of genius on the new menu.|
|If you're a fan of DIY dishes or not in the mood for fish, the Tiger Cry Lettuce Wraps are for you. The skirt steak was perfectly cooked and I loved the flavor profile you can create with the toppings.|
|I am on a serious dessert kick and this Japanese Steamed Cake really hit the spot. The cake is not too fluffy, not too dense, not too moist, and not too sweet. It was perfection.|
Do you have any special memories from a visit to Sushi Maki? From a visit to another Miami staple? Which dish are you most excited to try from Sushi Maki's new menu? What are you most excited to learn about sustainable seafood during our upcoming feature? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!