It’s easy to take something for granted. It’s been years since I first stepped inside Sakaya Kitchen (
3401 N Miami Avenue #125) at Midtown. Back then, Midtown was not what it is today. Chef Richard Hales took a chance on opening in a former seafood spot.
I remember reading about Sakaya Kitchen and thinking it wasn’t my thing. Then, someone posted a picture of their burger online. On my first visit, I was floored by everything I ate and wrote about it on this blog.
I had initially suggested that maybe the Bulgogi Burger needed to be a double. On my next visit, I met Chef Hales. When I ordered a single Bulgogi Burger, it arrived as a Double. Chef Hales would later name it “The Burger Beast” after yours truly.
Right around this time, the food truck movement exploded in South Florida. Chef Hales’ Dim Ssam, a Gogo mobile, would debut at the 1st South Florida truck rally I curated. On Dim Ssam a Gogo, he created a couple of dishes (Chunk’d Tots and the K-Dog) now on the restaurant’s permanent menu.
He then opened BlackBrick (right across from Sakaya Kitchen, now closed), Bird & Bone on South Beach (closed), and, most recently, Society BBQ. All of which you should check out.
TAKING FOR GRANTED
Why did I start all this talking about taking something for granted? It had been years since I had sat down and enjoyed a meal at Sakaya Kitchen.
I brought my bud Alfred with me, who had never been, and he was just floored, just like I was all those years ago. It was then that I realized how unique Sakaya Kitchen is. There’s nothing else like it in Miami.
I’ll be the first to call it a landmark restaurant in the history of Miami cuisine. Sakaya Kitchen is the central pillar around which Midtown’s restaurant scene was built.
Dim Ssam a Gogo is one of the food trucks that gave credibility to the Miami food truck scene. It’s why, all these years later, Sakaya Kitchen is an iconic Miami restaurant.
If you haven’t been To Sakaya Kitchen, shame on you; luckily, there’s a quick fix for that problem. Let me know how it goes.
Sakaya Kitchen was eventually replaced by Chef Hales’ other concept, Society BBQ.