They say the little things are actually the big things and that is certainly the case around Miami these days. Everywhere we look, small businesses with big hearts who want to make our city an even better place are opening (to rave reviews mostly) and it’s a really good time to be alive.
The latest little addition to the Miami dining scene is Little Itoshin, literal younger sibling to one of the Coast’s most-loved venues, Itoshin in Mermaid Beach.
It’s quite the institution around here and, when asked their favourite spots to dine, local chefs and restaurateurs always mention the little Japanese gem.
Which is why it’s very exciting news that we now have Little Itoshin in our lives and having been open for just a few short days, the love is already rolling in.
You’ll find the intimate space at the Miami Village Shopping Centre on Mountain View Ave where local legends like That’s Amore, Hide and Seek Espresso and The Good Wolf also reside. It’s a hidden foodie paradise and you know the hidden ones are often the best ones.
Little Itoshin, which we want to but won’t call Little Itty, is raising the precincts’ bar even higher with an eclectic, colour-filled space and a whole lot of soul. Adorning the walls is the stunning work of Claudio Kirac, local artist and co-owner of Art-Work Agency.
Owner Hibiki Ito, a master of the art of Japanese cooking, designed the space himself finding vintage chairs and tables and eclectic little decorative pieces to enliven the space. The floor is tiled in black and white and a bar takes up one corner, overlooking Hibiki at work.
We recommend perching there if possible because watching him work, with precision and a unique artistic flair is quite the mesmerising experience.
Japanese are some of our absolute favourites and the Little Itoshin menu is a special one. Hibiki has created it with the intention of making every dish both healthy and (of course) extremely tasty. Which they certainly are.
The Beef Tataki was a firm favourite with perium (melt in your mouth) eye fillet, Celtic sea salt, button mushrooms, shiso, yuzu kosho, GF ponzu and garlic chips – to name a few ingredients.
We also loved the Okonomiyaki which is a pancake made out of shredded cabbage, spring onion, chikuwa fish cake and fresh corn with dashi butter and topped with mushrooms and prawns. The toppings for this one will change seasonally so you can order it every time you go. Taste sensation.
There’s also a dish called Temaki, or open sushi, and you may choose your topping and either lettuce or nori as a wrap, dip it into your soy sauce (or Wasabi if you’re brave) and away you go.
Hibiki is also using gluten free soy sauce and his (epic) Karaage Chicken is also gluten free in the interest of everyone getting to taste all the epic things. Oh and you can both eat in or takweaway all of the goodies.
Drinks-wise there’s a perfectly paired wine menu and a list of exceptional mocktails for those who don’t want a drink but also want to feel like they are drinking.
All in all, it’s the perfect new addition to our little foodie scene and we think you’re gonna love it.
LOCATION: Shop 6/110 Mountain View Ave, Miami
HOURS: From 11.30am until 2.30pm and 5.30om until 8.30pm Wednesday to Saturday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith