For many Miami locals, the Versace Mansion (now the Villa Casa Casuarina) has always seemed just out of reach. An illustrious place with an infamous past, a towering look at the bacchanalia of Miami Beach’s yesteryear along one of the greatest tourist traps in all of the region: Ocean Drive. That is, until now. Earlier this year, the acclaimed NYC omakase tour-de-force, Sushi by Bou took over the mansion’s third floor and brought new life to the landmark. Through the recent appointment of Chef Ryo Kato (Myumi) as Head Omakase Chef, a locally-focused energy has swept in to make the iconic space more approachable than its ever been.
While the 17-course omakase seating may run you upwards of $125, they’ve launched a new program for diners looking to get the same high quality experience at a fraction of the price. Their 12-course omakase dinner runs at around $50 and includes a mouth-watering hand roll and sake.
Once on property, guests are escorted up to the intimate lounge next to the original Gianni Versace Suite, where an intricate cocktail menu and an elevated selection of sake await. Grab your drinks and take them onto the nearby balcony to watch the passerby overlooking the bustling street or just take in the lavish decor and architecture bouncing to the rhythm of the candlelight. Once your seating begins, make your way to the six-person Sushi Suite where 90s hip hop loosens up a usually exclusive experience and a glass of sake awaits.
We were surprised to find that although the experience is 5 courses shorter than their large omakase dinner, the quality of the creations is still just as spectacular. The hand-crafted selection of sushi pieces started with hamachi and worked its way up to more exotic offerings from butter prawn (our favorite) and seared o-toro, to scallops and of course, uni. The star of the show was their Wagyuni where fired wagyu beef is topped with what we like to call “peanut butter of the sea” or what the world calls uni. Finish off with one of Chef Kato’s specialty hand rolls and your all-star meal wraps up in under 45 minutes.
If you’re looking for a fun dining experience for the adventurous eater and want to get away from the over-reaching trendiness popping up around town, this is where to go. It’s decadent without losing sight of what really matters: the freshness of the food and the intricacy with which it’s being handled. And at Sushi by Bou, it’s being handled by some of the best. Find out more here.
Photos by Libby Vision.