When you first hear the concept of Mixt, the new restaurant off Sunset Drive, you can’t help but be dubious. Peruvian and Japanese cuisines, at first glance, do not seem to be obviously compatible. However, both feature raw or at least nontraditionally prepared fish (ceviche and sushi, respectively) and place a strong emphasis on clear, natural flavors. And at Mixt, those flavors steal the show.
Mixt’s dining area is quite small. With only five tables and a small sushi bar, the walls’ electric-green hue brings to mind bright citrus flavors. A small bowl of canchita, roasted Peruvian corn, is a buttery treat while you peruse your menu. While the atmosphere is certainly pleasant, it isn’t the main draw, and under scrutiny, slight flaws can appear. The service, on the other hand, was flawless. Professional and friendly, our waitress was attentive without being overbearing and made the meal a haven at the end of a hectic day.
To start, my table sampled the house ceviche. The citrus flavors were bright and pleasant, but didn’t overpower the star of the show – the profoundly fresh fish. The onions were drained of any acridity by the marinade, which was good enough that one of my dining companions was compelled to drink it after the course. The presentation should also be noted, as it was bright, colorful and pleasing to the eye, as opposed to drab ceviches I’ve consumed. However, the presentation didn’t work on all points. The cold sweet potato was just peculiar and dull compared to the bright flavors of the rest of the dish. Additional canchita in the ceviche was just redundant, not nearly as pleasant when served cold. Overall, however, the ceviche was superb and a pleasant start to our meal.
Up next, we decided to sample the other end of the spectrum – sushi. The sushi presentation was one of the most creative and stunning I’ve seen. Varieties of sauces are swirled in intricate pinwheels, and small cups of leche de tigre to accompany it were affixed to plates by bright buttons of wasabi. Some of the house sauce blends, while beautiful, were a tad too sweet, and we quickly decided to stick to plain soy sauce.
The Green Hornet Maki was stunning, tempura shrimp providing a nice crunch. On the other hand, while the spider Maki was tasty, its cumbersome size made eating it too much of a chore to make a pleasant and relaxed meal. The sushi boat for two was ample, and no complaints can be levied about the quality of the fish. One can tell the quality of tuna from its color, the darker and browner, the less fresh it is, and I am happy to report that Mixt’s tuna was gem bright, and the difference was immense. With the sushi boat for two, roast potatoes and hard boiled eggs in a Peruvian style were served, and while bland on their own, served as a perfect stage for the Peruvian dipping sauces that accompanied the platter. I would recommend choosing the miso soup with the sushi boat, as it is zesty and flavorful, with a deep richness one often doesn’t find in broth soups, while the salad, although fresh, was perfectly ordinary.
Now, if any room has been left for dessert, and with the ample portions, that is certainly called into doubt, once again simple, well-executed flavors shine. Our table sampled the Thai donuts, which were beautiful, warm puffs of dough sweetened with warmed condensed milk. Light enough to enjoy after a filling meal, it was a perfect cap.
Prices at Mixt are reasonable, ranging from about $10 to $25 at most, and you’ll certainly leave satisfied. While minor issues came up, they were quickly forgotten in the glow of the delicious food, and the pleasant atmosphere Mixt creates. Although it faces tough competition in Miami’s fierce culinary scene, I predict Mixt will be pleasing palates for a long time to come.
Mixt is located at 7209 SW 59th Ave., South Miami. For more information, call 305-666-3019 or visit facebook.com/MIXTSushi.