Rollin’ with the best: Student sushi favorites around UM

Every school year, students work diligently to replenish their minds, bodies and spirits. Fortunately, food plays a role in these three major components of our lives. Why not start the year off on a sushi roll?

Below, check out a list of the best sushi places you must try near campus, compiled by The Miami Hurricane.

Photo credit: Julia Monteiro Martins

KAO Sushi & Grill

Located on Miracle Mile, KAO Sushi & Grill is affordable, fresh and a go-to sushi place. The ambiance of the restaurant is as beautiful as the sushi itself. KAO offers all the traditional rolls that are expected at a sushi bar, like the California Roll, Dragon Roll and Rainbow Roll, but they also have delicious specialty rolls that set them apart.

The Buenos Aires Roll contains salmon, avocado, shrimp and a sesame sauce that gives this roll depth. The Kao Roll is the namesake roll for a reason: it’s traditional with a twist! While the salmon, tempura flakes and avocado are its more customary ingredients, the hearts of palm and passion fruit sauce make the Kao Roll worthy of its name!

Sushi Garage

Sushi Garage in CocoWalk is a refreshing sushi eatery. The Shrimp Tempura Tacos highlight how varied the selection is, as the fusion is out of this world. Sushi Garage may become your new favorite sushi spot.

Is there a sushi roll that packs in several flavors and will have you wanting more? Yes, and the Rosemary Eel Roll is just one example of Sushi Garage’s diverse rolls. The creative options will provide you with a completely different sushi experience. If you like different spices, combinations and creative food in general you will love Sushi Garage.

Moon Thai & Japanese

Moon Thai & Japanese is just a walk away from the Mahoney and Pearson dorms making it accessible to new students living on campus without a car. The Dragon Roll is a classic, but remains so for a reason: Moon Thai & Japanese makes some of the best Dragon Rolls. Forget about enjoying the view from the dorms when you can devour it.

Fair warning: the menu is overwhelming, as it features two cuisines — Thai and Sushi. Even though this is a sushi recommendation, don’t forget to try the Thai menu. You cannot go wrong with the classic Pad Thai which also offers a vegetarian-friendly option.

PLANTA Queen

To all the vegans and vegetarians who love sushi, PLANTA Queen will soon become one of your most frequented restaurants. An entirely plant-based restaurant, as the name implies, all sushi rolls are made with fish substitutes. Instead of shrimp, the restaurant uses tempura broccoli in their Dragon Roll and ahi watermelon instead of ahi tuna.

It’s difficult to believe that PLANTA Queen is vegan since you won’t feel like you’re missing out on traditional sushi. If you need more of a reason to check them out, I’ve saved the best reason for last: prices under $20, which is especially reasonable for a vegan place.

Sushi Sake Gables

Sushi Sake offers unique options with names that have Miami written all over them. If you’re tired of collaboration projects and want to taste fusion at its finest, try the Calle Ocho Roll. Yes, you read that correctly; the vibrant sounds and flavors of Calle Ocho have been rolled into the form of sushi! Picture this: ham croquettes with avocado in a tiny roll. Is this the Miami food scene at its finest? I can’t answer that, but you can try it for yourself.

Have you ever wondered where Sebastian eats when he leaves campus? Our best bet is Sushi Sake, as we are sure he cannot resist the UM roll. Between the orange and green color coordination and the combination of spices and sauces, it’s almost as if the UM Roll exclaims, “It’s all about the U!”

Sushi Chef

Not only is the sushi exquisite, but the presentation itself is a work of art at Sushi Chef. The ginger that usually accompanies sushi rolls comes in the shape of a rose and the wasabi comes in the shape of a leaf. The rose shakes wasabi is not the only rosy thing about these rolls, the rice and fillings are made with quality ingredients.

For those who are not too crazy about sushi, other options include Japanese soups and bowls like the chicken teriyaki bowl. The chicken teriyaki bowl is quite filling and flavorful. Sushi Chef will not only satisfy your actual cravings, but your aesthetic ones, too.

Pla-Tu Sushi

Do not be afraid to go on a tapas adventure! Pla-Tu Sushi offers customers a fresh take on tapas, such as the Surf and Turf. Remember eating surf and turf at your favorite steakhouse? Well, Plat-Tu’s Surf and Turf takes the old-school surf and turf to another level, as the shrimp tempura and wagyu beef offer a new dining adventure you will not regret.

If you are on a low-carb diet, fear not: Pla-Tu’s Spicy Tuna Salad is great and the carbs are low. Plus, the salad is refreshing and delicious in Miami’s heat. At Pla-Tu, you can eat well knowing there is something for everyone in your friend group.

Miyako

A foodie, a picky eater and the average Joe are craving sushi, they choose to go to Miyako because there is something for each of them. If you are looking for something avant-garde, sensible and conventional, Miyako is the place to go!

For the food connoisseur, the JB Temaki is love at first bite. If you’d like to mix up your palette while remaining in your comfort zone, the California Eel roll will be perfect for you! The Kimchi Roll will transform you into a foodie if you’re somewhat of a selective eater, as you will have many options to choose from.

Sushi at Publix

Let’s be realistic: we have days when we don’t have time to enjoy the dining experience. While grocery store sushi may not have the best reputation, the grocery stores close to the U prove otherwise. To simplify the days where cooking is not a priority — but eating well is — check out the sushi at Publix. The Publix closest to campus always has fresh, ready-made AFC sushi.

On Wednesdays, Publix sells all their sushi for half off making a roll, or lesser-appreciated poke bowls, only $5.

With so much to look forward to this school year, experiencing different cuisines is part of the excitement. We are lucky to have some of the best sushi around the U. Eat well and prosper!