Even in a city teeming with omakase, Hiden ups the ante. Tucked away in the back of a no-frills taqueria in Wynwood is a portal to a clandestine world of Michelin-starred sushi. The restaurant’s name is a clever nod to its elusive entrance, which requires a time-sensitive passcode. Inside, chef Seijun Okano meticulously crafts an eight-to-ten-course menu composed of seasonal fish flown in from Japan four times per week. Even he doesn’t know what he’s going to serve you until the last minute. “Two hours before service begins, we decide based on the available fish,” Okano says.
Inspired by secret omakase dens in Japan, San Diego–based Shōwa Hospitality Group is behind the concept. Since opening in 2018, founders Julian Hakim and Aram Baloyan have made choreography a central tenet of Hiden. After the initial chef departed, they turned to Okano whose culinary journey started in his hometown of Hiroshima, Japan, at age 14 when a broken wrist from playing baseball limited his abilities in middle school cooking class. (Unable to make rice balls, he gave sushi a try.) He went on to work in kitchens from Tokyo to Hawaii to Napa Valley before landing in Miami.
Guests lucky enough to nab one of the eight seats can expect a miscellany of tastes such as the signature black cod marinated in saikyo miso for two days, Japanese Spanish mackerel nigiri molded perfectly over a mound of vinegar-spiked rice, or a prized cut of buttery chutoro tuna presented triumphantly on a handmade ceramic vessel. The matcha tea is ceremonial grade and comes from the revered Uji region in Kyoto prefecture; the sake lineup is one of the best in the city. When it comes to the experience, no luxury is spared—as long as you have the secret code.
In the latest installment of Designing Delicious, we visit Hiden.