A tiny carousel of boats brings you your sushi at this new Miami-area restaurant

Whimsical boats carry the sushi down the bar at Sushi Lucy in North Miami.
Whimsical boats carry the sushi down the bar at Sushi Lucy in North Miami.

A night out for sushi is more fun when you grab your selections from little boats propelled by a stream of water in a trough at Sushi Lucy.

Known as kaitenzushi or “conveyor belt sushi” it is served at this small North Miami space with a one-sided counter and a few tables — all with access to the boats going past every seat with sushi on plates color coded by price.

Owner Danny Maldonado discovered this sushi-go-round in Tokyo while in the Navy and took his wife and restaurant partner Rachel on a first date to a boat sushi place in Fort Lauderdale. Both fell in love with it (and, apparently, each other.) They opened Sushi Lucy ten months ago with chef Christian Altamirano, a veteran of RA Japanese restaurant, who learned Japanese cuisine from an aunt back home in Lima, Peru.

Start With These Dishes

Tuna tataki Sushi Lucy
Tuna tataki at Sushi Lucy

Appetizers include lightly salted edamame in the pod, wakame seaweed salad, shrimp shumai and pork gyoza. Yakitori chicken skewers are glazed in sticky teriyaki sauce.

Chicken and pork katsu are panko breaded and fried cutlets. There’s also soft shell crab or shrimp tempura and crunchy crab salad tossed with spicy mayo and sweet eel sauce topped with crispy fried onions. The Sansei Salad includes octopus strips, slivered green beans and shreds of seaweed in spicy mayo.

Share These Dishes

Salmon Sushi Lucy
Salmon-topped sushi at Sushi Lucy

At this convivial spot, small groups or couples share small plates of nigiri, maki and sashimi that come two-to-four pieces to a plate. Basic maki rolls have one or two ingredients with the rice wrapped in nori.

Nigiri, meaning “grasped sushi,” referes to the way the rice is molded by hand. Here it is topped here with cooked tail-on shrimp, spicy crab, thin slices of cooked octopus, broiled eel and raw tuna, or salmon and hamachi (all fish is fresh from four vendors).

Rolls that are served hot include shrimp tempura and avocado, crab and crisp salmon skin, and shrimp in red curry with mango. Donburi are rice bowls topped with teriyaki or spicy sesame shrimp, chicken or salmon.

Save Room For Dessert

End with red bean or green tea ice cream balls coated in chewy mochi.

Hidden Gems highlights out-of-the-way restaurants in Miami-Dade County. It is not intended to be an anonymous, critical review.

Sushi Lucy

Address: 1680 NE 123rd Street, North Miami

Contact: 786-391-2668,

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 6 p.m.-10 p.m. (until 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday)

Prices: Appetizers $4-$8, sushi $2-$5, sashimi $4-$5, katsu $11, rice bowls $11-$14

F.Y.I. Sake, Japanese craft beer and wine available

1680 NE 123rd Street, North Miami