Miami's 10 best restaurants with chef Makoto Okuwa

Makoto Okuwa is chef-partner of Makoto in Bal Harbour
Makoto Okuwa is chef-partner of Makoto in Bal Harbour

Japanese-born Makoto Okuwa began a sushi apprenticeship at age 15. After 10 years he moved to the United States as head sushi chef for Iron Chef Morimoto. Since 2011, he has partnered with restaurateur Stephen Starr in his own Japanese restaurant, Makoto, at 9700 Collins Ave. in Bal Harbour. Here are his favorite places to eat in Miami:

1. Mandolin

Simply and beautifully prepared Mediterranean food. 

4312 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-576-6066.

2. Blue Collar 

My favorite brunch spot.

6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-756-0366.

3. Ironside Pizza

Wood-burning oven cranks out delicious pizzas. 

3918 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 786-275-4963.

4. Petit Rouge 

Best Caesar salad and French onion soup!

12409 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami; 305-892-7676.

5. Cake Thai Kitchen 

Cake worked for me and always showed great talent. 

7919 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-534-7906. 

6. Drunken Dragon 

I love that you could walk by and have no idea it’s there.

1424 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-397-8556. 

7. Momi Ramen 

Noodles made fresh daily.

5 SW 11th St., Miami; 786-391-2392.

8. Gabose

A little off the beaten path but worth the drive from Miami. 

4991 N. University Dr., Lauderhill; 954-572-4800. 

9. Macchialina 

Polenta is out of this world!

820 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-534-2124.

10. Wynwood Kitchen and Bar 

Great for two to 20 people. 

2550 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-722-8959.

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald food editor: @EvanBenn