Two ethnic eateries close in South Beach

Soo Woo
Soo Woo

Two ethnic restaurants are the latest casualties in the cutthroat world of South Beach dining. 

Soo Woo, a Japanese-Korean steakhouse from veteran South Florida restaurateur Bok An, had its final night of service Tuesday after about two months in operation at 555 Washington Ave. On Wednesday morning, teppanyaki tables had been removed, the dining room cleared out. 

Fez, a Moroccan restaurant tucked away at 512 Española Way, closed sometime over the holidays. In our 2.5-star review a year ago, we rooted for chef-owner Faycal “Fez” Bettioui and his fragrant, flavorful dishes, but it seemed that the restaurant wasn’t attracting the steady stream of customers it needed to survive. 

Soo Woo, on the other hand, had been limping from the start. There was a chef change right before opening, then a chef walk-out immediately after opening. A Miami-Dade judge in January ordered Soo Woo and owner An to pay $6,079.07 owed to food provider Sysco, court records show. Soo Woo’s former sommelier filed a lawsuit in January, suing An for contract indebtedness greater than $15,000, according to court records. That case is ongoing.