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Kaiyo Grill and Sushi


Name: Frank Derfler

Occupation: Writer

Lives In: Islamorada

Restaurant Pick: Kaiyo Grill & Sushi

Reviewed: Kaiyo Grill & Sushi

Kaiyo Grill is easy to find and attractive from the outside. There is plenty of parking. The restaurant anchors what is known as the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District. This isn't the Miami Design District, but it is a pleasant area with several art galleries and "Third Thursday" evening events. If the weather allows, the best seating at Kaiyo is outside. The inside seating is comfortable and nice, but noisy. If the restaurant is full it can be very noisy inside. The table settings are sparse ... a knife, a fork, a folded napkin, salt and pepper. No tablecloth or flowers. "Ambience" is not a word you would apply to the interior. People will generally be dressed in shorts and resort clothes.

You come to Kaiyo for the kitchen. The local wisdom is that "the food is always great" and the restaurant's visibility and word-of-mouth reputation also draws the tourist crowd. If you turn to the sushi menu you can find practically everything most people would know to want and many things more. Many classier Keys events feature sushi catered by Kaiyo Grill and it's always a hit. Another portion of the menu offers a good blend of seafood and savory dishes. We bowed to the Oriental side with a Steamed Ginger PorkDumpling appetizer. There was plenty to share and they certainly didn't come off a delivery truck. Excellent. Although we did look hard at the Grouper Cheeks with a Kimchee dipping sauce. Maybe next time.

I have ordered Peking Crispy Duck in many places around the world and this was as good as any I've ever had. First of all, it really was crispy! The taste was excellent. My wife had Macadamia-Crusted Hog Fish that was excellent. It was crisp and perfectly done. A mango sauce came as a side dish and she also stole some of my duck's really good hoisin sauce. The blend of grilled fresh vegetables that came with each entree was very good. We chose a Bread Pudding with a Rice Crispies topping ala mode for dessert. It was good, but the Rice Crispies were strangely chewy. An experiment we probably would not repeat.

Our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable and did exactly what he needed to do, but nothing more. Prices were about what we expected for evening dining in the area. Considering the noisy interior and lack of ambience, the prices are not a "bargain". The wine list started at $9 per glass and we saw $200 bottles on the menu. If you are in Islamorada and want good food, then Kaiyo can be an excellent choice... particularly if someone likes sushi. Sit outside if you can, but you will enjoy the food.

Name: Paola Moseley

Occupation: Wireless Consultant

Lives In: Miami

Restaurant Pick: The Black Point Ocean Grill

Reviewed: Kaiyo Grill & Sushi

This restaurant has caught my eye many times while coming down to the Keys for dinner or lunch. The outside does not do justice for the great food inside. Variety on the menu appeals to anyone, and opens the mind to trying something new. The flavors are clean, a lot of attention was placed on presentation and the taste did not disappoint the presentation. The overall experience was positive and I will return to try the Grilled Octopus…Had to pass due to the amount of dishes we tried, but will certainly recommend.

Name: Margie Scacci

Occupation: Make-Up Artist

Lives In: Tavernier

Restaurant Pick: Bayside Gourmet

Reviewed: Kaiyo Grill & Sushi

Pulling into the parking lot was easy and had a beautiful array of flowers and the landscape was impeccable. We were seated right away and our server took our drink order and gave us the specials. We did not get her name. It is beautiful inside with mosaic around the ceiling, very modern and good lighting. We ordered the Eggplant Chips with an aioli dip. Phenomenal, Five Stars. My entrée was Drunken Scallops with red bliss potato mash with lobster. A big portion. Quality was okay, but a very dark presentation. My guest had a glass of Miome wine, but was never offered a second. I felt that our waitress forgot us. On our way out, we saw the sushi bar. It looked fantastic. Next time, I will go straight there.

Restaurant Information

Location: 81701 Old Highway Islamorada, FL 33026 
Parking: Free Lot
Phone: 305-664-5556
Restaurant Owners: Rich Products
Executive Chef: Chris Visgeo 
Pastry Chef: N/A

Type of Cuisine: Global-Fusion-Sushi
Signature Dishes: Tuna Squared Roll, Alligator Lighthouse Style
Vegetarian Options: Several
Alcohol Served: Beer and Wine
Corkage Fee: $25
Bottle Limit: 2

Restaurant Hours: 
Monday –5PM – 10 PM 
Tuesday – 5PM – 10 PM 
Wednesday –5PM – 10 PM 
Thursday – 5PM – 10 PM 
Friday – 5PM – 10 PM 
Saturday – 5PM – 10 PM 
Sunday – CLOSED

Meals Served: Dinner
Prix Fix Menu: No
Take-Out: No
Delivery: No
Average Dinner Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 18% gratuity, w/o alcohol): $50
Average Lunch Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 18% gratuity, w/o alcohol): N/A
Payment Options: do you accept credit cards and if so, which ones? MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover
Accept Reservations: Yes
Need Reservations: Recommended
How far in advance do you require reservations be made: 24 Hours

Accommodations for Children: Yes
Dining Style: Continental
Disabled Access: Yes
Restaurant Size: Small
Accommodate Groups: Yes
Private Dining Room: No
Tables with Scenic Views: Yes
Outdoor Dining: Yes
Entertainment: No