Edo Kobayashi — the hospitality group that helped shape Mexico City’s up-and-coming Little Tokyo neighborhood — is preparing to open its second U.S. restaurant, a covert eight-seat sushi bar tucked behind a Miami taco shop. On March 6, Hiden will start serving a single Edomae-inspired omakase menu priced at $120 and built from both local and Tsukiji-sourced fish.
Edo Kobayashi doesn’t yet have name recognition in the U.S., but the team is responsible for Mexico City’s top Japanese restaurants, the first of which — an izakaya-inspired spot called Rokai — opened seven years ago. Edo Kobayashi now commands a small army of transportive Japanese haunts, some hip, others more traditional. While any Mexico City food enthusiast will direct you to Sushi Kyo for the city’s most pristine sushi, buzzy new stand-up bar Le Tachinomi Desu is the place for sake and Japanese whisky.
Hiden is a collaboration between Edo Kobayashi founder Edo Lopez and Julian Hakim and Aram Baloyan of Southern California-based chainlet the Taco Stand. Last fall, the group collaborated on Himitsu, a casual sushiya in La Jolla, California. But, prior to launching Himitsu, Hakim and Baloyan signed a lease for a Taco Stand outlet in Miami’s graffiti-streaked Wynwood neighborhood. And although the duo initially considered opening a mezcal bar in the 450-square foot expanse behind the restaurant, when they invited Lopez to see the space those plans changed. “It clicked to do this intimate Japanese omakase counter,” says Lopez of his gut instinct upon seeing the intimate backroom of the space that later became the Taco Stand.
To access Hiden, guests walk through the Taco Stand and enter a numeric code (provided via email after reserving a seat through reservation-booking system Tock) into a keypad beside a second rear door. Behind it, they’ll find Brazilian-born chef and Nobu Mykonos alum Tadashi Shiraishi, who also organized pop-ups at Lopez’s restaurants in Mexico City.
Shiraishi’s omakase will run about two hours. It begins with otsumami (small Japanese appetizers), followed by a duo of akami and otoro sashimi with mountain yam and miso soup flush with egg and snow crab legs. Eight to 10 nigiri bites follow, including fluke with yuzu kosho and sesame seeds, and a unique octopus preparation where the animal is blanched in a dashi and sencha broth, sliced into near-translucent sheets, blanched again, then carefully laid over pressed rice for a delicate bite. A more substantial entree course, like tempura scallops, ends the savory portion of the meal, and dessert and tea follow.
As is the case with omakase, Shiraishi’s menu will change daily based on seasonal ingredient availability. He’s looking to offer a somewhat more approachable meal than traditional omakase menus, in an effort to introduce a city keen on spicy tuna and California rolls to a more traditional Japanese style of dining.
On the beverage side, Lopez has organized a list of sake, Champagne, and natural wine from Portugal, France, and California — the drinks he believes best accentuates sushi. The plan is to offer two seatings per night beginning at 5 p.m. to start; Lopez will likely add a third seating down the line.
And Edo Kobayashi isn’t done expanding in Mexico, either. The group is planning two new restaurants for Mexico City’s Santa Fe financial district and the St. Regis Hotel in Reforma, as well as a Japanese-style music bar in collaboration with the team behind Tokyo’s Ginza Music Bar. The group is also working on one concept in Solaz Los Cabos, plus a to-be-announced attraction in the Yucatan’s bohemian travel destination Tulum.
Following the inception of relaxed La Jolla affair Himitsu, well-heeled Hiden — dressed with Zalto stemware and a fine Champagne list — cements the pivotal Mexico City hospitality group’s U.S. march.
Take a look around:
• Edo Kobayashi [Official site]