NaiYara Miami is a charming restaurant that specializes in Thai street food. Co-owned by celebrated Chef Piyarat Arreeratn popularly known as Chef Bee and named after Bee's daughter, NaiYara, brings forth an open and relaxed vibe with the elements of Thailand all over the place.
Are you in Miami and want to celebrate a special occasion with friends and family?
NaiYara could be the place you've been looking for.
NaiYara translates to a female elephant in the Thai language, which means peaceful and calm. The elephant is the national symbol of Thailand and stands for friendliness, hard work, honesty, and long life. These are some of the many traits that NaiYara stands for. According to chef Bee, he was inspired to start NaiYara to showcase the best of his native Thailand. And because Miami is more like Thailand given that both places are known for their mixed cultures, NaiYara tries to elucidate this in every manner possible.
This is a restaurant that absorbs almost every culture and cuisine from around the world. No matter the kind of dish you're looking to explore in Miami, NaiYara will most certainly quench your gastronomic thirsts with its super fresh, creamy, healthy, and over sumptuous dishes.
We know that you'll love your time at NaiYara but even with that, let's give you a head start and show you why NaiYara will leave you satisfied and dying to go back for more.
Located on 1854 Bay Road in the heart of the Sunset Harbour dining neighborhood, this is a place where you can kick back and relax with friends and family. You'll enjoy the ultimate Thai-infused dinner that comes with endless a-la-carte options. On Sundays, NaiYara is open from 5PM to 2 AM, 5 PM to 10:30 PM from Monday to Thursday, and 5 PM to 12AM on Friday and Saturday.
Full of Authentic Thai Elements
Voted the best restaurant in Miami Beach by Miami New Times, NaiYara is an upscale restaurant that's known for authentic Thai street food and signature cocktails. This is a place that gives a nod to East Asia and toque's roots with almost every part of the interior. From the hand-painted elephant mural, re-purposed traditional fishing baskets that act as lanterns, Indonesian teak tables to a clipping of Thailand's first Miss Universe, NaiYara is decorated with the elements of Thailand everywhere.
In terms of design, NaiYara offers the utmost uniqueness, something that Miami has never seen. That's basically why NaiYara takes a more Asian vintage style to ensure that both the Thai cultural and architectural feel is brought on-board. In short, NaiYara is a stunning restaurant that looks rustic yet polished and takes diners to faraway places with its Asian street theme.
Miami's Thai Mecca
There's a reason why many restaurant critics refer to NaiYara as Miami's Thai Mecca. Everything in this place somehow shouts Thai but with a unique and modern touch. This is not just a sushi bar; it's an entertainment spot that brings forth an open and industrial-ish space, especially with its vintage-movie-poster-and-vinyl-album-cover collage.
Chef Bee is versatile and flexible and will make you different dishes depending on what you want. Do you want Thai dishes? No problem, Chef Bee will make you just about any Thai dish from creamy ramen noodle soup with prawns to crispy bok choy and duck in red curry. Are you not in the moods for non-Thai dishes? Worry not; Chef Bee will have you covered with dishes such as otoro nigiri, salmon belly tacos, and the famous NaiYara roll.
Why You'll Love NaiYara
There's no doubt that NaiYara is one of the best eatery joints in Miami right now. Whether you're a local or a tourist, you'll feel completely at home. Well, that's because NaiYara is very accommodative to both locals and tourists. The fact that it's located at the vibrant Sunset Harbour makes it a top-end place to celebrate a special occasion over a yummy meal. Unlike other places such the South Beach, Midtown, Design District and Brickell, Sunset Harbour is spacious and offers 400-cars parking space. On the entertainment front, NaiYara fully understands that food and entertainment go hand in hand. In addition to the delicious dishes on offer, the restaurant is some sort of an entertainment spot with international DJs, celebrities, and live shows every other weekend.
In essence, NaiYara offers both a dining and entertainment experience like nowhere else. This is a place where you'll do for dinner and not leave to go to a party somewhere else. In other words, you'll have your dinner, dance your night out, and only leave when you want to go back home or in your hotel room.
We're talking of a place where you can fully enjoy the energetic, fast-paced Sunset Harbour life. This is a Thai street food spot where you can take in the action as it happens in the open-air kitchen or choose to head over to the cozy bar for a Mekong Mule made with sparkling sake, vodka, lime, ginger-lemongrass, and ginger beer.
Chef Bee (Why is he so famous?)
Easily the most recognized Thai chef in Miami, Chef Bee must be very good that he often makes it to the city's best chef lists. Having worked at Oishi Thai in North Miami Beach and Khong River House, Chef Bee's profile got even higher after opening NaiYara.
Born bred in Chiang Rai province in Northern Thailand at the border of Lao and Myanmar, Chef Bee's parents were farmers who taught him how to grow and make his food fresh from the farm. Better still, his grandmother was a cook who specialized in Thai street foods that she sold at the local market. It's from her grandma that Chef Bee developed the cooking passion, something that has made him some sort of a celebrity chef in Miami.
At the age of 18, Bee moved from Thailand to America to study at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. It was only after his studies that he decided to pursue his passion for cooking. With no formal experience, Bee began his career in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher before working his way up the ladder and becoming a sushi chef at Nobu. Bee has been under the tutelage some of the best chefs in the country including Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhia and Chef Kevin Cory before opening his restaurant, Oishi Thai in 2005 on Biscayne Boulevard.
Since then, Chef Bee has been so popular with Miami diners seeking Thai cuisine that goes beyond the rich curries and hearty noodles. He's so far accumulated several accolades including hot shot Chef (by Ocean Drive Magazine in 2015), rated 4 stars by Miami Herald, and named Best Thai Restaurant in Miami by Miami New Times in 2016.
Types of Cuisine
It's easy to see that Chef Bee's cuisine at NaiYara is regional to northern Thailand where he grew up. A perfect example of this is the inclusion of a dish that his mother used to make back in his native Thailand. Known as Chiang Rai Curry, this dish features egg noodles and beef with a curry sauce and is prepared to perfection. This is a restaurant that offers something for everyone and everything for all types of occasions.
While there's an extreme emphasis on Thai food, it's not the only type of cuisine you'll find on the menu. This restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to mix Thai street food with Japanese specialties before serving them family-style. So it shouldn't come as a surprise when you see some popcorn shrimp served with spicy mayonnaise and shiitake mushrooms. Whatever you decide to try, just make sure you take pictures for your Instagram and share the meal with someone special and adventurous.
Here are some top highlights:
Although the menu is as eclectic as Chef Bee's homeland of Thailand, it's easy to see the fact that he grew up near a river. Well, that's because fish is a big part of the menu and that's why there's a raw bar with Nobu-like dishes such as White Fish Truffle, Salmon Tacos, and Hamachi Sashimi. You can also try any of the four sushi rolls including the amazing rendition of the Jalapeno Roll and the Spicy Tuna Roll.
Puffy Shrimp Bites
There's arguably nothing that sets the bar so high at NaiYara than the puffy shrimp bites. Meld with bread service, this dish is so addicting that it should be pronounced illegal. This shrimp chips with truffle oil are so unique, so colorful, and so tasty! All you have to do is keep the momentum going with some super delicious chicken and Thai street dumplings full of Thai chilies to spice up the entire gastronomic escapade.
Crab Fried Rice
Whatever you choose to go for, you wouldn't want to leave NaiYara Miami without trying its famous crab fried rice. Although this dish has a lot of rice, it's so light and fluffy and is accompanied by a fish chili sauce. You should, however, not go to extreme lengths with the sauce or the spices unless you want to learn the hard way.
NaiYara Sushi Roll
This article would be incomplete without the inclusion of the restaurant's NaiYara sushi roll. We have to admit that this in-house sushi roll ticks all the boxes both in terms of presentation and taste. The salmon belly is absolutely stunning and so tender with the dish so creamy, aromatic, and light! The NaiYara sushi roll is a must-try whenever you're out for a special occasion or a casual dinner with friends and family. Just remember to take smaller bites because each piece is deliciously mouthful.
The Red Curry Duck
If the NaiYara sushi roll is a home run, then the red curry duck is a grand slam. The moist and tender duck is made more delicious thanks to the Thai curry and traces of hidden pineapple and banana slices. It's not what you'd expect in a normal curry. The crispy duck paddling in a delightful curry sauce is more than you'd expect. This is one of the many curries on offer and it will arouse your curiosity on other curry offerings. They include Sriracha Wings, Burmese Wraps, Pad Thai, and Green curry served with Chilean Seabass.
Vegan Stir Fry
Whether you're a vegan or have a vegan in your entourage, NaiYara Miami has everyone in consideration. The sumptuous vegan stir fry that brings forth wheat noodles, bok choy, cabbage, mushrooms, cauliflower, garlic chives, and Banh mi sauce. You can also go for chow fun noodles, garlic, and sweet soy. The best thing about these dishes is that they're super healthy and quite affordable.
With much on offer at NaiYara Miami, you should be careful not to tuck in too much to the point that there's no space for dessert. If it happens so, you shall have missed on some of the best desserts in Miami. Some of the best options include Thai donuts with banana sauce and a layered sweet with shaved gelato with coconut mousse, banana, and brown sugar cake.
The donuts are so good thanks to the uniqueness of the layered dessert. It's layer upon layer of texture that so sweet and soothing it leaves you wondering why Chef Bee hasn't decided to focus solely on a dessert restaurant.
There's only one phrase that can be used to describe the available cocktails at NaiYara Miami: refreshingly cool. They all have a healthy and herbal feel to them and still taste great. Most of these cocktails are great but the gins ones are even greater. Try several unique cocktails including Killer Bee with lemon, ginger, and gin, as well as Mekhong Mule.
New Bar Service
In addition to the sushi bar and the main dining room, NaiYara Miami offers a separate bar that's specifically designed with distinctively shaped liquor boxes that draw inspiration from back street Thai watering holes. While here, you'll find inventive cocktails and refreshing ingredients as well as a selection of international wines and locally brewed beers.
There are also exclusive bottles that blend with other approachable favorites and will make your special occasion even more special.
Sundays are special days in Miami and NaiYara perfectly understands this. Instead staying in every Sunday night, head to NaiYara for an exclusive dinner party with your friends and loved ones.
Available from 5 P.M. to 2 A.M. every Sunday, these dishes are generally created to comfort you during the weekend. They are paired with some of NaiYara specialty cocktails such as Mekhong Mule, which is a mixture of lemongrass, ginger, Absolut Elyx, and MIO Sparkling Sake.
In a city like Miami where the Latin influence is evident in almost every corner, it's very difficult to find an affluent Thai restaurant. Fortunately, NaiYara takes things to a whole new level. With Chef Bee at the helm, he'll make you authentic Thai cuisines, meals that will make your party feel ideal and on point.
Are you looking to enjoy some good time in Miami? We can't think of a better place than NaiYara. This place is special and will make your occasion even more special, especially on Sunday nights!