Neighborhood Gems: Maido

Chefs Hiroshi Horai and Genji Arai pack the house in Doral

Buckle up: You're going to Doral to discover something the locals have been keeping to themselves.

The destination is eight-year-old sushi spot Maido where one can find sparkling, stunningly fresh nigiri–like buttery hamachi and salmon ($3 per piece)–prepared by the deft hand of chef Hiroshi Horai.

Consider yourself fortunate if you can find seats at the often-packed restaurant. Scan the whiteboards and you'll see the specials listed in both English and Japanese, including dishes like Tokyo-style tuna-don ($20)–a heaping bowl of rice, crispy seaweed and vibrant tuna slices marinated in soy, mirin and sake.

Maido's sushi bar and sake offerings (Photo: Gourmandj)

Trust chef Genji Arai to make terrific izakaya snacks, like sweet strips of triggerfish jerky served with a dollop of tangy togarashi-spiked mayo ($5). Order the grilled mackerel ($9) or crispy fried blue runner fish ($7) and you'll savor popping one after another of the delicate, citrus-tinged fish into your mouth.

Dip a spoon into spicy codfish roe ochazuke ($8), an aromatic mound of rice and luminous roe crowned with a tangle of scallions and seaweed and surrounded by a moat of green tea broth. It's subtle–the kind of dish that holds your hand after a long day.

The modest interior at Maido is nothing special, but the food is guaranteed to hold you at rapt attention.

Get in the car. Go now.

Our Other Favorite Doral Neighborhood Gems: Olivos, Basilico, Date Aquí, Mondongo's