There are, maybe, at most, ten minutes when Sexy Fish is interesting. Specifically, the first ten minutes you walk into the humongous Brickell restaurant. It is within that time frame that you can marinate in the sensory overload that is the shiniest, flashiest, and straight-up ugliest restaurant in Miami. But once that very brief honeymoon phase ends, you’ll be stuck eating C-minus food at A-plus prices.
If you are outrageously curious to see this place for yourself and don’t mind spending about $50 on two cocktails, come for a drink at the bar. Gaze upon the ecologically incorrect mural that borders the ceiling, which imagines a world where beluga whales live side by side with hammerhead sharks and mermaids. Go ahead and marvel at the glittery 50-foot octopus jutting out of the wall, tentacles splayed as if trying to eat one of the poor souls elbowing each other for a seat at the bar. Please, by all means, take a trip to the toilets, where (in the men’s bathroom) there is a life-size figure of Daniel Craig as James Bond standing at a urinal, and (in the woman’s bathroom) a concerningly realistic statue of a topless mermaid that was, for reasons none of the staff could answer, missing during our most recent visit.
But after all this ooing and ahhing, leave. Because once you run out of stuff to look at, you’ll be left sitting in a loud restaurant with one of the most boring, uncreative menus in town. And that might be the most frustrating thing about Sexy Fish. How can a restaurant with such an unapologetically gaudy interior—this cathedral of poor taste and sexually suggestive marine life—play it so annoyingly safe in the kitchen?
You won’t spit anything out, but you will also wonder if Sexy Fish has things like salt or pepper or if perhaps the seasoning budget was eliminated to pay for the giant statue above the host stand, which looks, we’re sorry to report, like a sparkly marlin orgy. The only interesting things to consume at Sexy Fish are the cocktails, which are called names like “raspberry and yogurt” or “chocolate and wine”—and do actually taste like it.
Sexy Fish is no doubt a clubstaurant, and we have low standards for this type of establishment when it comes to the food and service. We never expected this place to serve the best food in Miami. But it would be so much more satisfying if Sexy Fish swung big on the plate, even if it meant they missed big too. Instead, this place is serving flavorless food you could make at home. So, unless you’ve always wondered what it’d be like to attend a spoiled mermaid’s 16th birthday party, maybe just stay there instead.
Sexy Fish Croquette
Miami is a croquette city, which makes Sexy Fish’s pathetic versions sting like a jellyfish. These bland, round croquettes just taste fishy, and lack the creaminess of a proper croquette.
Wagyu Gyoza, Foie Gras, and Australian Truffle
This dish really embodies the mindset of Sexy Fish’s menu: fancy stuff thrown together with no real purpose other than to sound fancy. They’re not awful—the wagyu flavor comes through a bit. But the bites where you can actually taste the foie gras and truffle are way too rich.
Sexy Fruits De Mer
For about $70 per person, Sexy Fish will deliver a silver octopus to your table. And on that octopus is a really forgettable seafood tower: a selection of tartare, king crab, one oyster each, and sashimi that tastes like it was very recently unfrozen.
Caramelized Black Cod
This was the best cooked fish we’ve tried here, but it’s still remarkably dull. And even though the cod was cooked well, it wasn’t exciting enough to be served on its own sans any sides for almost $50.
Whole Baby Chicken
We were kind of expecting a whole roasted chicken or some sort of impressive plating with this. Instead, we got about five chunks of bland, slightly dry chicken. They could have ordered this from Pollo Tropical and it’d be tough to tell the difference.