One-of-a-kind Sunset Harbour restaurant rolls out eclectic new menu items
Coming up on a two-year anniversary this December, NaiYaRa has set the standard for upscale, sophisticated Thai cuisine on Miami Beach. Born into a family of farmers in Northern Thailand, Executive Chef Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (more affectionately known as Chef Bee) developed an appreciation for good food early on from his mother and grandmother. Together, they taught him everything from growing his own herbs and vegetables, the different techniques of preserving and preparing food, as well as the vast array of flavors within the Northern Thai culture that would ultimately form his career path. Luckily that path led to the 2015 opening of NaiYaRa in Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood, where Bee has been wowing diners and critics with a menu elegantly unifying classic Thai cookery with modern technique and just a dash of South Beach chic. New in November, Bee unveils an array of new menu items.
A meal at NaiYaRa is akin to a journey through the heart of Thailand and Bee’s new creations compliment signature items. New starters inspired by the authentic Thai street food of Chef Bee’s childhood include Pla Goong Salad (shrimp mixed with kaffir lime leaf lemongrass, sweet chili yam dressing and the crunch of iceberg lettuce); a very Miami Tuna Tostones with hot sesame oil, mayonnaise, truffle eel sauce, and guacamole; Tiradito of raw grouper with chili, garlic, lemon, and cilantro;Tempura Shishito Peppers dressed with parmesan, truffle oil, Maldon sea salt and shichimi; Sweet Chili BBQ Ribs fermented with garlic & cilantro, then toosed in a Thai chili and sriracha sauce, and Chiang Rai Sausage, a pork sausage seasoned with galangal, turmeric, coriander and nahm prik noom (a fiery Thai chile dip).
New entrées include Laad Nah, consisting of crispy chow fun noodles with white pepper chicken, soy bean gravy, bok choi and jalapeño vinegar; Panang Curry with slow roasted lamb shank, green beans, peanuts, and jasmine rice; Whole Branzino stuffed with basil, lemongrass and galangal, served with nam jim (dipping sauce); and Pork Leg (half or whole portions available) slow roasted and seasoned with Asian five-spice, served with steamed buns and pickled mustard greens.
Dinner is simply not complete without a little something sweet. The newest addition to the dessert menu, Sweet Roti, is not to be missed — pan-fried Thai flatbread drizzled with condensed milk and cinnamon crumble, served with green tea ice cream.
At the age of 18, prior to becoming a chef, Bee journeyed to America from Thailand to study at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Upon graduating, Chef Bee moved to Miami where he pursued his passion for cooking. Having no formal culinary experience under his belt, he worked his way up the restaurant ladder, getting his start in the industry as a dishwasher, busboy, and foodrunner at several Miami area restaurants before landing a career-launching sushi chef position at Nobu, the Miami outpost of famed Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa at the Shore Club. It was at Nobu that Bee learned the ins and outs of daily kitchen operations and cemented his dedication to maintaining the highest standards in both the back and front of the house. Following Nobu, Bee went on to work at Siam River before opening his own career-defining restaurant, Oishi Thai, in 2005 on Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard. The small North Miami spot became a mainstay for locals, annually topping regional “Best of” lists and garnering a reputation as a true South Florida culinary gem. In 2015, he opened NaiYaRa, which translates to “friendly, honest, and hardworking” – as much a description of the Chef himself as the restaurant’s mission statement. When he’s not in the kitchen, he can be found working the dining room; welcoming back loyal guests, wooing newcomers and taking the occasional selfie with fans. Named in loving tribute to his daughter Naiya, NaiYaRa, opened in December 2015 and remains one of the most sought-after reservations in town thanks to its vibrant atmosphere and Chef Bee’s modern approach to traditional Thai street food.
NaiYaRa is located at 1854 Bay Road in Miami Beach. The restaurant serves dinner nightly from 5PM-11PM. Telephone: (786) 275-6005
Information provided by Brustman Carrino Public Relations