Rosewood Miramar Beach announces the opening of AMA Sushi, a celebration of Japan’s Edomae tradition crafted with variety and skill, uniquely located on the American Riviera. Inspired by the legacy of Japanese free divers, the restaurant derives its name from the valiant women who swam the ocean to collect fresh seafood for their villages. Tucked away within the property’s sprawling grounds, AMA Sushi showcases always-fresh ingredients complemented by an extensive selection of wine, sake and innovative cocktails.
The restaurant is helmed by Executive Chef Kentaro Ikuta who hails from Osaka where he refined his craft before moving to California, spending the last thirteen years at Michelin-starred omakase concepts. Chef Ikuta is joined by Chef de Cuisine Scott Yonamine, who was most recently in Tokyo at Musahi Sushi, and Sushi Chef Wendy Ramos from Southern California’s renowned Nobu Malibu. “I am thrilled to bring almost thirty years of experience in the traditional Edomae school to this special region of California, famous for its pristine seafood and the perfect home for a seasonal expression of Japanese fine dining,” says Chef Ikuta.
AMA Sushi can be experienced a la carte or as an omakase meal, allowing for an exchange of trust and spontaneity between guest and chef. The menu features a selection of zensai (appetizers) such as Namagaki Oysters and Tamago Tofu with Local Uni; salads and usuzkuri (thinly sliced sashimi); agemono (fried foods) including a variety of tempura and chicken karaage; and yakimono courses, grilled over Binchotan Charcoal, ranging from Hokkaido Scallops to Miyazaki A5 Wagyu Ribeye.
Anchored in an extensive nigiri and sashimi list, the menu highlights Santa Barbara’s exceptional offerings alongside the finest seafood carefully selected from Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo’s Kōtō Ward. The wild-caught and sustainable ingredients will also be available as simply prepared hand and cut rolls or uramaki (inside out) rolls that introduce non-classical sauces and flavors. In keeping with local and Japanese seasonality, a selection of featured fish will rotate seasonally. Highlights include Abalone, Chu-Toro (tuna belly), Shime-Saba (marinated mackerel), Buri Yellowtail, and Uni from Hokkaido and local purveyors.
Curated by the resort’s Director of Wine Daniel Fish, the AMA Sushi wine list champions both California producers and emerging winemakers from Europe, alongside a remarkably extensive sake list featuring Japan’s most renowned and highly prized brewers. Highlights include Kojima Sohonten Brewery, one of the oldest breweries in Japan, as well as two highly sought-after selections from Niizawa Brewery in Miyagi: Reikyo “Absolute 0” Junmai Daiginjo and Sankyo “Super 7” Junmai Daiginjo.
The restaurant’s cocktail program, designed by Nils Schabert, Director of Bars, celebrates the Japanese nuanced but unfussy approach to craft drinks made with passion and precision. Schabert hand-picked over thirty varieties of Japanese whisky for a comprehensive beverage offering. Highlights include Hinode, served Tokyo Kaikan Style with a king cube in an edged coupe with mezcal joven, pineapple liqueur, acidified dry vermouth, black lemon bitters, sparkling sake & kinome; and Tsumiki, a coconut infused sake-based cocktail served in a traditional ceramic cup with mandarin essence, banana liqueur, dry vermouth and roasted nori. Zero proof cocktails include Kaizen, a carbonated cold brew genmaicha with pandan lime reduction and strawberry, with a citrusy popcorn aroma and aftertaste of roasted brown rice.
Designed in partnership with innovative design firm AvroKO, the restaurant’s striking interiors bring the storied history of the Ama divers to life, seamlessly blending a minimalist Japanese aesthetic with the resort’s signature coastal style. The blue ombre plaster ceiling mimics water rippling through the sea, a stunning contrast to the dark American oak paneled walls inspired by fisherman huts in Japan. Pearlescent white onyx is set against a black granite chef’s counter in the room’s bold centerpiece: a magnificent scalloped sushi bar. Thoughtful nods to Japanese heritage throughout the space include a custom chandelier featuring layers of sheer linen stretched over intricate brass detailing, representing the garments worn by Ama divers that were believed to protect them from harm. On the restaurant’s intimate terrace, al fresco California evenings can be enjoyed under glittering lanterns strung throughout lush, leafy foliage alongside the resort’s beloved koi pond.
Massimo Falsini, Director of Culinary Operations of Rosewood Miramar Beach adds, “Sushi-yas (restaurants that specialize in sushi), are an inextricable part of California’s food culture and we are honored to bring our version to life with AMA Sushi. Chef Ikuta’s expertise and meticulous attention to detail along with our renowned brand of five-star service will make for a truly memorable sushi adventure.”
AMA Sushi will be open daily for dinner from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm (10 pm on Friday and Saturday). For reservations and additional information please call (805) 900-8388, visit www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/miramar-beach-montecito/dining/ama-sushi or follow @amasushimiramar.