Celebrated chef Piyarat Arreeratn, also known as Chef Bee, recently opened NaiYaRa in Miami Beach’s locals-friendly neighborhood of Sunset Harbour. The restaurant is already the newest place to see and be seen.
Chef Bee showcases an eclectic menu featuring Thai street fare and Japanese specialties. Diners at NaiYaRa can expect a delicious experience of authentic and exotic selections originating from the various regions of Chef Bee’s native Thailand and enhanced with influences derived from his global culinary travels.
Named after his daughter, “NaiYaRa” means friendly, honest and hardworking, which is exactly what guests find at the new eatery.
Chef Bee is undoubtedly the most recognized Thai chef in Miami, and he has a heart of gold. I got the chance to meet with him, and he said that his secret traces back to his Thai roots. He is honored to work with his mother on NaiYaRa to bring some of his favorite childhood dishes from Thailand to Miami Beach.
Inspired by Bangkok’s street food scene and Old Siam, Chef Bee combines both new and old to create a warm, retro-contemporary space. NaiYaRa boasts an open dining room with elegant, tufted red leather banquettes along with tables made from reclaimed Indonesian teak wood. The space is sprinkled with vintage soda crates and repurposed traditional fishing baskets from Thailand, and illuminated by industrial and craft lighting. Walls are adorned with custom artwork by Daniel Fila (aka Krave) including vintage movie poster and vinyl album cover montage in the breezeway, handmade wheat pasted columns, elephant mural at the sushi bar, and fine art installation showcasing vintage memorabilia and The King of Thailand. In addition to the main dining room and sushi bar, there is a separate bar that was custom designed featuring uniquely shaped liquor boxes inspired by back street Thai watering holes, with LED lighting to match the mood of the restaurant. A hand-painted sign that reads “Miami Siam” can also be found above with kitschy lighting.
Born and raised in Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand, Chef Bee moved to the United States over 20 years ago to pursue his passion for cooking. After working his way up the ladder as a sushi chef at famed Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s Nobu and working with Chef Kevin Korey, Chef Bee opened his own restaurant, Oishi Thai, in 2005. Over a decade later, the North Miami restaurant still attracts locals and travelers seeking fresh fish and Chef Bee’s creative and traditional Thai cuisine. He brings this experience and knowledge to NaiYaRa where he helms the kitchen.
The menu features a mix of both exotic and familiar dishes from the various regions of Thailand alongside Japanese specialties. Some of the Thai dishes are the same ones that Chef Bee’s grandmother sold at their local village market in Northern Thailand. Highlights include the Organic Crispy Bok Choy with garlic chips topped with sweet sesame soy; Thai Street Dumplings with spicy garlic soy vinaigrette; and Green Curry with seabass, bell peppers, bamboo shots, coconut milk, basil and served with jasmine rice.
At the bar, guests can find inventive cocktails and fresh ingredients. In addition to a selection of wines and international and local brewed beers, NaiYaRa has an impressive sake menu featuring exclusive bottles and blends for sake enthusiasts along with approachable favorites.
Chef Bee and his mother have created something wonderful at NaiYaRa. From the decor of the restaurant, the vibe, the food and even the drinks, NaiYaRa will keep you coming back for more.
Celebrity sightings are often part of the experience at NaiYaRa. Joanna Krupa named NaiYaRa the perfect dinner spot and Skrillex was also recently seen having dinner with friends at NaiYaRa where he enjoyed Chef Bee’s beef jerky and special sashimi selection.
The team at NaiYaRa did a fantastic job making us feel welcomed. The food was incredible! The artful design, authentic cuisine, and prime Miami Beach location truly make NaiYaRa a memorable and authentic experience for locals and visitors. We highly suggest you make a reservation today!
What to eat:
The Beef Jerky appetizer, Popcorn Shrimp, Thai Street Dumplings; Salmon Tacos and the Crab Fried Rice. Other favorites include the Burmese Wraps, Sriracha Wings, Pad Thai and Green Curry.
What to drink:
Chef Bee hired Anthony Lee to create a unique cocktail menu with heaps of fresh lime and other raw ingredients. Recommended cocktails are the Mekhong Mule and the Killer Bee with gin, lemon, and ginger.
What’s for dessert:
Don’t leave without ordering the Thai Donuts. NaiYaRa aims to give diners a taste of Thai street food, and this finger food is a perfect finish.
NaiYaRa is located at 1854 Bay Road, on Miami Beach. For hours of operation and reservations, visit their official website or call 786-275-6005.