Chef Piyarat Arreeratn, also known as Chef Bee, in partnership with his mother, have opened a new Thai concept, NaiYaRa, in Miami Beach. The restaurant is located at 1854 Bay Road in Miami Beach’s locals-friendly neighborhood of Sunset Harbour. Now with two restaurants of his own, Chef Bee’s nickname is no surprise considering what this busy bee is capable of. NaiYaRa brings a brand new concept to the Miami dining scene with a mix of exotic and familiar selections from the chef’s native Thailand. The menu is manageable and modestly priced, encouraging locals to stop in often and try something new. The entire experience – from the distinctive design to the fine locally sourced ingredients – is intended to showcase the beauty and flavor of Thai culture delivered with enthusiasm and grace.
Highlights that we tried included 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.
“I’m excited and honored to work with my mother on NaiYaRa to bring some of my favorite childhood dishes from Thailand to the Sunset Harbour neighborhood,” says Chef Bee. “It’s been such a delight working with her to develop a concept that traces back to my Thai roots. The artful design, authentic cuisine and prime Miami Beach location truly make NaiYaRa a
memorable and authentic experience for locals and visitors.”
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.
NaiYaRa is located at 1854 Bay Road, Miami Beach, FL l 786.275.6005. Dinner is served Monday – Thursday 6PM to 11PM; Friday – Saturday 6PM – 11:30PM; Sunday 6PM to 10PM.For more information and reservations, please call (786) 275-6005 or visit www.NaiYaRa.com.