I like Pubbelly, both the Japanese side and the regular side. Overall I think the food is delicious, the atmosphere is cool casual pretty like a pub as the name suggests, and the crowd is hip and fun.
So why 3 stars? First, the prices are high. Dinner for two at either of their restaurants will run you about the same prices as eating at a high end restaurant on Lincoln Road or in one of the hotels on Collins. Second, these places get very busy and the seating staff don't have the best attitude. In my few visits there on busy weekend nights, I get the distinct feeling that they know they're a hot restaurant and it's a busy night, so they're doing you a favor by seating you. I really dislike that attitude regardless of how uber trendy a restaurant is.
Pubbelly originally appealed to me because South Beach lacks nice casual dining places that are still hip yet priced for regular visits on weeknights when you're not looking for a big production over dinner or to spend a lot of money. So while I had high hopes, this place just doesn't fill that gap. For the money, I can just as well go to Sushi Samba on Lincoln or any of the hip restuarants in the hotels on Collins.
So yes I'll be back but not terribly often. I'll have dinner here as often as I would have dinner at any of the more expensive hip trendy restaurants in SOBE.
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