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Anyone tried Moonchine on Biscayne (Miami)

I think they have Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese food. (When did it become okay to do that? Are these not distinctive cultures and cuisines?) Vietnamese is hard to come by in these parts so I am willing to suck it up.

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  1. It is a sister restaurant to Indochine which is said by Mrs. F to be mediocre. We haven't tried Moonchine yet but probably will at some point as it's in the neighborhood.

    *When did it become okay to do that? Are these not distinctive cultures and cuisines?*

    At this point the better question might be "What place isn't doing it?" It's hard to think of many Thai places that aren't doubling up as sushi places these days.

    I am generally wary of these "slash" (i.e., thai "/" sushi) places, but they're not necessarily uniformly bad. There used to be a place in the Gables on Ponce in what is now the Anacapri spot (now closed, obviously, and I'm blanking on the name) that did sushi / thai / vietnamese / korean, and while I certainly didn't try all of the above, their Bi Bim Bap (a korean dish of grilled beef and vegetables over rice) was pretty awesome.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Frodnesor

      Thanks, Frod. You and I keep the same hours.

      1. re: Frodnesor

        There's a relatively new place in the Gables called Yuga that supposedly is doing an upscale mixed Asian menu. Perhaps Frod who seems to know the Gables pretty well has an experience to relay.

        I've ate numerous times at the owners other resto, Lan Pan Asian ( I think meant to have a lower price point than Yuga) underneath the Dadeland Station mall. They have a great variety of items leaning towards Thai but with Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese (yes sushi also) dishes as well. Surprisingly, the varied dishes I've tried (nothing real fancy) have all been straightforward, clean and fresh tasting renditions and prices are also very reasonable. If you like Asian cuisine in general, you should enjoy it. Below is a link to their menu:

        http://lanpanasian.com/

        1. re: eatnbmerry

          Yuga is indeed owned by the same folks who own Lan Pan Asian and also Su-Shin Izakaya (in the Gables). When it first opened the menu was pretty adventurous, but didn't catch on and it apparently was dumbed down to try to broaden the appeal, to much dismay here. I recall there being extensive discussion on this board but now can't find the threads.

          I've not tried it as Su Shin Izakaya is closer to me and I've never been sufficiently motivated to walk the extra 3 blocks to Yuga.

          Here's the website for Yuga ->
          http://www.s129618979.onlinehome.us/

          1. re: Frodnesor

            Here was my original take on the place when it first opened and was still unique.

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/356347

            Frod, the post you're looking for I believe I started. It was about the dumbing down of menus in Miami to appease diners here. Yuga was actually the inspiration for it. I was so upset when they took off the izakaya plates for Americanized sushi and noodles that the topic seemed to write itself. I did find something on mango&lime that had referenced. But alas, the link on m&l shows the topic on Chowhound has been removed.

            http://mangoandlime.net/2007/07/17/ar...

            I believe Indochine and Moonchine fall into the category of "give people what they're used to but look cool about it". I guess people feel exotic ordering pad thai but wouldn't want to venture far away from that and Indo/Moon-chine deliver that.

            1. re: lax2mia

              Interesting points. So after "dumbing down the menu" is there anything left that you still like? Or has it all gone to "Americanized sushi and noodles"?

              1. re: eatnbmerry

                When I saw the drastic change in the menu I just got up and left. Their food may be good, but when I asked if they still had the housemade tofu and the lamb rib chops and they said they'd been taken off the menu I just lost interest. Lots of people there were enjoying their spicy tuna rolls though.

            2. re: Frodnesor

              Wow Frod I've never read you being so blasé ("never been sufficiently motivated to walk the extra 3 blocks to Yuga") about a place that you hadn't tried. Is it because you feel Su Shin Izakaya offers about the same food/quality or more because you have not liked what you've heard about Yuga?

              1. re: eatnbmerry

                Su Shin is good and has a pretty varied selection of dishes, esp. during dinner. Similar to Yakko San but not the same quality IMO. Yuga was intriguing at first and I heard some good things, but after it changed focus to doing a bunch of different "crazy rolls" I sort of lost interest.

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  Too bad about Yuga. Here's a chance for a non-chain place to take root in the Gables like l2m wishes for and it appears to be washed into the very same taste pool that gives birth to them.

                  I really don't know how that tide will change if the Yuga type places can't experiment and bring new taste adventures into the hood!

                  1. re: eatnbmerry

                    Maybe the Gables wasn't the right place for Yuga? I think the more adventurous eaters probably lie a little further north and east. Then again, Su-shin does pretty well there (but I notice most people stick to sushi and only a few go for the board specials) so I don't know what the deal is? The Gables is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. An affluent clientele that supports mediocre chains.

        2. I've been disappointed by the Miami restaurants that have tried to combine Asian cuisines.