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Mar 30, 2008 07:28 PM

Pacific Time - Design District

did any catch the ad for Pacific Time in the Spring 2008 issue of Dinning Out?

The address is the old District location. Opening "May 2008"

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  1. What does "the old District location" mean?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Frodnesor

      He's opening at the former District Lounge spot - 35 NE 40th St.

      1. re: allpurposedark

        ...which has been abandoned for a while. There were rumors he was going to take that space and more rumors that it fell through. Guess they're back on. I just hope he updates the menu with new items.

        1. re: lax2mia

          well he has a much bigger kitchen now I believe...

      2. re: Frodnesor

        It means the old Picadilly space, which then became The District.

      3. I have enjoyed eating at Pacific Time when in SOBE and was disappointed to see it had vacated it's location a few months ago when I was last in South Beach. Glad to see they are making a move to a larger kitchen and let's hope for good things to come from it.

        1. I just wonder how many restaurants the Design District can support? A few years ago it was pretty much 0 (at least for dinner, more options were available at lunch). Now there's the wine bar (forget the name), Elements, Brosia, Michael's, Domo Japones, Grass and Sheba and soon to be Pacific Time. I'm all for this area growing but at some point something has to go in besides restaurants to entertain people at night. The once a month gallery walks won't cut it.

          13 Replies
          1. re: lax2mia

            okay.. for years it was just Piccadilly (not going back to the 70's/early80's when there were a number of restaurants in the district such as Cafe des Artes, charcuterie, etc which all seem to vaporize).. then some lunch places came and went.. 190 on the north edge of the district was the only other place for dinner other than Piccadilly for quite awhile.

            With Miami midtown and the Edgewater building boom largely being investor purchases (see this last weekend's Miami Herald article about all of the foreclosures), I doubt there's enough business for all the Design District AND all of the restaurant row on Biscayne restaurants to flourish.. but with time those with the best food or the best value or both will survive.

            1. re: karmalaw

              Agree-I believe there is plenty of room on the mainland for good spots. The Double-D has been barren because there was a stranglehold on potential places (it's called the Design District, not Restaurant Row) to eat and drink. The clubs downtown flourish-people go out somewhere to have a cocktail, somewhere else to have dinner-then more drinks, then the clubs. Everything doesn't have to be in one 'district'.
              All of the people on the mainland are tired of driving to the beach to get ripped off. That's why Michael's, and soon Brosia, but perhaps not Domo or Grass, will flourish. And PT will do well if they keep the prices down. And people from the beach drive over here to get some relief as well. (And I think you are thinking of 'W' wine boutique)

              1. re: Miami Danny

                The Chowhound Content Police invariably at some point shut down these big-picture discussions of the viability of different neighborhoods for restaurants, but before that happens, my 2c - Miami has always been a driving town so people are accustomed to driving to dinner. If you just look at a map, you'll begin to understand some of why I think the DD will work - it is literally at the center of several major crossroads for potential diners, both tourists and locals - only blocks off I-95, Biscayne Boulevard, Julia Tuttle Causeway from the Beach, and SR112 from the West.

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  With any up and coming location ( or has it arrived?) the wannabe's will fall out and then someone like Pacific Time should do well as locals who loved him should hopefully support his new venture. I am tired of the bad service and overpriced food on the beach and welcome a new place to go that doesn't feel like people go there to spend a lot of money. By the way, didn't like Domo Japones, great space but bad food.

                  1. re: jmdhsmiami

                    I'm not so sure it's a slam dunk with Pacific Time, unless he's taken the time off to find new inspiration. The restaurant was a hit when it opened on Lincoln Road because Asian-fusion was still newish, there weren't many upscale choices on LR, and he had a good location. As time passed he never made much of an effort to up-date the menu, only rarely adding new items; the place was on cruise-control. Tourists showed up because of the reputation, but for a local it became a bore. ( they closed for renovation a few years ago, and re-opened looking EXACTLY the same! ) I think his lack of concern about fostering his local clientele when he was on LR may have alienated enough people that when he tries to open in a location that draws from the community he's going to have to win them back.

                    1. re: onthelam

                      onthelam -

                      This post hits on the head exactly why I stopped going to Pacific Time on Lincoln Road. For a while it was a semi-regular rotation place for us and had some great dishes (I remember a flash-fried whole yellowtail w/ ginger, done sort of escovitch style), but you could skip it for half a year and go back and the menu would be EXACTLY the same.

                      I"m not sure why other than laziness or a fear of "tinkering with success" that so many restaurants seem to do this. Speaking for myself (as part of the local audience), I definitely find the places that I keep heading back to regularly - MGFD, Michy's, Talula, Timo - are changing their menu regularly and one of the reasons I'm a regular is because I will likely always see something new.

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        onthelam hit the nail on the head and Frod turned the screw at the top (made that one up, pretty bad). Hopefully Eisman and co. will get the message. It became a tradition for us for a while to stop and look at the menu whenever we were walking along Lincoln Rd and it was always the same!

                        1. re: lax2mia

                          Frod and lax2mia - we also tried to keep Pacific Time in the rotation: having dinner with friends at a table scaled back to having a few dishes at the bar, which devolved into drinking at the bar and ordering a snack if we were too lazy too leave! ( and I must add that if it hadn't been for the fabulous Irene behind the bar, we wouldn't have even bothered with that. And since she's now at Michael's, that's our default spot. )

                          To me, not seeing anything new on a menu indicates the chef isn't that excited about his food, or food in general, in a way I relate to. If you love food aren't you always looking for new ways to share it or at least work with it? In another post someone mentioned that when they went to MGFD there was an energy, or maybe they used the word "buzz".....I think a lot of that comes from the enthusiasm he seems to put into his food - changing preparations, new items, new takes on dishes, quality ingredients.
                          ( it doesn't hurt that he also programs GREAT music ). Bottom line is that he cares and it shows.

                2. re: Miami Danny

                  I meant exactly Restaurant Row -- which is drawing much of its clientèle from the same geographic areas as the Design District -- I doubt there's enough people to support everything that's opening.. but that's okay -- the best will survive.

                  The Pacific Time DD space is notoriously dark inside (with exception of the limited seating in the patio area) -- IMO you have to have some seriously good food to make that work - or a seriously trendy location..

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        With restos like Michy's, Michael's and the new Red Light, I think it's clear that people will travel for consistently good, inspired food. Most of the people I know love the feeling of sitting on Lincoln Road but they are turned off by the lack of inventive cuisine and the big box retail. The DD, Wynwood and neighboring environs offer bright new possibilities. I think that success will come.

                        1. re: jessierandall

                          Let me see if I can get a good analogy going. I want to drop a little paint on the top of the screw to put the finishing touch on the screw head (ay good?) point taken, as he was at Best of the Best at the SB Food and Wine Fest and I found his offering one of the least interesting at the event. But I am hopeful and I think we will see if he transends location and actually gets back to his roots.

            2. Went in on Friday PM and was so pleasantly surprised! The food is very diffrent from the old spot, fantastic sardines and sweetbreads, and the drink menu is really what I wish more people were doing. Great classics with a twist. (try the drink with absenth in it, it will knock you on your butt, as my bartender said, "its a stiff drink")

              1 Reply
              1. re: hungrygirlmiami

                Went there recently and I couldn't disagree with hungrygirlmiami more. Being huge fans of the restaurant when it was back on Lincoln Road, our expectations might have been a little too high. Two of our small plates were devoid of seasoning. (We had to ask for salt -- which of course is not supplied on any table.) My friend's tuna tartar was also lacking in flavor and in need of some ponzu sauce or something that would bring it to life. We also ordered the shrimp pancake, which only contained two teensy weensy microscopic baby shrimp and tons of surplus filling. I understand the thought process behind "small plates," but maybe "stingy plates" is a more suitable title for this section of the menu. I'm willing to give it another try, however it's looking as though this is not the Pacific Time of old.