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South Beach Miami Recommendations

stevewag23 Aug 26, 2009 12:13 AM

I will be in South Beach in late September and I have not been in a few years.

I think I am missing Stone Crab season so Joe's is out.

I was looking for:

Best sushi on South Beach?

A great inexpensive lunch spot? (I am familiar with Puerto Sagua)

A great restaurant with "buzz" and very lively (something similar to Prime 112)

A good quiet restaurant, with a good scene?

Thank you!

  1. s
    Sobe4u Aug 26, 2009 04:12 AM

    For Sushi you could try Sushi Samba or Bond St.

    For inexpensive lunch maybe Sosta Pizza, La Sandwicherie, Big Pink

    For a restaurant with "buzz" you could try the new Mr. Chow @ the W Hotel, Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian (sit outside)

    For a good quiet restaurant with a good scene you could try Talula, BLT Steak, Casa Tua

    24 Replies
    1. re: Sobe4u
      stevewag23 Aug 26, 2009 08:44 AM

      Thanks for the Recommendations!

      I have been to Sushi Samba. Very good. Is there another sushi spot you would recommend?

      How is the food at Casa Tua?

      1. re: stevewag23
        Frodnesor Aug 26, 2009 11:12 AM

        sushi is not a high point for South Beach.

        1. re: stevewag23
          Blind Mind Aug 26, 2009 11:44 AM

          I like Bond Street better than Sushi Samba. For your inexpensive lunch I'd recommend a falafel pita @ Pita Spice on Washington (around 11th) or a burger on the sand at Love Food Cafe which is a little trailer on the sand of Miami Beach around 19th street that has awesome burgers. For a little more pricey but still not-too-expensive lunch, try Ice Box Cafe on Michigan Ave just off Lincoln Rd or Cafe Books & Books on Lincoln. I also like the Beach Cafe (or whatever they call it) @ the Dilido hotel. Id also add Sardinia on Purdy Ave to your list of "good quiet restaurant with a good scene". If you dont mind an expensive meal for your "buzz" meal, try Hakkasan @ the Fontainebleau (service can be spotty but food is very good albeit expensive). Scarpetta @ Fontainebleau is also getting positive comments here.

          1. re: Blind Mind
            stevewag23 Aug 26, 2009 03:37 PM

            Great tips!

            Is Osteria Del Teatro still good?

            1. re: stevewag23
              tpigeon Aug 26, 2009 04:07 PM

              I agree with frod on sushi, don't bother - our sushi is not exceptional.
              Casa tua is overpriced, osteria, sardinia and scarpetta are all better choices.

              I would do casale over sosta unless you want to hang on lincoln rd, I would add martarello and el chalan to the cheap eats. You can do better than big pink but if you are in the area it is inconsistent but I have had decent meals there.

              I never liked mr chow in ny but I never went to the one here, i suspect it is no better. If you want to do overpriced chinese, hakkasan is your best bet.

              Asia de Cuba is not bad but you should eat there solely for scene and food, do so on friday.

              1. re: tpigeon
                stevewag23 Aug 26, 2009 04:17 PM

                That is kind of crazy that there are not more sushi options in south beach.

                It would seem to be a perfect fit.

                1. re: stevewag23
                  Frodnesor Aug 26, 2009 04:56 PM

                  there are several, they're just not very good. Bond St. is probably best of the options that are available.

                  1. re: Frodnesor
                    tpigeon Aug 26, 2009 06:40 PM

                    agreed but at the end of the day not worth it if you are only coming to visit

                    1. re: tpigeon
                      stevewag23 Aug 27, 2009 08:19 AM

                      How is Table 8?

                      And are there any other hidden gems I should look for?

                      1. re: stevewag23
                        HabaneroJane Aug 27, 2009 08:24 AM

                        table 8 went out of business.

                        hidden gems--in the purdy/sunset harbor area, there are a few hot spots--shiso for japanese, barbu is a byob organic tapas place and while hardly hidden, a gem for hamburgers and cool locals scene, across from sardinia is burger and beer joint. just opened and has a sports bar and lounge upstairs. it's jumpin'!

                        1. re: HabaneroJane
                          stevewag23 Aug 27, 2009 10:24 AM

                          "table 8 went out of business."

                          Wow. Is there something else in its place?

                          Thanks for the tips!

                          1. re: stevewag23
                            Frodnesor Aug 27, 2009 10:50 AM

                            I think they were turning it into another 8 Oz. Burger Bar? Or was that another space on Ocean Drive?

                            1. re: Frodnesor
                              HabaneroJane Aug 27, 2009 10:57 AM

                              i think after table 8 closed, the 8 oz plans were 86-ed...but not 100 percent on that...

                        2. re: stevewag23
                          Frodnesor Aug 27, 2009 08:49 AM

                          hidden gems ->

                          Indomania - 26th & Collins (closed for August, reopens Sept. 8).
                          The Spot - 5th & Alton - nice shrimp po'boy, good for lunch or late night.

                          Also, let me second and reiterate the recommendation above of Talula. IMO, easily the best food on South Beach.

                          For a more scene-y place, nobody has yet mentioned Meat Market on Lincoln Road. I've only been once, shortly after they opened, but it showed some promise.


                          1. re: Frodnesor
                            Blind Mind Aug 27, 2009 09:06 AM

                            I second Talula as best on the beach. I also recommend Meat Market. Ive been meaning to post about the meal I had there last weekend which was fantastic. I will admit though, the only times Ive been there (about 3 or 4) Ive ordered the kobe filet w/ foie gras at $113 or something like that. Its been phenomenal both times though. This past visit I had the hamachi sashimi which was very good and the kobe tartar which was good but kinda heavy on the capers (they mixed it with the tartar and then had more on the side which was just overkill). The bar scene there is lively and they do some good happy hour deals at the bar too for $10 and under. I cant say Ive ever been disappointed with the food at Meat Market. Some apps havent quite hit the mark but overall the meals Ive had there have been very good.

                            1. re: Blind Mind
                              HabaneroJane Aug 27, 2009 10:30 AM

                              love meat market. very sceney , pricey and delicious. nothing has gone in table 8's place but a few doors down at the recently revamped Betsy hotel is a branch of BLT Steak, yes, another steak joint, but very good, great service and ambience.

                              1. re: Blind Mind
                                stevewag23 Aug 27, 2009 10:38 AM

                                Thanks for the Talula recommendation. I will definitely check it out.

                                1. re: stevewag23
                                  swedaeatsaround Sep 10, 2009 07:13 PM

                                  We had three nights of dining in Miami in mid September...
                                  1st night we spent at Micheal's genuine: this was a great experience the staff was extremely friendly, on their game and the food was delicious and accessible. Great ambiance!
                                  2nd night: Spice Menu at Scarpetta: the food was fantastic, the service dropped the ball a few times but made up for it. It was a busy Wednesday night with several large parties. By far the deal to be had in Miami and an extensive wine list. The polenta and panna cotta were amazing. After dinner we took a nice stroll of the grounds and sat by the beach watching the lighting off the ocean. Perfect.
                                  3rd night: Talula...we had an earlier flight to catch the next morning, so decided to head out early for dinner and take advantage of happy hour. We arrived at 6:30PM on a Thursday. There was no one at the restaurant, that was ok a bit akward but it was really early for MIami. The waiter was super attentive, of course, and when I asked about the drink specials for happy hour he gave us a separate little menu with the cocktails listed and the daily dinner specials. On top of the menu it stated 5-7PM drinks 1/2 price. We both ordered mojitos. They came out, very much on the smaill side, in rocks glasses. Hey its happy hour so no grounds to complain. The food was good, I was not as impressed with the Miami Spice menu compared to Scarpetta...one of us ordered the Spice and the other ordered off the regular menu. Our server stayed attentive until a few other tables showed up. The service became spotty and we waited a very long time to get the check at the end of the night. There was only 6 tables at this time, 9:45PM. ? Worried what would have happened if they would have been busy. Then the bill came.......the server rang in several extra glasses of wine by accident (?) and then charged us full price for the happy hour drinks. Three mojitos in rocks glasses for $54? Wow, this is not the Park Hyatt in Paris. When we questioned him, he informed us that Happy Hour was only in effect if you sat at the bar. Odd? We were very clear that is why we were there at 6:30 and ordered the drinks. Their bar area is very small and I thought this to be extremely misleading. Why would the server give us the happy hour menu if we were not sitting in the right area? Remember we were the only table in the restaurant. He said there was nothing he could do about it, I asked if we could speak to the manager. Then magically this was fixed, but we were told by the server that they would not change this for us in the future (not to worry Talula, we wont be back next time in Miaimi) and the extra glasses of wine we did not have were taken off. We both felt that this was done on purpose in hopes that we would not look over the bill carefully. Very disappointing for a restaurant on this level. I would spend my $200 for two people else where.

                                  1. re: swedaeatsaround
                                    Joe Foodie Sep 12, 2009 06:09 AM

                                    I've been eating at Talula for a couple of years now- I am disppointed to hear this particularly since I ate ther last night and am here to tell everyone how delicious it was. Which by the way- Talula was exceptional- Andrea came to the table and made it even more special- she is very nice and clearly cares about her business. Ther prices are less when compared to the other similar options. Most businesses will relent if someone who drank a lot complains enough too- Isn't happy hour typically a bar thing??

                                    1. re: Joe Foodie
                                      stevewag23 Sep 22, 2009 12:20 PM

                                      Does Talula have a bar you can eat at for solo dining?

                                      1. re: stevewag23
                                        Frodnesor Sep 22, 2009 12:54 PM

                                        Yes. Also a small 3-seat bar in front of the open kitchen which is my favorite spot.

                                    2. re: swedaeatsaround
                                      Frodnesor Sep 12, 2009 06:55 AM

                                      This sounds like a rogue server issue rather than restaurant management. Particularly since at least some of it was "magically fixed" when you asked to speak to the manager (you probably should have insisted on speaking to a manager anyway). Not that it makes it any better, but finding good waitstaff is a perenial problem on South Beach.

                                      1. re: Frodnesor
                                        tpigeon Sep 12, 2009 12:03 PM

                                        I have heard several bad reports on talula but I have eaten there quite a few times and it has never been anything less than exceptional. Agreed on the SOBE waitstaff issue btw.

                                        I look forward to the next time I eat at Talula. We need more places like them.

                          2. re: Frodnesor
                            taiga Sep 16, 2009 09:27 AM

                            Bond Street was manned by Japanese, which often (some might argue nearly always) makes a difference in sushi converstions.

              2. s
                stevewag23 Aug 30, 2009 09:25 PM

                Are there any good delis to buy meats and cheeses from on south beach?

                2 Replies
                1. re: stevewag23
                  Frodnesor Aug 31, 2009 05:37 AM

                  On South Beach - Epicure Market, Alton Rd. around 16th St.

                  1. re: Frodnesor
                    stevewag23 Aug 31, 2009 09:43 AM

                    That place looks great.

                    Thank you.

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