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Dec 20, 2013 08:35 PM

aventura, hollywood, hallandale--south beach--reasonable--fresh--

just read through old posts on aventura, doesn't seem to be a lot of new info here, seems like the same short list of places gets recommended by the same few there a shortage of posters on this board--because I'm in NYC but get down there 1x a year, and like to try a couple new places---I usually go to Joe's, for stone crabs, but who else has good stone crabs, I know about Captain Jim's, but it's a fish market--and billy's I hear mixed things about--last year at Joe's, couldn't believe it, but got 2 plates of crabs with sticky shells--frozen, was quite shocked--and it's just so pricey, I can't understand how the quality could even be questionable--i didn't want to cause a scene with the people I was with, but frankly, if I had been dining there alone, I would've sent them all back, and asked for a manager to complain..but I do need my stone crab fix, and can't take them to go, because people I stay with are kosher..---so, is there another restuarant to get them--in one of these areas....--I love Miami Juice on collins and eat there a lot for lunch, and grab tuna at Epicure--and I love Barrio Latino in Waterways, food is always great and reasonable---and they have killer chimichurri--I'm used to really authentic great thai up in ny so I don't bother to look for thai there, but old school miami chinese would be good...sang's is my husband's favorite he goes there for black bean razor clams--but it's a bit dingy for me--any other more upscale places in the nmb vicinity or elsewhere...what about Indian? Are there any good spots, Turkish?, Greek (been to place in design district, expensive, and loud place, with table dancing opa,--don't like)--been to overpriced pasta spot near Yakko san--and been to yakko san, but those that I am with not into this kind of stuff---eat at anthony's coal over and happy to have them in nYC, ---used to go to pilar a lot but they changed their menu, scallops are still great..but it's limited...--gosh I do miss the old school restaurants of old miami....talking 1960's-70's--still dream of the brandy snaps at arthur's eating house--any suggestions welcome thanks

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  1. also had good meals at jimmy in design district area--

    1. There was a shortage of stone crabs last year so a much higher proportion of stones were frozen. True even for Joes. Joes is your best bet for stone crabs under any circumstances.

      1. At least 50% of the time at Joe's I've gotten at least one frozen claw on the plate - though not on my most recent visit. It does depend a bit on whether it's a good season.

        Since I'm one of those "same few posters" and have done so often esp. on Aventura / North Beach, I'm not sure I have much to add, but would note a few things:

        - For Greek / Mediterranean, it sounds like you went to Taverna Opa but that's not in the Design District. Maybe it was Egg & Dart? I'd go to Mandolin Aegean Bistro instead.

        - Not strictly Turkish but in the same genre I'd go to Kabobji in North Miami Beach (same stretch of road as Yakko-San). Also Jerusalem Deli on Biscayne Blvd. (more of a take-out place).

        - Indian is tough to find done well in Miami. Copper Chimney in Sunny Isles is hit or miss but can sometimes be good.

        - For Thai I'd suggest you try Panya in North Miami Beach (163rd Street towards I-95). I'm not Thai, have never been to Thailand, and will not presume to speak to "authenticity," but will tell you it's the most interesting, flavorful and bold Thai food I've had in Miami, with some less typical items than you find at most places here (and no sushi). Also had some good, much better than average take-out from Ricky Thai Bistro on 123rd St. The specials at Oishi can also be good.

        - There is a major Chinese deficit in Miami though King Palace is pretty decent - no less dingy than Sang's though. For upscale Chinese, go to Hakkasan in the Fontainebleau (very pricy). Or for something with a bit more of a contemporary feel check out the newly opened BlackBrick in Midtown (there's a recently updated thread with more info).

        - If you've not been I'd also encourage you to check out Josh's Deli in Surfside.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Frodnesor

          thanks for the suggestions, how is the stone crab season going so far? I just don't want to pay those prices and get sticky frozen claws again, very dissapointing....been to mandolin bistro design distr, overpriced and not as good as we have in ny for 1/2 the price and twice the portion, or same price and just better--,--I remember years ago, golden griddle on 441 for yummy greek food at great style...but these places along with many others are distant memories of a gastro miami that doesn't exist anymore...

          copper chimney place has decent online reviews, but the photos do not look very appetizing, and their mint chutney looked nuclear----problem is the comparison to what you can get in nyc, so I like to stick with meals that are more florida in nature, for example, we have lousy cuban food in ny, so we like to eat ALOT of cuban food, can't get stone crabs, so we like to eat those, --and we like those places that give you nice salads and garlic rolls, like Giannis in Pompano beach--those are florida type places that are good to bring the folks out to.... Josh's deli sounds interesting--bit out of the way though...the ricky thai place is better located than all the way up 163 to 1-95 that might be a good possiblity..

          any great brunches anywhere these days? How is le petit cafe in dania?-- used to love their crepes and napolean, does anyone know if they are still good..the online reviews reflect so--but haven't been there in years...thought we might go there for lunch since it's close to the FLL airport...

          what about mexican? any good places what about that place cheen huaye or paquitos? which is better? i see there's a mercadito near to wynwood I is it?

          what about the hollywood area near to the beach--anything good over there? I think I got a sandwich at place near there last year, can't remember the name, it was ok...

          was reading up on Pilar, wow, i guess my last awful meal there wasn't a fluke, seems like the place was sold, or under new management or something, tons of bad online reviews from this year with simliar complaints..too bad, used to be a reliable place with fresh fish and seafood nicely prepared...

          the brick place didn't seem to get very good reviews and I can't find online menu anywhere, but the sakaya place has very good menu, how is it? if we are around there...

          1. re: janie

            Re Mexican: I like Cheen Huaye - not fantastic, but good. I don't particularly like Paquitos (though as really generic Mexican goes, it's passable). I've also enjoyed the TacoBelly lunch menu at PB Steak on South Beach. I've been underwhelmed by Mercadito and given that you have it NY I certainly wouldn't bother here.

            I've now tried a good bit of the menu at BlackBrick and have really enjoyed it. Lots of Sichuan style dishes and flavors, and though the heat may not be turned up as much as you'd find in an "authentic" Sichuan spot, everything I've had has tasted really good.

            The menu is a work in progress but here's a snapshot as of about a week ago:

            I assume you're referring to Yelp reviews and I wouldn't give them much credence. First of all, they're Yelp reviews and so I wouldn't give them much credence. But more specifically, Miami historically has not had a lot of good Chinese restaurants, and I'm skeptical that you're average Miami Yelper is a particularly sophisticated consumer of Chinese food.

            Re traditional Spanish: there's Xixon, Bulla (a bit more modern), Rincon Asturiano, all of which I've tried and would recommend. Also Las Tapas de Rosa and Bocaito, which are recommended by friends. My experiences at Delicias de España have been mixed, though their market is excellent.

        2. It is best to avoid Aventura this time of year. Horrendous traffic. In Dania Beach try the Tuscany Caffe Small place, very good and reasonably priced Italian food. Had lunch there and all the other tables were speaking Italian. Le Petit Café still good with the same French owners. There are numerous kosher restaurants in the Waterways but it is in Aventura so you would have to brave the traffic. The Chinese kosher place is OK. Shokudo in Buena Vista has very good pan Asian food with a lovely patio garden. Ask for Yoko, the owner. The chef there worked at Boulevard in SF and they will make you dishes off the menu if you ask. Miami has lots of Latin and Spanish restaurants. That is our strength. I have been to Three Palms at 11500 Biscayne Blvd. many times in Miami. Solid Cuban food and coffee. Very good breakfasts and cheap prices. Do not have to go to Little Havana or Hialeah to get your Cuban fix. Agree with the other posters except that I love King Palace for BBQ, noodle soups and hot pots. Above average even for New York IMHO. Much better than Sang's.

          Hope this helps.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rebus1805

            thank you so much, big help,will check some of those spots out...unfortunately we're stuck in aventura because we stay with someone who lives in williams island--and yes, the traffic is just awful. Used to go to shalom haifa years ago for falafel etc, and the service was so horrible and they were so nasty and the food kept getting worse we stopped going,--does this jerusalem deli have good falafel, and by good, I mean green inside not yellow..or worse yet, lebanese style..I 'm talking real israeli style bright green inside, I've yet to find it, like we have in ny with Taim--I know maoz opened in south beach--and i've tried that pita place at loehmans, awful, and the other one on west dixie, even worse--with all the israelis hanging around the waterways, can't believe there isn't a great place like Taim there--three palms sounds great, will check it out...are there any traditional spanish restaurants that are great there--i'm talking paella, shrimp with green sauce, sangria...spain...not cuba...also, we had gone to texas de brazil at gulfstream and thought the meats were so salty but the salad bar was nice---but it's pricey..ok, though with a group....had tried couple other spots at gulfstream and they were just awful, the italian place, and there was a mexican place I think...what about the hollywood area, anything superb there?

            1. re: janie

              I lived in Hollywood for 25 years and now live in Aventura. The restaurant scene is dismal in Hollywood. But there are kosher restaurants there if that is what you are looking for. Sara's is a dairy restaurant on the corner of N. 46th Ave. and Stirling Road is not too bad. There are also some newer kosher places in Surfside on Harding Ave. but I have not eaten at any of them. Gulfstream is another dining nightmare. I never go there unless friends insist.

              For real Spanish food try Xixon in Miami. Food from Asturia, a small market and beautiful wine room. Very good tapas and wines. Casa Juancho on Calle Ocho is a large and busy Spanish restaurant with all the usual menu suspects. Live
              entertainment and lots of locals. Miami has very good Peruvian and Argentinian food. There is La Estancia on Biscayne and 178th St. that has excellent empanadas. Rendez Vous Bakery in the Office Depot shopping center across Biscayne at 178th is a French bakery/cafe. AYCE mussels on Monday night are good. Mixtura in North Beach has high end Peruvian cuisine.

              Hope this helps.

          2. Just thought of two Turkish spots in Hollywood. A La Turca in downtown Hollywood.
            Istanbul on Hollywood beach. Not a fancy place but you sit outside with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Better menu at A La Turca but the ambience is great at Istanbul. Small and family run.