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Tacontento in SOBE - I really like it

I thought it was just OK. Nicely decorated, good ambience and friendly, attentive managers. My server unfortunately wasn't as good, which is bothersome when the restaurant decides to automatically add a 15% tip to the bill. The food was good, but nothing special, it seemed a little dumbed down and inauthentic (I ordered a combo taco platter for 2). Not a bad value and not a bad time, but I'm not enthusiastic about returning.

72nd Bar + Grill - Sunset

After reading about this place opening this week, I decided to give them a shot. I arrived at 2:15 PM today (Saturday) only to be turned away at the door with the explanation that "lunch service" had finished. Unpleasantly surprised, I left and walked the 3 blocks to Town (whose menu they've practically xeroxed) and enjoyed a fine lunch. It's astounding that supposed "experienced restaurateurs" could be so clueless on service. It's just common sense to try and keep clients walking through your door, and if you can't accommodate them for some reason (though the restaurant was half empty) at least be forthright. Anyway, I'd recommend staying away till they get their act together (or at least correct their website which says "Open All Day"), and even then I doubt I'll give them a second chance.

Sakaya Kitchen - Midtown Miami

Dined there for the first time on Friday night and found it interesting, generally good but a little uneven. Two of us split egg rolls ( regular as they were out of the kimchee variety) which were tasty, but a little greasy and the accompanying dipping sauce too salty. We then had the pork buns, which are made with slow-roasted pork shoulder in a spicy sauce and pickles. These were very good but nowhere near Momofuku quality, the pork belly makes all the difference. For entrees we had the honey glazed ribs and beef bulgogi. The ribs alone merit a return visit, they were falling off the bone but somehow kept a crips exterior. The glaze was a bit cloying, but they were so perfectly cooked it seemed unimportant. The beef was very good as well, but the take-out containers made it uncomfortable to prepare as lettuce wrap. The meal cost around $35, though it's not a huge quantity of food, as portions are modest, it was sufficient. I found their concept a little strange, since it's trying to be fast food (everything in take-out containers, self serve drinks, clean up your own table) but at the same time prices are bit high and since all the food is prepared to order you get the dishes staggered, requiring multiple trips back to the counter to pick your stuff up. The owners seem nice and the chef is obviously talented (worked under Jean-Georges at Vong), they just need to work out some kinks. Will certainly visit again and recommend.

Banh mi and SE Asian Markets in Miami

There are several authentic Vietnamese places in Miami and surroundings, where you'll find good Pho and Bahn Mi. Among them:

Saigon Cuisine - 1392 N. State Road 7, Margate, FL 33063 - 954-975-2426

Viet Family Restaurant- 15896 SW 137th Avenue, Miami, Florida, 33177 - 305 -259- 8508

Pho Tuang - SW 160th Street/Colonial Drive, Perrine just west of US1

There are many specialty Asian markets, particularly along the 163rd Street corridor between I-95 and Biscayne, and these are some others:

Asia Market - 9531 Sw 160th St Miami, FL 33157 (305) 232-2728 ( samestrip mall as Pho Tang, Bahn Mi Saturday's only)

Can't recall name but there's a good SE Asian market in the same strip mall as Saigon Cuisine (see above).

Lucky Oriental Mart - www.orientalfoods.net - 8356 Bird Rd, Miami - (305) 220-2838

Welcome to Miami, and look forward to reading what you think, once you've had a chance to try some of these places.

Japanese food, not sushi, in Miami?

I recommend Yuga in Coral Gables, I haven't been back in a while, but they featured a really interesting and refined selection of non-sushi offerings.

How's the Stone Crab this year?

Hi Chicaraleigh,

The quality this season has been great so far, and prices are a bit lower than last year. A good alternative to traveling down here is ordering direct from Key's Fisheries (www.keysfisheries.com) in Marathon, I believe they are owned by the same folks as Joe's and supply their restaurants. You can get 8lbs. of mediums shipped overnight for $160.

Feb 24, 2009
juanlb in Florida

San Diego - "Solar Power" Foodies?

Hey Aron,

A friend and I are also in town for the solar conference, and looking to taste some of the best and most interesting SD has to offer. I have Sushi Ota on my list, but need to add some authentic Mexican and seafood places. Let me know what you're plans are and maybe we can meet up.

Juan

Oct 13, 2008
juanlb in San Diego