À la carte side dishes include a chiffonade of napa cabbage braised with cubes of smoky pork belly, eggplant and haricot verts in sweet kecap manis sauce given heat via a dash of curry spices, and fantastic French fries that are thin, homemade — unlike some other highly touted taters around town — and lightly drizzled with truffle oil (a luxe add-on not mentioned on the menu).
The waiters here know the menu and seem to have been well trained; their service is solid. Bussers, on the other hand, need more polish. I am alluding not only to clumsiness in picking up and setting down plates, but also to one busperson who, while clearing the vacated table next to ours, brushed all the crumbs onto the chairs — and left them there.
Pacific Time: 35 NE 40th St., Miami; 305-722-7369. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 5:30 p.m. to midnight, Sunday 5:30 to 11 p.m.
Concerning dessert, it is best to choose Pacific Time's duo of longtime signatures: key lime baked Alaska, with a marshmallow-mimicked meringue swirled over frozen key lime pie, and a densely delectable bittersweet chocolate bomb, which is better than any other in town. Amazingly, this was the first of Miami's now-ubiquitous molten chocolate cakes. Eismann had worked with the original Pacific Time pastry chef in re-creating Jean-Georges Vongerichten's popular pastry (the recipe wasn't yet in cookbooks), and after much trial and error placed it on PT's menu in 1993.
This new Pacific Time isn't likely to contribute anything as radically influential as the molten cake, but Eismann returning with renewed focus is more than reason enough for a visit.