Azul is a two-month-old 120-seat restaurant in the $100-million Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key, actually housed on the side of the hotel, along with another eatery, Café Sambal, in a patinaed structure. The restaurant's interior , elegantly accented in rosewood, bamboo, white marble, stainless steel, and silk, impresses in an understatedly tasteful manner. Large windows offer breezy vistas of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline during lunchtime, though at night they become rectangles of black glass that mainly reflect the elongated yellow- and champagne-color lampshades hanging from the ceiling. A big, bright, slightly elevated open kitchen commands the front of the room, while in the center a staircase leads down to Sambal (and the restrooms). Just past these stairs is a lovely lattice of metal that screens the dining... More >>>