Feeling like you're on vacation without leaving town is always a good thing. And you can definitely feel like you're on vacation when dining under the sun at a nice hotel on Ocean Drive.
La Marea at the Tides South Beach launched the "Lazy Breakfast" menu last week, and Short Order was invited to sample chef Gonzalo Rivera's breakfast creations. Rivera, a Michael Mina alum, arrived at La Marea last spring. He has infused the menu with his Mexican background and love for heat.
We started with coctel de camarones ($21), which was the best version Short Order has sampled in a while. The plump shrimp is bathed in a mix of V8 juice, tomato, cilantro, and diced peppers with fresh lime and jalapeño. The result was a well-balanced shrimp cocktail with subtle sweetness and some heat, nothing like the boring iterations you often find in restaurants around town. Add to that a tequila chaser and this is one heck of a hangover cure -- albeit at an Ocean Drive price.
Speaking of hangovers, the breakfast menu seemed to be designed with them in mind. One concoction on the cocktail menu is prepared with Alka-Seltzer, limoncello, agave, and orange -- aptly named "when all else fails." Stay tuned for a later post about the cocktails.
Short Order enjoyed the crab cake Benedict ($10) and the huevos divorciados ($10), which are labeled huevos rancheros on the menu. The eggs in the huevos rancheros are served on sweet potato tortilla; one is topped with salsa verde and one with salsa roja, and both are topped with a generous sprinkling of cotija cheese. The eggs Benedict are served on a tower formed by a thick crab cake that rests on a cornbread biscuit. All of this is coated with cilantro hollandaise and served with a slice of roasted corn on a stick.
An Argentine choripan seemed almost out of place on the menu, but it wasn't necessarily an unwelcome addition. The generous serving of chorizo nestled between two bread slices comes topped with a spicy escabeche and a side of sweet potato chips. Short Order learned chef Rivera has an affinity for heat, but in this case, the heat in the escabeche overpowered the chorizo. At $15, this probably wouldn't be our dish of choice.
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While Ocean Drive might not be a favored dining location for locals, Chef Rivera is doing some interesting things at La Marea that would make us want to go back. If only we could eliminate the Ocean Drive prices on some items.
Lazy Breakfast is served daily from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Valet parking is available for $10.
La Marea at the Tides South Beach
1220 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach