Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood is about to get spicy. Lolo’s Surf Cantina, a new restaurant concept by chef/partner Richard Ampudia, will bring Mexican-style dining inspired by Baja California to South Florida.
Slated to open before the end of 2016, Lolo's Surf Cantina is the progeny of Ampudia and Plan Do See, a global hospitality brand based in Japan. A beachside space inside the recently refurbished Stanton South Beach will be transformed into the eatery, catering to locals as well as out-of-towners through grab-and-go options and evening programming.
“Lolo’s will have the polish and sophistication for a Saturday night out with friends but will also be perfectly suited for families looking for great food in a welcoming setting," Ampudia says.
According to Ampudia, a Mexico City native, the menu will be straightforward, reminiscent of a gastropub, but have an edge by drawing a heavy influence from traditional Mexican hospitality.
"This is a Mexican concept, but there won’t be a sombrero and maraca to be found," he says. "Lolo’s will be about the heart and spirit of Mexican cooking. Tacos will definitely be on the menu, but they are not the focus.”
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The restaurant will feature family-style plates with many ingredients made in-house, including tortillas, salsas, and sauces. Expect a fusion of gluten-free and vegetarian dishes, as well as whole meats prepared à la plancha.
The beverage program, led by Mexico City mixologist Jose Luis Leon, will offer everything from beer cocktails to margaritas, along with nonalcoholic alternatives and an extensive list of tequilas and mezcals.
Nicknamed "the Godfather of Mexican Street Food," Ampudia isn't new to running Mexican restaurants. In previous years, he was involved with La Esquina, Café Habana, and Bar Bruno in New York. He's also a consultant for various international concepts, including La Bodega Negra in London.
Lolo's Surf Cantina's official opening date has not yet been announced.