Photo courtesy of Kush Hospitality Group
There are two ways to open a restaurant in Miami. The first is to invest a boatload of money (hopefully not yours); hire a team of decorators, consultants, artists, musicians, and public relations people; and then make the glitziest place in town. The other way is to build all the tables and the bar from scratch and stick to a simple menu based on a no-nonsense theme of serving people tasty food procured from local sources that customers can feel good about. If you're a douchebag, you'll flock to restaurant number one for expensive grub with lots of foam and edible flowers and pyrotechnics. However, if you just want a really good burger and a brew, you'll head to LoKal. Owner Matt Kuscher has done everything by hand in this small, friendly locals respite from nearby CocoWalk. He's even glued several hundred cassette tapes onto the bar for decoration, put out doggie biscuits for local pups, and picked fresh gator for the menu. The menu, by the way, comprises mostly burgers and beer. But the burgers are made from local hormone-free, grass-fed cattle. And the beer is carefully selected to be local and delicious. And did we mention that LoKal's burgers and beer were reviewed on LeBron James' personal website? It could be because there's a burger here named after the Miami Heat, made with spicy jack, jalapeños, and sriracha ($11) — or it could simply be because it's one damn fine sandwich. Not into burgers? There are "pink tacos" made with shrimp freshly harvested from the Gulf of Mexico ($11), chicken and waffles that would make your mom tear up in jealousy ($14), and fresh local gator strips ($12). If that's not enough for ya, maybe you'll be convinced by the complete doggie menu that features Bowser Beer.