Restaurateurs Javier Ramirez and Leo Monterrey first imagined the space on NW 29th Street as a Thai kitchen, but ultimately decided to go with classic Cantonese fare inside a Miami-fied take on a Chinese restaurant. With its brightly painted exterior and salsa-infused playlist, Palmar — Spanish for "palm grove" — indeed reflects the Magic City's tropical elements. But don't be fooled: This spot is Chinese cuisine at its best. An early à la carte menu offered a number of modern takes on classic dishes — immediately identifiable as Chinese, but with ingredients that fell outside the traditional cuisine. A few such dishes can still be found on the well-composed menu overseen by executive chef Pedro Lara. The lineup moves from dim sum, rice, and noodles to heartier entrees such as Szechuan beef in a velvety sweet and tangy sauce. But dumplings — handmade and stuffed with everything from eggplant and lamb to scallops and pork — steal the show at Palmar, along with savory crab and veggie versions of Filipino-style lumpia. The fried rice is also notable, arriving in mountainous heaps flecked with confetti-like nibs of cooked egg and diced scallions. Peking-style roasted duck, served tableside, is, as the menu notes, an experience.