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Photo by Juan Fernando Ayora


Kaido, the Design District cocktail lounge by chef Brad Kilgore and mixologist Nico de Soto, is a lush den of food and drinks. Yes, the menu is filled with decadent items you would expect in a lounge situated above a Gucci boutique, such as grilled foie gras ($23) and Wagyu tataki ($95); however, it's Kilgore's take on old-school favorites that shine. Guilty pleasures, usually found in strip-mall restaurants and street-vendor stalls, are made elegant in the chef's hands. Kaido's fondue is a blend of cheese and creamy uni in a sea-urchin-shaped bowl, along with smaller dishes of vegetables, tiny bao buns, and assorted bits of shrimp, scallops, and calamari for dipping. Kilgore also turns the scourge of Florida's waters — the lionfish — into delicate sashimi, dubbed "Floridian fugu." Insider tip: Be sure to also make reservations for Ama, the little hidden bar inside Kaido. You won't find photos of it online because guests are instructed to refrain from snapping shots and using social media in the bar. That means you'll have to enjoy the company of friends and savor the food and drinks without your phone in your hand. What a novel concept.