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La Loggia Restaurant

Lunch at La Loggia pulsates with the energy of a big-city restaurant, more so than perhaps any establishment in downtown Miami. Only a few basic northern Italian dishes are served, and all are cooked to order, meaning the emphasis is on freshness. The fairly priced food may not inspire, but is it rarely insipid. At its best, in fact, the unadulterated simplicity of the fare is just as Italians meant it to be. For starters, house salad is bright and tangy; pizzas are of thin, crisp crust; and a dozen plump littleneck clams succulently satisfy. Pastas don't get dressed in anything more provocative than pesto, alfredo, or tomato sauce ("spicy," "light," "pink," and "with meat"), but they're well prepared and most feature homemade noodles.