What, exactly, does that mean?
Co-owner Andres San Martin says vandalo (Spanish for "vandal") refers to someone who destroys or damages property. Through his restaurant's menu of street-fare staples, he wants to address the debate about whether graffiti elevates the ordinary or constitutes vandalism.
San Martin adds that his new spot combines food, drinks, and street art in one place — in Miami's neighborhood now famous for its edgy vibe and murals. "Ten years ago, there was hardly anywhere in Wynwood to go to. Now it's all about what's the best place to spend time at," he says. "Vandalo is a good spot to get in touch with this community because you can eat, dance, and enjoy and talk about art without having to leave to walk around or visit a gallery."
Before hitting the dance floor, guests can fuel up on substantial bites such as arepas filled with braised oxtail and fontina cheese ($13) and pork belly chicharrón drizzled with onion mojo and sweet chili sauce ($13).
At Vandalo's indoor and outdoor bars, bartenders whip up concoctions such as the Gin-nie in the Lamp — a blend of gin, apricot liqueur, blue pea syrup, and a hint of rosemary — and the signature Cold Ass Ice, made with Santa Teresa 1796 rum, Angostura bitters, lime juice, a cherry, and raspberries ($13 each). There's also bottled ($6) and craft ($7) beer.
In the works for the restaurant/lounge is a calendar of artsy events and an area where guests can display their own creations. Unsurprisingly, Vandalo's graffiti-clad walls are becoming popular among social media users hoping to inject a jolt of color into their feeds.
Vandalo Wynwood. 218 NW 25th St, Miami; vandalowynwood.com. Monday through Sunday noon to 3 a.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.