The 3,500-square-foot, two-story building located on Main Highway is slated to open in March. The space will also house the group's other concept, Krüs Kitchen. Both will be part of the Leto Campaign, a nonprofit corporation created as the company’s charitable arm where a percentage of sales from both its brands will help to serve future community needs.
Helmed by Colombian-born chef Sebastian Vargas, Los Felix will focus on traditional Mexican tacos, homemade aguas frescas, and seasonal dishes paired with natural wines. The restaurant will use mostly local produce, meats, and seafood and will also serve as a molino — a traditional Mexican tortilla mill — using the restaurant's own heirloom corn imported from Oaxaca to create its house-made tortillas.
Krüs Kitchen, Los Felix's first venture, launched in Coconut Grove in November. Designed as a virtual kitchen and digital marketplace, the company offers area residents high-quality meals at an affordable price. The market provides house-made kitchen staples that range from salad dressings, honey, and ice cream to a selection of natural wines.
According to co-owners Josh and Pili Hackler, Krüs Kitchen is able to set itself apart from other Miami meal-delivery services thanks to its third partner and cofounder, Chef Vargas.
The Colombian-born chef — whose résumé includes Michelin-starred restaurants Osteria Francescana in Italy, Eleven Madison Park in New York City, and Fäviken Magasinet in Sweden — gives people an opportunity to enjoy nourishing meals prepared by an acclaimed chef for under $25.
"Before the pandemic, I was interested in app delivery, takeout, and the concept of ghost kitchens. As we began to think about what the world needed less and more of, we began scripting the idea of Krüs," Josh Hackler tells New Times. "It would be a takeout-and-delivery concept otherwise categorized as fast-casual. Something sustainable, convenient, healthy, and affordable that also travels and reheats well. It was the perfect concept to launch amidst the pandemic."
Using the Krüs Kitchen's dedicated smartphone app, customers can purchase seasonal dishes prepared with ingredients from South Florida vendors. The app also allows customers to schedule orders for delivery within a six-mile radius or opt for curbside pickup.
Priced from $12 to $25, dishes range from appetizers like coconut snapper ceviche or smoked wahoo to entrées made with heritage pork belly, a fresh fish of the day, slow-cooked grass-fed osso buco, and a chicken terrine pressed with herbs and served with a fresh peach jam. Vegetarian and vegan options include charcoal-roasted beets in a balsamic vinaigrette, as well as grilled eggplant and dates with pecans, flaxseed, and sunflower-seed crackers.
Vargas tells New Times he has long been inspired to create exceptional, high-quality cuisine that was both affordable and accessible to everyone. The idea coalesced when he partnered with Josh and Pili to create Grass Fed Hospitality.
"Throughout my professional life, high-quality food has been my only choice," explains Vargas. "By that, I do not mean expensive caviar, foie gras, or a fine bottle of Champagne. To me, high-quality food is the craft of practicing traditional agriculture, respecting the cycles of food, and always working with what is freshest around you. It’s questioning tradition and evolving new ideas to make good food accessible to everyone. It’s also working with your local farmers, or anyone in this food revolution that is not mass producing or exploiting our natural resources."
To that end, Los Felix is respectful of tradition and ingredients and reflects the chef's love of Mexico and the vast variety of flavors found there.
"My desire is to share with Miami the art of making fresh tortillas, a tradition that dates back thousands of years and continues to be the most important staple in Mexican cuisine," Vargas says. "Los Felix is also a place to pay tribute to all the hard-working women who have been key players in evolving Mexican cuisine to what we know nowadays."
This spring, Krüs Kitchen will expand in tandem with the opening of Los Félix, allowing customers to physically shop its seasonal market of homemade fare and locally-made artisan goods from its second-floor space.
"With Los Felix, we want to become the neighborhood taqueria," adds Pili. "There’s an inherent joy when eating a tasty taco, and we want the entire community to experience happiness when visiting Los Felix. And at its core, bringing to life our commitment to the quality of product we’re using, and the process of how we’re making each dish."
Los Felix and Krüs Kitchen. 3413 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; kruskitchen.com. Opening March 2021.