Snagging a taste of every buzzy hot spot that opens in South Beach is close to impossible. But when Arjun Waney, the restaurateur behind concepts such as Zuma and Coya, unveils something new, it's worth a visit.
Doa (pronounced dow-ah), located at 2000 Collins Ave., is now open for brunch and dinner, bridging the gap between Peruvian fare and traditional Japanese, Chinese, and pan-Asian plates.
For Doa, “we invented the word 'LatAsian,'” Waney told New Times in September 2016. “We are not Japanese; we are not Chinese; we are strictly nikkei and chifa. The flavors are unique to the Asian-influenced cuisine born in Latin America. We greatly look forward to showcasing this type of food and its unique diversity to the country and the world.”
Many of Doa's signature dishes overlap on its brunch and dinner menus. It should be noted that this isn't the place to go for a spinach omelet or cream-filled French toast. It is, however, a restaurant where it's acceptable and encouraged to begin the day with ceviche, sushi, and steamed buns.
New Times was invited to sample a handful of dishes available during both brunch and dinner. No matter when you're dining, start your meal with the traditional ceviche ($14). The Peruvian classic blends dashi — a Japanese broth — with the citrus-based marinade leche de tigre, creating a fresh flavor to cleanse your palate.
Next, try the ceviche maki roll ($14), which emulates the flavor of the ceviche bowl. The difference is the sushi variation includes a leche de tigre cream drizzled on top, giving a flavor-packed sweet-and-salty edge to an otherwise traditional roll.
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While you're there, order a few bao buns ($7 to $10). Doa offers two varieties, stuffed with either pork belly or soft-shell crab and hugged by pillowy bread topped with sesame seeds. The former is doused in rocoto hoisina, a dark red sauce that blends sweet, spicy, and smoky. (Think of it as a fancier version of your favorite barbecue sauce.) The latter features a similar sauce with a stark lime flavor.
The restaurant is located directly on Collins Avenue, and Doa boasts many features typical of South Beach's venues: trendy decor, throngs of foreigners, and a DJ. It's not a place for a quiet and intimate bite, but it's definitely a spot for a lively meal.
For more information, visit doacantina.com.