Kush, the beer and burger joint that opened in Wynwood about two weeks ago, can best be described as Lokal's scrappy little brother.
Coconut Grove's Lokal is the more polished older sibling, while Kush has a younger, edgier feel. But there's no doubt, whatsoever, that the two restaurants share the same DNA.
Matt Kuscher, the "father" of both restaurants, if you will, has made sure of that. Although each of the locations has a different vibe, both have the same commitment to serving simple, quality food and craft beer. Kush's menu is short, serving only about a dozen or so items, but each one is made with fresh, local produce and Florida beef. How many burger and beer joints can proudly tout where their meat came from? (Kush's beef comes from Cowart Ranch in Sumpterville, Florida, weekly and is ground in-house, by the way.)
Kush's offerings may be small, but there's something for everyone, with each pairing well with beer (naturally). Starters include Florida alligator bites ($12); hobo Frito pie ($5); and guacamole ($8). In addition to beef burgers, there's also a grilled cheese and tomato soup combo ($9); a pastrami ruben ($12); and a black bean burger ($10).
Of course, food is only half the reason to go to Kush. The other, of course, is the beer. Eighteen beers on tap, many of them local, are curated by David Rodriguez, along with an impressive array of bottled and canned beers ranging from a Miami Brewing Company Big Rod ($5) to a Rivertown Funk Vessel from Cincinnati ($30).
On a recent Friday evening, the small joint, located at the southernmost point of Wynwood, was hopping, with people taking their beers outside for a smoke and to enjoy the Miami dusk or enjoying a post-workday burger. Short Order was invited back to try some other burgers and beer. Here's what we ate over the course of a few visits.
Homestead guacamole is served with homemade salsa and an abundance of warm tortilla chips ($8).
Although listed in the "starters" section, the grilled cheese con sopa de tomate makes a filling lunch or light dinner ($9).
The Lokal burger makes its way to Wynwood with a new Kush "tat." This classic favorite starts with a patty made from Florida grass-fed beef and adds Jack cheese, local tomatoes, avocado, sliced red onions, arugula, and honey mustard ($13).
The frita takes a beef patty, guava jelly, Gruyere, bacon, and potato sticks, and presses it into a killer sandwich. This one is served with sweet potato fries ($12).
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Vegetarians have the best deal in the house. The black bean burger is flavorful and topped with sour cream, guac, Jack cheese, dry slaw, tomato, and red onion ($10).
For dessert, there's key lime pie but you're ordering the Kush brownie, served with a bottle of ice cold milk. Yup, there's bacon inside the brownie. And what's that little baggie? It's exactly what you think it is -- a side of minty greens ($6).