Miami Spice takes place August 1 through September 30, when more than 200 local restaurants will serve three-course lunch, brunch, and dinner menus at accessible $23 and $39 price points.
Recently, Komodo provided a sneak peek of its menu. The three-story, indoor/outdoor pan-Asian eatery and lounge from nightlife guru David Grutman (the man behind LIV and Story) offered a one-night preview hosted by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For $55, diners were able to sample family-style favorites off the restaurant’s Spice menu. And it wouldn't be a proper Grutman event without plenty of cocktails, beer, and bubbly. Chandon California, Stella Artois, Terrazas de los Andes, Diageo, and Fiji Water were sponsors of the event, so diners were assured of being well sated and hydrated.
New Times was invited to sample the restaurant's Miami Spice offerings. Here are the highlights:
Grilled shishito peppers, served only on the lunch menu, are charred with citrus ponzu and Japanese spices. The East Asian green peppers are known to be sweet, but one of every ten is very spicy, with one guest at the table lucky enough to bite into one of these potent peppers — and tearing up in the process.
Wagyu beef dumplings, also served in citrus ponzu and fried to a light crisp, are the perfect complement to the shishito peppers.
Battered curried shrimp offer a soft ginger, lime, and cilantro zing and are topped with black bean powder as a delightfully salty accent. One of the most expensive starters on the regular menu at $26, the curried shrimp starter ensures your Spice dinner is a good value.
The Komodo chicken salad, made with shredded napa cabbage, sesame, and crisp wontons, provides a refreshing contrast to some of the heavier starters, making it a crowd pleaser.
Worth the $6 up-charge, the salmon truffle honey rolls with shaved truffle and shiso leaves offer a delicate balance of a fresh, mild fish flavor and sweet honey sauce. This dish was easily one of the table favorites.
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As for the entrées, the sliced Wagyu skirt steak (a $9 up-charge) is served with crisp onion — a flavorful pairing reminiscent of the papas fritas typically served atop pan con lechón. Considering the regular menu price is $59 and the Spice portion is eight ounces as opposed to the full 12, the value of this skirt steak alone comes out to the $39 dinner tab. Other entrées on the Spice menu include lime chicken, served on a bed of wilted garlic with a side of chili lime sauce for dipping. Komodo also offers a tuna and toro roll, pan-seared branzino, and a vegetarian-friendly wild mushroom lo mein with sake cream and Parmesan.
For dessert, guests can choose from Komodo’s baked Alaska with key lime yuzu ice cream, a duo of mochi in passionfruit and matcha green tea chocolate chip flavors, or a chocolate-peanut nutty bar made with tahini peanut cashew caramel, almond sponge, salted caramel mousse, Maldon salt, and raspberry.
Komodo. 801 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305-534-2211; komodomiami.com. Monday through Thursday noon to 11 p.m., Friday noon to midnight, Saturday 6 p.m. to midnight, Sunday 6 to 10 p.m.