| Chefs |

Mijana Lebanese Cuisine Brings Middle East to Gulfstream Park

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

From the executive chef of Pompano Beach's Shishka Lebanese Grill comes sister restaurant Mijana Lebanese Cuisine.

As one of Gulfstream Park’s latest additions, the eatery combines authentic Lebanese food, Beirut-inspired ambiance and traditional Middle-Eastern entertainment with the goal of immersing local diners into one of the world’s faraway lands.

Mijana is Chef Ali Husseini’s newest endeavor. Born and raised in Lebanon, Husseini received his training while working in restaurants in Beirut. In the early '90s he moved to the U.S. and has worked in New York, Miami, Orlando and most recently, Pompano Beach at Shishka Lebanese Grill.

“I’ve been in the business since I was about 15 years old,” laughs Husseini. “About five years ago while working at Shishka, my partner Walid Zabib and I started to explore the idea of opening a fine dining Lebanese restaurant and that is how Mijana started.”

In Arabic the word Mijana means a pleasant surprise and that’s exactly what Husseini wants to give his customers.

As both the co-owner and executive chef of the restaurant, Husseini created a traditional Middle-Eastern style menu of beloved dishes that are cherished in his homeland.

“Homemade Lebanese food is my specialty,” says Husseini. “All of the recipes come directly from my family and are made fresh at the restaurant.”

The menu is made up of more than 50 different dishes broken up into seven sections all handcrafted by Husseini. He recommends ordering a variety of different plates and sharing to get a better taste of Middle Eastern cuisine. From Lebanese-style salads like Tabbouleh ($7.50) and Fattouch ($7.50), hot appetizers like Fatayer ($6.95) and Makanek ($7.95) and enough fish, seafood and meat selections to please a small army, one will not leave Mijana hungry. And don’t worry – though the names of Husseini’s food might leave you confused, a detailed description of the plate and its ingredients is given under each item.
“I did a lot of research and the area really needed a restaurant like this,” explains Husseini. “We want to show people what this type of culture really is.”

Mijana does just that. During daylight hours the eatery remains serene, offering diners a laid-back environment to enjoy a meal. But on weekends reservations are a must as the once quiet restaurant transforms into a Middle Eastern nightlife hotspot.

Though the kitchen closes at around midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, Mijana’s entertainment line-up is likely just getting started. The restaurant has over 25 flavors of Hookah ($21.50+) and brings in Middle Eastern singers and dancers as often as possible.

“It’s really not just a restaurant,” says Husseini. “It’s also become a cultural meeting place.”
Inside the restaurant the décor is a cross between traditional Middle Eastern and modern Mediterranean styles. Husseini’s partner Zabib specializes in design and handpicked everything from the floor tiles to all of the individual fixtures, with many of the materials imported from Beirut.

“I really think the design and atmosphere of this restaurant is very unique,” says Husseini. “It’s really the first of its kind in terms of a big, fine-dining Middle Eastern restaurant.”
So if you’ve always wanted to take a trip to the Middle East, save yourself the airfare and the hours of flight time by taking a night to visit Mijana Lebanese Cuisine. And just a tip: even if you’re beyond full from your meal, don’t leave without ordering the knafe ($6.25) for dessert. You’ll thank me later!

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.