To say Miami's Toro Toro is the product of an ambitious game plan is an understatement. James Beard Award-nominated chef Richard Sandoval's expansive empire includes 34 eateries, with U.S. locations in California, Arizona, Colorado, New York, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. He also owns a fast-casual rotisserie chicken joint named Kokoriko in Miami's Brickell neighborhood. Internationally, Sandoval's locations include Mexico (his homeland), Qatar, and Dubai. The last is, in fact, the setting for the original Toro Toro.
Sandoval is clearly a confident businessman, the kind who owns two restaurants with names that symbolize virility and aggressiveness.
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This past October, he extended his local presence past Brickell to the downtown hotel InterContinental Miami, where Toro Toro is located. This self-proclaimed pan-Latin eatery is the fourth collaboration between Sandoval and Strategic Hotels & Resorts, the group that owns the hotel. The high-rise, once known mostly for its convention center and ballrooms, underwent a $30 million renovation this past year. After three decades in the business, the once-modernist lodging aimed to reconnect with Miami's budding young, urban nightlife and dining scene. These efforts included swapping Indigo Restaurant, a hotel-operated eatery that was geared toward guests, for the newer and more alluring Toro Toro.