By Melanie Galarce
Recently opened DÔA has comfortably found its home in Miami Beach (200 Collins Ave.) DÔA, which means “The Door” in Japanese and is pronounced dow-ah, is the latest venture from global renowned restaurateur, Arjun Waney. You might have heard Mr. Waney’s name before since he is also the force behind hot spots Zuma and Coya which have become staples in our foodie community. That said, DÔA is the less pretentious little brother who still cares about excellent food without breaking the bank.
Menu highlights: Expect some serious Latin-inspired Asian food. You can indulge on everything from Tiraditos, Ceviches, Rolls, Tartare, Buns and Nigiri to kick things off. Full disclaimer, what Mitch and I tried was really darn good. From the Hamachi Crispy Rice to the Nikkei (Yellow Fish Tuna Ceviche) the colorful dishes with bold flavors take center stage and provide for a delightful meal. You’ll also enjoy the fusion of Latin and Asian cuisine through dishes like the Scallop Tartare whose Leche de Tigre preparation shine with originality.
Other things we strongly recommend on plentiful menu? The Nigiri and the Buns. The Nigiri has a silkiness that truly lets you enjoy the taste of the fish and makes it a very memorable highlight. The Buns, although a completely different dish, are an excellent option for those that shy away from the more adventurous dishes.
Standout dish: Meat entrees are rarely my favorite, but the Spicy Beef Tenderloin (Rocoto, Hoison, Szechuan) accompanied by the Robata Shiitake (Ginger, Soy Butter, Sesame) was the dream team dinner combo that really elevated this dinner experience to the next level. The beef had flawless tenderness and just the right kick of spice, which also magically dissolved into the velvety flavors that the shiitake mushrooms gave the dish. This is the killer combo to order.
Are we boozing? It’s South Beach, are you kidding? Expect tons of craft cocktails and lots of booze in general. This can easily become your go-to dinner spot before a big night out. I should also note that DÔA is open until 5AM, seven days a week. I’m exhausted just writing that, so kudos to their team.
Check this place out if you like: Zuma or Coya. It has the same owner so you’ll find very similar concepts of Asian and Latin-inspired dishes only at a more affordable price tag.
Mel’s take: During the holidays, this was one of my top recommendations to any out-of-town guests who asked for dinner recommendations in South Beach. The Zuma and Coya name help with DÔA’s credibility, but I believe this place has the potential to stand proudly on its own. They also offer a late night menu and brunch, so I’m excited to see DÔA come into their own in 2017.