By Sophia Costabal
I have to start off by saying that I am a sucker for Peruvian food. There is something about the combinations of flavors and the heaping amounts of citrus in that cuisine that really tickles my taste buds. So, naturally, when I found out that I would be heading to La Mar (500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami) to get a first-hand look at their Miami Spice menu, I giggled like a little 9-year-old girl that has just found out she’s going to Disney to eat a Micky Mouse Ice Cream Sandwich (Me as a little girl. True Story).
Five of Chef Diego Oka’s culinary masterpiece creations in one night? Stick a Peruvian fork in me because I’m done. Literally. I didn’t even have room to eat the glorious dessert (in its entirety). Nine year old me would have been disappointed.
By Mitchell Nover
YAKU by La Mar (500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami) is a chic outdoor bar and lounge from the Mandarin Oriental Miami’s award-winning restaurant, La Mar by Gaston Acurio. Giving Chef Diego Oka the space to be a little more playful on the outdoor terrace, YAKU blends multicultural ingredients with Peruvian cocktails, light bites, and a cozy waterfront gathering place from Thursday to Saturday nights. Conceptualized and designed by Chef Oka himself, the lounge is furnished with a selection of Peruvian-inspired textiles, sleek communal seating and bronze, terracotta, and colorful accents.
Kiko Suarez —
Host, Que Riko con Kiko
Roberto “Kiko” Suarez is the host of Que Riko con Kiko, an in-depth look of delicious food to enjoy. The segment airs every Friday on Telemundo 51’s 5AM, 6AM, and 11PM hours, as well as on NBC 6 every Tuesday at 11:30AM. A larger-than-life Cuban teddy bear, Kiko brings everything “riko” (i.e. good, delicious, and fun) to your TV, featuring hot restaurants, menu items, chef interviews, and pure awesomeness. He also also produces the Emmy-nominated A la Carta with Mariana Rodriguez, which highlights some of the best restaurants and cuisine in South Florida.
In celebration of National Burger Month this month, Kiko has always partnered up with the folks at Pinch Kitchen to develop his own burger collab. Kiko’s burger will be available all week this week (through Sunday) for lunch and brunch alongside the classic Pinch Burger.
This year’s holiday season is doubly joyous, with Christmas and Hanukkah overlapping for the first time in a while. However, double the fun also means double the work, with the preceding weeks full of gift wrapping, cocktail parties, cookie swaps, tree cutting, candle lighting, and nights of home decorating. So, why not save some energy with a relaxed holiday meal prepared for you by some of the city’s finest chefs and cooks? Miami eateries are offering a number of delightful dining options, including prix-fixe dinners, buffet spreads, a la carte options, and prepared meals ready for you to take home. Read on for our picks of some of the great restaurant meals that can be enjoyed, fuss-free, during Hanukkah and Christmas – a.k.a. Chrismukkah.
By Melanie Galarce
Few restaurants in Miami offer the opulence and culinary experience that La Mar does. The restaurant that carries the name of celebrity chef Gaston Acurio helms locations in Mexico City, Colombia, Chicago, and San Francisco, as well as in our own backyard inside the Mandarin Oriental located on Brickell Key. With killer views of Miami, the restaurant is spearheaded by Diego Oka, a seasoned chef of Peruvian and Japanese decent who has more than 10 years of experience working with the brand. Oka is the kind of guy you want to be best buds with, not only is his demeanor cool and down-to-earth but he’s firing up the best of novo-Andean and Asian-Peruvian fusion at his La Mar gig. That’s the type of food you should expect to enjoy, including traditional seafood ceviche in the form of small, tapas-style and large plates.
In mid-June, the team at La Mar invited us to try their new menu and we were blown away. The dishes are thoughtful and offer a fresh take on Peruvian cuisine classics. To follow is our vivid recap of the fusion rendezvous.
We told you we had something big up our sleeve! We couldn’t tease you all week long without giving you a chance to experience the Estrella Damm Chef’s Choice 2016, so we’re bypassing our traditional #FoodieFriday posts for an MMTM Giveaway. That’s right, we’re giving away a Chef’s Choice meal in each of the neighborhoods we toured: La Mar in Brickell and Brasserie Azur in Midtown.