8/12/19 - 7 minute read
By: Alicia Rinaldi
You’ll feel like you’re on an island vacation when you dine at La Sombra Restaurant & Lounge 🌿 La Sombra is a tropical oasis located in our own back yards—South Beach to be exact, in the Fairwind Hotel on the famous Collins Ave.
Since it’s one street back from Ocean Drive, you won’t have to worry about being bombarded by tourists rushing by as you enjoy your meal. Instead, this outdoor eating area is set back in the Fairwind’s courtyard, with chairs and couches scattered among lush greenery & an expansive fountain. The dining area is complete with a covered bar in the back and a dj pumping mood-tunes. And when the sun goes down, the string lights come on (who doesn’t love string lights)?
If you’re a Miami newbie (or didn’t read our last blog post), let me tell you about Miami Spice. The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) holds Miami Spice every every August & September as a way to attract visitors to Miami for the hot summer months and encourage locals to try new restaurants.
Miami Spice is when Miami’s best restaurants offer a fixed-price menu with lunch for $23 and dinner for $39. Included in that is an appetizer, entree, and dessert, which is a total steal!
Miami Spice Menu
Turns out “Tabbouleh” is just a fancy word for a Levantine vegetarian salad with varying recipes depending on where you get it. I like how the apples added just the right amount of sweetness. The ceviche was HUGE—I would’ve been content eating just that! The combination of flavors from the fish, pinneapple, and the leche de tigre sauce was perfectly refreshing (I had to stop myself from drinking the juice from the bowl) and I love the texture added to the dish from the hominy kernels.
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad: red & white quinoa, cucumber, grape, tomatoes, baby arugula & sliced apples, tossed in a lemon oil & fresh mint
Ceviche: daily local catch, red onion, jicama, mango, pineapple, cilantro, Serrano peppers, in a passion fruit leche de tigre with toasted hominy kernels
I was already pretty full from the ceviche, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t eat & write about the rest of the menu! Not only is skirt steak my favorite cut, but this one was marinated for a full 24 hours, so it was full of flavor! It came with roasted fingerling potatoes & delicious Brussels sprouts on the side.
My friend & dinner date is a self-proclaimed pad-thai aficionado after coming back from vacation in Bali. She said that the pad-thai tasted authentic—just like it did in Bali—with a beautiful presentation and noodles cooked to perfection. I’ve never had authentic pad-thai from Bali, but I’d agree that it was very good.
Skirt Steak: 10 oz, 24-hour marinated skirt steak served with roasted fingerling potatoes & Brussels sprouts
Pad Thai: BÁH PHÔ, ground pork, red shrimp, scallions, bean sprouts, fish sauce, rice vinegar, palm sugar, cayenne pepper sunny side up egg, roasted peanuts & cilantro
At this point I was really full, but good thing I left a little room for dessert because that was my favorite part! The creme brulée was creamy like custard, and the chocolate fondant was out of this world! When you cut it open, the chocolate oozing out makes for the most deliciously satisfying food porn video.
La Sombra chocolate fondant: Valrhona chocolate, caramel pecans, vanilla ice cream
Creme brulée: served with mixed berries
Don’t forget — we’re giving away a Miami Spice dinner for 2 AND a bottle of Prosecco at La Sombra on our Instagram! Enter for your chance to win before we announce the winner on August 16th.
As we were leaving, the manager Arnaldo took us on a special tour of the secret speakeasy located at La Sombra. There’s a more conspicuous entrance around the side, but we got to go the secret way! We got onto an elevator, but instead of going up or down, the back door opened into a secret room. After going through 3 more doors, through a hallway, and down a staircase painted with tropical murals by local artists, we finally walked in! The space was sophisticated with Cuban glam decorations that took me back to Havana in the 1900s. There were wooden accents, red leather chairs and purple couches, and of course a full bar. The space is even available to be rented out for events like bachelor parties!
On our way out, we started talking to one of La Sombra’s owners, Jed. He asked why we were leaving right when La Sombra Society was about to start! Every Tuesday, La Sombra hosts a party where a group of friends brings their instruments for a jam sesh. They take people’s requests and it turns into a giant singalong! It’s a big hit and it gets really busy!
I never knew La Sombra had so many fun events! Every weekend they also have Baoli-style dinner parties (fun fact: one of the Baoli owners is a partner at La Sombra!). They’re apparently LIT, and rumor has it, groups of girls could score free food!
We also chatted about some of Jed’s crazy ideas for the future of La Sombra. Let me tell you… he is one creative man. I can’t disclose all the details we discussed, but I can say they will be incorporating much more art. They’re also opening a hot-dog stand out front with clever names for all the dogs (my favorite was the Fair-weiner, named after the Fairwind Hotel).
Thank you to everyone at La Sombra for such a fun experience and for giving us the scoop!