Sunday, December 23, 2012

You will "ole" for Miami Beach's OLA with it overly exciting fusion concept (12-22-12)

Last night was the top rated OLA ( just off Lincoln
Road in the Sanctuary Hotel. It was a top hit for all three of us from
the time we entered until we left in every aspect of the meal.
Our server, Tuba (she is from Turkey), was a gem, full of excitement
about the food and truly appreciating our questions and giving great
explanations about the involved menu of ceviches, starters and mains.
We asked for some of the interesting novel but not too sweet drinks
and Will ended up with the OLA MARGARITA made from Chabay Tequila,
Cointreau, Lime, Grapefruit Juice and Agave Nectar. My CUCUMBER CITRUS
MARTINI was huge (as it should be for $16) but worth every cent and
made with Crop Organic Vodka, Hendrick's Gin, Yuzu, Limoncello and
Celery Bitters. A huge center slab of cuccumber about 7 inches long
was rolled into the center of the glass making a highly alcoholic
refreshing veggie nosh after I finished!
Samuel got a Virgin Watermelon Mojito which he savored as well. When
we needed wine, Albert, the GM/Sommelier arrived and we talked for
ages about the wonderful wines, his concept and what he suggested and
ended up with a most novel 2008 GENIUM "Ximenes" from Priorat in Spain
made from the sherry grape, but bone dry and pairing with so many
dishes (as is needed here) due to its minerality and a slight

Samuel started with the MEATBALLS made of KOBE Beef which he declared
tender and juicy, but would have none of the Foie Gras Sherry Sauce,
Black Trumpets or Crispy Shallots--shame, it was decadent.

We had the HAMACHI NIKKEI Ceviche was a long plate of swashes of sauce
with small rolls of hamachi at the head of each paint swath. The
ingredients were yuzu, Thai basil, togarashi peppers (for a bit of
fire), cilantro, sweet soy glaze(swaths) and crushed seaweed with
sesame seeds. Fusion here became creation of something new and

I have not mentioned the decor which is classy with white leather
chairs, white crisp linens and an intimate space that sadly, like so
many dining spots in South Beach, is quite noisy.

Will and I moved on to the LOBSTER EMPANADA which is one large giant
crab shaped empanada made from quid ink dough and filled with Maine
Lobster. An avocado sauce and salsa rosa are on the side, but not
needed as this empanada is luscious on its own; so much so that Will
ordered another for his main course!

Tuba raved about the SMOKED MARLIN TACOS, so I gave in and ordered
another starter to share, but had to finish most of them as Will
thought the filling more like a tuna salad texture, than the cured
smoked marlin (without mayo base) we expected. They come in malanga
bat with pickled jalapenos on top for spice which was just right.

By this time three Russian botoxed b*tch*s had sad next to us,
removing furs as they sat (okay it was 55 degrees) and staring at the
three of us throughout the evening as if we were a sideshow. I guess
they have never seen two dads and their son!

I then ordered the SUGAR CANE TUNA which was adobo rubbed and seared
lightly (it was almost raw and cooked to perfection), served over a
malanga goat cheese fondue with spinach & shrimp escabeche. The adobe
rub was sea salt accented and on its own the tuna was sheer
perfection, althought the cheese and escabeche made wonderful
additions to vary the flavors of the excting dish.

For dessert, I took the 5th while Samuel ordered DA "BOMB" a semi-
sweet chocolate mousse in a domed chocolate shell with toasted
hazelnuts and caramel & Chocolate sauces. It came with a gelato like
coffee ice cream that he did not care for (he hasn't acquired coffee
tastes yet at 9), but I enjoyed a taste of. Will raved over the BANANA
TRES LECHES with Passion Fruit Sauce and Fresh Bananas and also some
marinated Prunes.

We left very full, but sorry to say goodbye to Tuba who was such a
I do know that when we next return to South Beach, OLA will always be
first on our list!