America’s Backyard facilitates late-night revelry with five bars and a full menu of five-star all-American fare served until 4 a.m. Wednesdays–Saturdays. Merrymaking patrons can sip on a chilled mug of imported draft beer ($4−$9.75) or take to the dance floor, where DJs spin contemporary hits as well as old favorites that one can literally hum forever, such as Bach’s Crab Canon. A flurry of 10 ($6.75), 20 ($11.75), or 30 ($16.25) West Coast wings nestle in a variety of sauces, and the backyard cheeseburger ($6.75) and crab sliders ($8.75) arrive bearing a complimentary watermelon wedge and assortment of exotic toppings. A full Jack Daniel’s Tennessee pitcher ($19.75) can provide a friendly rallying point for groups of mingling coworkers or off-duty spies.
The Museum of Discovery and Science ensures that adults as well as children have opportunities to explore diverse fields in the natural and physical sciences. Museum visitors who prefer to experience action on the big screen can drop into the AutoNation IMAX 3D Theater, which boasts a 15,000 watt, 42-speaker digital surround sound system. Opened in 1992, the 300-seat theater dazzles audiences via a five-story-hight screen that features both 2D and 3D films. Crowds view the latter using lightweight XR 3D glasses for highly evolved thrills.
Artistic films from around the world screen at Cinema Paradiso, a 230-seat motion-picture emporium known for hosting the French Film Fest. Before the theater's pendant lamps dim, guests wander through descending rows of plush, blue velvet chairs, which were imported from Paris to give the space the Old-World charm of Europe and the subtle scent of brie. As the onscreen drama unfolds, viewers crunch kernels of buttery popcorn and imbibe house wine and domestic beer vended from one of three bars with concession stands. English subtitles narrate Cinema Paradiso's foreign films, helping viewers keep pace with unforeseen plot twists and enabling reading glasses to petition for overtime pay.
While it may seem like a contradiction in terms, the Miami Herald dubbed Tundra Las Olas the "latest hot spot" for its arctic-themed decor, with an "impressive…eclectic menu by chef Bryan Lamblin." Small cold plates include the tundra shellfish, made with crab claws, white prawns, and Willapa Bay oysters arranged on a plate made of ice, echoing the sculptures scattered around the room and lengthening the lives of visiting snowmen. Hot plates feature stuffed prawns and Kobe-style beef meatballs, and entrees fuse sea-bound or land-locked fare with European or Asian seasonings, such as lobster sauce, jalapeño béarnaise, or plantain butter.
The cool, glossy tile behind the bar mirrors chandeliers shaped as if they were formed from ice. Icy blue lighting makes specialty drinks glow, while white and silver art carry the arctic theme throughout the space.
Though Solita Las Olas's lounge-like atmosphere has been known to attract celebrities, such as the Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem, nightlife isn't even its main draw. In addition to a bustling upscale lounge and dining room, SoLita—or "south of Little Italy"— houses a hopping kitchen where chefs cook Italian meals using generations-old family recipes. Local and imported ingredients give zings of flavor to fresh pasta dishes, draped in sauces from spicy white wine tomato sauce to rich Parmesan cream. For heartier meals, chefs grill rib-eye steaks, veal chops, and filet mignon, or sizzle the catch-of-the-day with garlic, capers, and a sense of man's dominance over the mighty ocean.