With the meteoric success of teen vampire, many writers are trying to get ahead of the next big literary monster trend. One of those writers is first-time sci-fi novelist Lynn Millet, who recently debuted with Interview with the Robot after a visit to Mr. Yiing:
My batteries were running low.
As a Duplicant Location Specialist, I conduct seven to eight interviews on an easy day, so when I’m not talking to known associates of outlaw man-machines, I’m sleeping. So this afternoon when I finally peeled myself out of bed, I plugged my recorder into my body's bio-recharger jack purely out of habit. Then I hopped on my hoverbike and thought of Mr. Yiing's lo mein, the one that slathers shrimp, beef, chicken, and pork with oyster and soy sauces. After pedaling through this brutal summer heat, I'd need extra energy. Also, hoverbikes are a pain to pedal. What was wrong with regular bicycles?
About 50 feet from Mr. Yiing's door, I crashed.
Typically I launch over anything that dares cross into the hoverbike lane. But when I hit the Duplicant? It was like crumpling into a brick wall. His titanium exoskeleton knocked the wind out of me, and it bent the spokes of my front rotor into a twisted heap. When I got up, I fumbled for my hoverpistol, but it was still at home, hovering over my bedside hovertable. His hand covered my mouth. It smelled like a musty library. He was a discontinued model from '24, those ones they still made from cellulose. He looked old, but his blue eyes popped with the youth and vigor of irises fresh from the Genetic Corps catalog. That had to be the reason he was here and not in the internment camps on Mars. He dragged me along the sidewalk, past the row of hoverhotels on Collins Avenue and through the front door of Mr. Yiing.
“Coffee?” he said.
“I'm awake,” I said. I stared him down, taking in his face, trying to jog any memory of his file.
"Are you?" he asked, leading me to a cozy little table tucked under some Chinese characters on the walls, where I tried switching on my recording device through my pants. He laughed a rich, stereophonic laugh.
“Please … Julie,” he said. “Queue it up. I want you to get this all down.”
I took out the recorder and then took a bite of the honey-garlic chicken a server had suddenly brought me. “Why haven’t you killed me?”
He kept laughing. “Why would I kill you?”
“Because you’re a Duplicant. You’re an outlaw. A cold, synthetic-blooded killer.”
“And so are you.”
I froze and felt the sweet, tender chicken slip down my throat. “No, I’m not.”
He looked at me with those eyes. Blue. Piercing. Too aching to be real. “What were your parents like?”
“I’m an orphan.”
“Do you remember the last time you went swimming?” He paused. I tried to remember but couldn’t. I knew I had gone swimming. Why did it get hazy when I tried to think about when? “Who was your first boyfriend?”
“What does the smell of wet grass remind you of?"
"Is this testing whether I'm a Duplicant or a landscaper?"
"What's your earliest memory?"
"I'm … on a beach. It's twilight. The sky is purple. Some street vendor is selling hot dogs in the distance. I'm building a sandcastle when the tide comes in and washes it all away. I want to cry, but a bunch of cybernetic technicians in white coats are assembling my lower half. Wait, what are you trying to say?"
“It’s OK,” he said, grabbing my hand with a gentle pneumatic hiss. No one would have heard it but us. “They probably never told you. But we need you now to tell our story. Soon,” I felt, for the first time, tiny electrical pulses surging through my veins, “the rest of us will be back from Mars."
Room Service Restaurant Lounge adapts the vocabulary of luxury hotels to a chic setting full of upscale cuisine, top-shelf liquors, and late-night entertainment. After bellmen escort guests to private suites equipped with flat-screen TVs, butlers supply dishes such as penne pasta tossed with housemade alfredo sauce and 12-ounce skirt steaks topped with bourbon barbecue sauce. To complement bites, barkeeps supply bottles—champagne, tequila, and scotch among them—and craft thematically named signature cocktails such as the Wake Up Call, a blend of lemon juice, strawberries, and Bacardi Dragon Berry.
At 11 p.m., Room Service's restaurant transforms into a lounge where DJs spin the latest tunes and prominently displayed bottles of wine, champagne, and spirits prompt guests to summon more rounds. Servers in French-maid outfits offer beverages along with small plates such as housemade crab cakes with clarified butter. Along with nightly soirees, Room Service hosts private parties for up to 30 guests, corporate and special events for up to 270 guests, and stuck-in-the-laundry-chute parties for up to three.
Carrying a pita, a diner approaches a salad bar brimming with pickled condiments, crunchy vegetables, and sauces. Without paying or even speaking to someone behind the counter, the diner lifts the spoon and festoons the pita with a pile of fresh toppings, ready to start the meal anew. At most restaurants, this could get you kicked out, but at Maoz Vegetarian, it’s not only overlooked, but also encouraged. After choosing from such vegetarian and vegan-friendly options as gluten-free falafel and fried eggplant, pita wraps or salads head to the stainless-steel salad bar. Belgian fries—a thick-cut version of their french cousins—and mounds of sweet-potato fries complement sandwiches and salads along with green-chili sauce, tahini sauce, and salsa for dipping and boosting the self-esteem of napkins.
While feasting, diners sit atop benches at long, shared tables that emulate the communal lunch joints of old in the unabashedly modern chain of restaurants, founded in Amsterdam two decades ago. Mirroring the eatery’s fresh, stylish food, the interior at Maoz features green tiled walls and steel fixtures illuminated by hanging lamps and baby pictures of supernovas.
Gusto Bistro's owners and pastry chef hail from Paris, and they incorporate regional French influences from Provence and Brittany into their Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Dishes are served "in a setting that's less about 'dinner' and more about sitting around shooting the breeze with your mouth really full" according to Thrillist. To jumpstart conversations, the bartenders pour glasses of wine from a list that emphasizes Italian regions and varietals and includes a collection of French and New World bottles. In the kitchen, chefs artfully decorate small plates with arrangements of seasonal fruits and vegetables, French cheeses, or beef carpaccio. Pastry chef Manuel Bengochea brings meals to a sweet finish with a wide variety of homemade French desserts.
Around the dining room, brushed-nickel lamps and black-and-white-tiled floors create a sleek, modern look, while lime-green drapes and a kaleidoscopic assortment of cushions add splashes of color. Large, decorative wine labels hang above the bottle-lined shelves, warning diners about the walls' sulfite content.
French entrepreneur Siben N’Ser founded the first Planet Sushi in Paris in 1998. Its combination of sculptural cuisine and sleek, modern interior design quickly caught on. Within a few years, he had built sister restaurants in Miami Beach; Ibiza, Spain; and in a handful of towns across France. At the Miami location, purple lights lend a nightclub vibe to the dining room, where guests can watch the chefs work via several flat-screen TVs. Creative maki such as the crab- and asparagus-filled crunch salmon roll radiate color from plates. Starters such as tuna-avocado tartare brim with French influences, and desserts such as lemon sorbet celebrate Florida’s famous citrus. Chefs also shape whimsical specialty dishes such as the Planet Sandwich, which stuffs spicy tuna, American cheese, and avocado between triangular slices of “bread” made from rice.
Guests seeking an extra-romantic atmosphere can toast glasses of sake in a private room or head to the patio to reshape tuna maki into hearts beneath the stars. Alternatively, a fleet of scooters delivers most of the menu to homes and offices.
From behind an ultramodern lounge filled with jewel-toned sofas, exposed-brick walls, and black leather booths, Trio on The Bay's chefs forge a menu of surf 'n' turf, using local vendors and sustainable practices whenever possible. On the patio overlooking Biscayne Bay, waiters swing from canopies bearing sizzling steaks accompanied by locally grown vegetables or pan-seared scallops with a wild mushroom risotto and lemon crème fraîche. Chefs also cater to off-hour hunger pangs with Sunday-morning brunch and bar snacks, which blend the seafood hub’s signature flavors into palatable egg dishes and portable snacks.
Trio on The Bay hosts special events every Friday and Saturday night beginning at 10 p.m. Revelers head to the chandelier-sprinkled lounge to take in the flat-screen TVs and vacation slide shows from 1973, or retire to the outdoor patio's cushioned rattan chairs for drinks under the illumination of light-festooned palm trees and fire pits.