Israel "Izzy" Valdes opened his namesake restaurant to help groups of diners avoid the age-old frustrations of settling for just one type of cuisine. By offering two popular fares in one location, Izzy's acts like a giant dove puffing on a peace pipe, healing the food-fueled rifts between bickering families and nagging couples. The ever-evolving menu is clearly demarcated according to cuisine, and two different chefs man the kitchen to ensure each half of the menu is expertly executed. The menu's Cuban region includes such delicacies as grilled chicken breast draped in equally grilled onions ($8.95) and the cubano sandwich, made with ham, roasted pork, swiss cheese, and pickles, all nestled on a Cuban-style roll ($7.95). The Thai portion features well-spiced staples such as pad thai, myriad vegetarian options, and curries of every color ($4–$13). Most of Izzy's sensational dinner entrees and specials fall within the $10–$20 range.
At 2B Asian Bistro, it's actually possible to begin your dinner with a bag of gold. That's because the Bag of Gold appetizer uncannily resembles its namesake—its tiny fried pouches contain shrimp, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. The appetizer paves the way for the menu's larger dishes, which present diners with a choice: Japanese or Thai? The former category covers teriyaki entrees as well as sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls. Specialty rolls include the Golden Dragon—spicy tuna and mango topped with plantain slices—and the Pink Snow Roll, smoked salmon and avocado wrapped in soy paper. As for the Thai plates, they range from curry to Bangkok duck paired with cinnamon-plum sauce. You can even order your pad thai accompanied by an entire lobster, rather than just its tail and signature top hat.
Make sure to stop by Atchana's East West Kitchen — this Thai food establishment is a cornerstone for curry addicts. You won't find any low-fat fare here, though, so leave some room to indulge. Unwind with a glass of wine or cocktail with your meal — Atchana's East West Kitchen has a wonderful selection of drinks to accompany your dinner. Outdoor dining doesn't get much better than the beautiful patio at Atchana's East West Kitchen. You can avail yourself of the wifi for a small fee.
Valet parking is available at Atchana's East West Kitchen's S Bayshore Dr address, so make sure to bring along a little extra for tip.
A night out here can be a bit pricey, so prepare to shell out a bit more. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
In the traditional Thai style, the chefs at Bangkok Bangkok Restaurant use fresh herbs, lemongrass, kaffir lime, and spicy chilies to tickle all five taste regions of the tongue—sweet, sour, hot, salty, and neutral. Fiery curries are tempered with coconut shipped in from the homeland, and cashew nuts add rich crunch to the sautéed Earth, Wind, and Fire chicken. The Little Big Man presents diners with a whole fish fried until the outside is crisp and the inside is flaky and tender, slathered from nose to fin in hot chili sauce. The decor is welcoming and casual, with wood-paneled walls and vintage art framed on the walls. Guests have the choice of two different seating areas, one with tableclothed tables and chairs, and the other with low platform tables and cushions for sitting on the floor.
Situated in Miami’s Little Havana district, where you typically would find Latin restaurants, is the pleasant surprise of contemporary sushi bar Mr. Yum. With its stark white tables, concrete floor and vermilion-colored wall accent, this restaurant is hip, funky and a bit loud. Owner Bond Trisransri is going for a bit of the South Beach flair, and each plate that is presented to you furthers the notion of food as performance art piece. Its signature dish is the Havana roll, a concoction of tempura white fish, avocado, cucumbers, masago and spicy mayo, while the unique menu offers both Thai and Japanese specialties, including Y-shaped Thai doughnuts for dessert. Although parking is typically difficult on Calle Ocho, the adjacent parking lot makes it that much easier to enjoy Mr. Yum.
Siam Palace Restaurant is consistently voted as one of Miami’s favorite locales. Its homey décor emphasizes the authentic Thai food held within, and its dishes have a tendency to turn up the heat. The house specials include Siam Duck, a pad si ew, fried rice, spring rolls and fried wontons with homemade plum dipping sauce. In 2013, Siam put in a sushi bar and has become known for its specialty dishes, including the popular lobster rolls, while still retaining its original Thai flair. The restaurant may be small, but it has a very loyal local following and its menu is extensive. Customers should try to save room for the Thai doughnuts, which have garnered a fan base of their own.