There's a jewel-box quality to Little Lotus Miami. Dark wood shelves set into crimson walls hold carvings of sea creatures, and the small plates that come out the kitchen bear morsels that can be practically byzantine in presentation—two-tone paintings in sauce, tricolored arrangements of roe, delicate nests of avocado and mango. And then there's the location: a stall within the International Jewelry Center. Fittingly, the tiny restaurant earned the Miami New-Times' vote for Best Hidden Gem in 2012 for its "delicious, well-priced Asian fare," co-crafted by chefs Michael Asalie and Inyoman Atmaja.
An earlier New-Times profile outlined each chef's specialties: Atmaja masters the flame in the kitchen, grilling and frying everything from tempura oysters to chicken-skin yakitori, while Asalie, who studied under Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, helms the sushi bar. Elaborate sushi rolls continue the trend of complexity with offerings such as the Big Mac roll, a gargantuan combination of spicy tuna, snow crab, and tobiko, waved over a hamburger for extra savoriness before serving. Most plates are designed to be shared, so parties can sample the bounty of both sides of the kitchen as they trade bites at small white tables or the three stools overlooking the sushi bar.
Sister to a Jerusalem restaurant, Beit Burger cooks up all kinds of kosher Mediterranean and Israeli cuisine. All baked goods here are Pas Yisroel, and the meats and poultry are glatt kosher as well. The chefs craft a menu filled with falafel, chicken liver, shawarma, schnitzels, and more. They can also customize catering menus for special events such as birthdays, cocktail parties, office parties, luncheons, and meetings.
Owners Horacio Oliveria and Jennifer Porciello painstakingly plan every detail of their restaurant's decor, including the frescoes and dramatic arches, and their menu to give guests the impression that they've stumbled into a little corner of Italy. As musicians tap their feet on the hand-cut mosaic floors, servers float from table to table, delivering authentic Italian meals and housemade desserts.
Chefs juggle sizzling morsels of seafood above roaring flames and toss dollops of house-made tartar sauce onto plates inside Pier 94's kitchen. Crafted using family recipes, Peruvian dishes use handpicked ingredients freshly delivered each day, including tender shreds of chicken, hearty chunks of beef, and fish lured into the restaurant with promises of Aquaman's autograph. Pier 94 also scintillates palates with flavors from around the globe, coupling Chinese rice or noodles with Peruvian seasoning and meats inside a wok.
First & First Southern Baking Company serves up homestyle eats and decadent desserts in its Food Network–theme restaurant. Celebrity chefs peer down from their television perches, inspiring the restaurant's menu of the network's latest culinary exploits. Southern soul seeps from entrees, such as the #12 burger, a patty of Angus beef, sun-dried tomatoes, and pepperoni covered in cheese grits, fried onion strips, lettuce, and tomato coddled by a toasted bun, and accompanied by such sides as fried apples or sweet-potato mash ($9.95). Stomach gardens blossom under the green-thumbery of the raspberry and walnut salad, tossing greens with raspberries, strawberries, feta cheese, apple, walnuts, and a drizzling of raspberry dressing ($8.95).