Foodie Find: MILA Restaurant
This South Beach hotspot is rare in that the designation applies to the scene, the food, and the service.
MILA Restaurant is a South Beach hotspot – yet a rare one in that the designation applies to the scene, the food, and the service. A feast for all senses, it’s located on the third floor so after – hopefully — passing though the velvet rope on the street there’s a rooftop lounge, the dining room, or the VIP dining lounge. The whole space is an ultra-modern take on an upscale lodge with richly laid woods, chic wrought iron, chocolate leather chairs and oversized black pottery pieces that are all bathed in a dim, amber glow – especially around the bar, where shelves coming from the ceiling hold high end spirts and delicate greenery. Outside is a lush landscape of plans, marble, more woods and delicate lights that compliment the dramatic Miami Beach backdrop.
Mila calls its cuisine MediterrAsian, which turns out are regional dishes that quite naturally share a menu. Tapas include blistered shishito peppers, avocado guacamole with black rice crackers, crispy chicharron with espelette, and a hearts of palm ceviche. From the raw bar, don’t miss the scallop crudo which are fresh round circles of seafood topped with truffle powder, yuzu-shallot ponszu, and an array of freshly picked herbs. There’s also, for the traditionalists, a seafood platter with lobster, prawn, oyster and king crab or a tower that’s piled with those specialties plus lobster and caviar.
For salads, mixed greens are topped with preserved lemon vinaigrette and vegetable shavings and seasonal grilled vegetables come with la maja extra virgin olive oil. The handcut beef tartare is a must-try for carnivores, as it’s served with quail egg, capers, and black rice crackers and seasoned to pair perfectly with the light flavors of the other plates. There’s also a five-spice chicken karaage with picked daikon and a shawarma wagyu gyoza with butter ponzo.
From the robata grill try miso-marinated Chilean sea bass, satay glazed chicken and eggplant with pesto, tomato relish and feta cheese. But the main course luminary comes from the large plates and is a grilled whole branzino, which is a flambé lit afire at the table, cooking the white fish into plump and flavorful filets. There’s also a prime fillet, a 32 ounce tomahawk and a sweet-spicy soy glazed salmon. For sides, try crispy brussels sprouts or wild mushrooms with truffle oil.
The recommendation here is to have your sushi at the meal’s end. Don’t miss the rainbow roll with saffron cream or the spicy hamachi roll with avocado, serrano pepper, escabeche.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.