A new Mexican eatery called Mayami Mexicantina has opened in Miami’s Wynwood district, at 123 NW 23rd Street. It is a play on words combining Mayan and Miami, and it certainly has the Tulum party vibe, with nods to Mayan culture and architecture and a modern twist on Mexican traditional food. The menu is overseen by Chef Juan Carlos Flores of the notable Cantina La Viente in Brickell. That restaurant also has a lively atmosphere, complete with Mariachi bands. But it also offers a finer dining experience.

Mayami is large, about 10,000 square feet, and can seat up to 200 people. It has a massive courtyard that you walk into after entering through a tunnel-like space. It is a dramatic indoor/outdoor venue that is quite impressive, with full-size trees adorned with twinkle lights, lots of greenery, brightly painted wall murals, stone sculptures, and wood accents and carvings. The tables are a combination of wood and stone. It is supposed to replicate the inside of a Mayan pyramid, but I didn’t get that feeling. There is a retractable roof over the multi-level terraces where you can have a private party or VIP space, and they project a continual light show, along with playing cool global electronic music, giving you that jungle party vibe.

The menu is comprised more of small bites, with a few entrees thrown into the mix. The guacalote, a chunky guacamole topped with corn and queso fresco that comes with large sheets of corn chips, was very pleasing, and you could spice it up with the two accompanying chili sauces provided. They also have a selection of tacos, ceviches, and so on. Everything we tried was adequate, though some of the dishes had a strange-looking red sauce covering them. The mini tacos were fishy as was the sea bass entrée, which was also covered in the red sauce. The food comes out too quickly and they only provide one small side plate that is not replaced until dessert. That gets really messy and makes it hard to discern all the flavours. It is also a big pet peeve of mine. There are also vegetarian and vegan options like heirloom masa corn, eggplant and maitake mushrooms, and a sautéed squash dish.

Although we were not enamored with our cocktails, the main draw here is the bar and party atmosphere. There is a huge list for bottle service, with many tequilas, mezcals, whiskeys, bourbon, rum, and more. I heard you can also get shots with scorpions or worms if you want to impress your friends.

They are open for weekend brunch with live entertainment and on full moon days, they have parties complete with live music, dancers, and DJs.

I hear Tulum, Mexico has a party atmosphere with mediocre food and accommodations. Young people love it for the party atmosphere. This is what you will find at Mayami Mexicantina too. You may not remember what you ate, but you aren’t coming for the food, but rather the entertainment value and party atmosphere.

Happy dining,
Shanea

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