Even though it just opened right after Christmas, Komodo at 801 Brickell, is already making a name for itself.
A collaboration between restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, of China Grill fame, and nightlife impresario David Grutman, of LIV, Komodo is a beautifully-done, trendy yet high-end, contemporary Southeastern Asian restaurant. Yes, another modern Asian restaurant. I have lost count of all the new openings in Miami this year, but I would guess about 1/2 dozen or so. And again family-style sharing menus which I am getting SO tired of. As far as I can remember, Jeffrey Chadrow was just about the first person who came up with “sharing” and bring out” the dishes as they are ready from the kitchen, when he introduced this at China Grill many years ago.
The place is stunning – a real feast for the eyes – built on three levels, with indoor and outdoor seating. I particularly like the “nests” for seating outside. There is also a third floor lounge opening soon. They put a fortune into the decor. The good news is they have a standout kitchen as well.
When you walk into the restaurant you see beautifully crispy ducks hanging in the window. Apparently they brought a chef in from China who prepares this dish. The duck really is authentic and delicious and is accompanied by all the right toppings. The dish sells for $92 and can feed 4-6 people. However, there was no soup as you get in some other establishments.
The lobster dynamite roll served on crispy quinoa was a crowd pleaser. We also had sticky lamb ribs with plum and sesame sauce as a starter and some silken yellowtail crudo in a coconut sauce, with white soy, jalapeño and lime. Another plate that is sure to be a signature dish was the pastrami egg roll. I thought the wrapper had a unique texture.
The Peking duck was a winner as were the brussel sprouts and the black rice with mango and crispy faro bits. There were a lot of other dishes I would have liked to try like the dumplings, the beef Szechuan, the crispy wasabi shrimp, and the 13 grilled vegetables with pine nut and tahini. The tuna porterhouse and the sea bass with a mushroom soya dashi and white truffle oil sounded glorious as well.
Considering the place was only open for two weeks before we dined, I found the service to be running smoothly.
The place was packed by 10pm with the “beautiful” people. I think this spot may give Zuma, Yardbird, Beachcraft, Juvia, and Seaspice (which I really dislike) a run for their money.
Lookout! Komodo may be the new king of Miami.
Very colourful, I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks.