SOUTH BEACH, Fla. – Since making its grand debut in February, the Moxy South Beach has wasted no time in creating a buzz in the Miami hospitality scene. Between their pink and floral Serena rooftop restaurant and their taco restaurant, Los Buenos, many may be shocked to discover they have just opened two more dining experiences — and these are slated to have even more flair, lavish decor (and a collection of over 100 mezcals from Mexico).
Meet Como Como and Mezcalista, the two new dining and drinking venues that have made their debut at the newly opened Moxy South Beach developed by Lightstone. The dining concepts are the creations of the founders of 1-800-LUCKY and Coyo Taco, Sven Vogtland and Alan Drummond, as well as Gaby Chiriboga and Executive Chef Scott Linquist.
Como Como, a marisquería (seafood restaurant) and raw bar just opened to the public on Wednesday, May 12, while Mezcalista, the mezcal lounge, has opened for private events for the remainder of May. It will open to the wider public in June.
Como Como will channel the flavors of Puerto Escondido, Los Cabos, Acapulco, and other seaside destinations, while “offering an authentic new perspective on a traditional marisquería.”
As for the restaurant’s interior decor designed by Saladino Design Studios, guests can expect to feel transported straight to Mexico. The restaurant is filled with stone and brick walls displaying Mesoamerican artifacts. Plus, carved wooden doorways and wrought iron archways lead to the main dining room, where custom furnishings are crafted from leather, carved wood, and embroidered and woven fabrics.
The restaurant also features outdoor dining in a courtyard layered with colored tilework, hanging plants, and stone gardens.
The name “Como Como” is a play on the Spanish words for “how I eat” — a winking reference to the high level of interactivity. “When we design a restaurant, we don’t just focus on how it looks,” says Sean Saladino, Studio and Design Director of Saladino Design Studios. “It’s about how the whole experience ties into the cooking itself. How the food is created becomes part of the show becoming one living, breathing organism for the diners.”
And if you thought the Mesoamerican vibes were already a sight to behold, and centerpiece at the center of the restaurant is even more dramatic. The centerpiece of the dining room is a striking copper-and-wrought-iron fuego (fire station), where diners can watch the whole fish they’ve selected being cooked over a wood-burning grill.
Now, for the delicious part.
Executive Chef Scott Linquist (known for his work at COYO Taco) has created dishes that elevate traditional techniques with a theatrical dining experience. Many dishes feature whole grilled fish caught in local waters, such as Pescado a la Talla: snapper that is butterflied, grilled, and painted with two marinades (green on one side and red on the other), and Tikin-Xic: a Mayan preparation of whole branzino flavored with bitter orange, habanero chiles, and achiote, cooked in banana leaves, and unwrapped, fragrant and steaming, at the table.
Guests can also expect table-side presentations, which add to the experience. Whether it be a traditional Caesar Salad (they state this is a a dish born in Tijuana, Mexico), or hand-chopped Tartar de Pescado (fish of the day), tingling with spices.
And as for their raw bar, it sits on a monolithic, rough-cut stone in the middle of the dining room. Dishes from the barra cruda (raw bar) come with a Mexican twist, like oysters served with a pineapple-vinegar mignonette, or a picadillo made with tomatillos and cucumbers. Como Como also features traditional coastal varieties of ceviches.
At the center of the bar is a “tequila tree” sculpture made of hand-blown glass spheres and copper pipes, symbolizing the distillation process that transforms the blue agave plant into tequila and mezcal. Tequila travels through this dramatically lit forest of glass and metal until it is dispensed by bartenders into creative cocktails.
“At Como Como, we’ve created an unparalleled experience in Miami,” says Alan Drummond, Partner of Coyo Group. “Fresh, local whole fish is prepared directly in front of diners from the fuego, elevating the seafood traditions of Mexico. When you combine that with the immersive design of the restaurant, it provides an environment that truly feels like you are being transported to a different place.”
Other dishes on the dinner menu include Alambre al Pastor, which are scallops or pork tenderloin grilled on skewers with pineapple and spring onions, traditional Oaxacan-style mole sauces, Chuletón (ribeye steak), Filete (filet mignon), and adobo marinated rack of lamb. Other dishes include esquites, roasted corn with homemade garlic aioli, and morita chile with cotija cheese.
As for those 100 varieties of mezcal we mentioned earlier? They’re over at Mezcalista, the intimate lounge inside Como Como featuring an impressive collection of 100 mezcals and its derivative, tequila. The space is accessed by a discreet entrance in the back of Como Como. Plus, we hear expert mezcaliers will be on-hand to engage with guests and explain the different floral and smoky notes.
To enter from the foyer, guests proceed past an arched doorway into a seductively lit lounge with banquettes upholstered in leather and velvet. Behind a bar topped with black Nero stone, a terracotta wall will display mezcal bottles illuminated from below. Adjacent to the lounge, a velvet-draped, stone-walled tasting room will provides an intimate setting for private parties.
Award-winning mixologist Christian Rubio, whose hospitality experience ranges from Europe and Mexico all the way to Miami, created Mezcalista’s specialty cocktails.
For more information on Como Como at the Moxy South Beach, or to make a reservation, click here. For private event inquiries at Como Como or Mezcalista please call 305-423-8004. The Moxy South Beach is located at 915 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida.