A fun Friday night eating Mexican food at Olla on Lincoln Road.
I’m pretty serious about three things in life: fashion, film and Mexican food. And since this is my food blog…
I’m a beast when it comes to anything south of the border (I’m a New Mexico girl, after all.) If salsa and chips are in front of me, I’m useless until I’ve devoured every last bite. Hmmm…
So, imagine my delight when I was invited to “Olla Miami” to drink & eat all things Mexican. The new South Beach eatery is brimming with personality: it’s chic, industrial and moody. Perfect for my kind of palate.
BTW, in Spanish, “Olla” means “cooking pot” and sharing a pot/plate of food is the restaurant’s concept (think tapas.) Believe you me — if you go hungry, you’ll definitely leave happy.
Per usual, I started Spotlight with three signature drinks: “Passionista” (spicy & strong,) “Oaxaca Burro” (served in a mini-earthen pot) and “Pinche Flor” (refreshing & gingery.) Each drink was unique and packed its own kind of punch.
The “Passionista,” which is tequila-based and made with chile liqueur, was my absolute favorite (ingredients include: avion blanco, lime juice, ancho reyes, passion fruit and citronge.) Having just one of these creative cocktails was next to impossible. Round two, anyone?
As soon as I sat down, the freshest of guac with four yummy salsas/sauces arrived at the table. I’m proud of myself for exercising will power. Instead of annihilating, I nibbled; saving room for every daring dish created by Chef Scott Linquist (yes, of Coyo Taco fame.) The guy has major food game and I wanted to play.
I started with perfectly petite bites of “Erizo” (made with sea urchin, blue corn tostadita, asiento avocado, chile de arbol and pickled red onion.) It was smooth, sophisticated and unusual.
Oh hello, flavor-filled pots…
The corn truffles and wild mushrooms in queso fresco, called “Huitlacoche,” was rich and savory, but my love affair with the “Fideos Seco,” a.k.a Mexican Pasta, was unadulterated (with toasted garlic, chipotle tomato sauce and mexican style cheeses.) If you like pork and beans, “Charros” (made with cowboy beans, pork belly, pork cheek, smokey chilis and roasted tomatoes,) was succulent and zesty.
I tasted three main dishes…
The “Huarache” (cured skirt steak) was extremely tender; bursting with flavor. I’ve always been apprehensive to taste cuttlefish, but I went for it with the “Sepia” bowl (made with cuttlefish, Spanish onions, peppers and chimichurri.) It reminded me of calamari, which I happen to like. I especially enjoyed its texture and the bowl’s mix of flavors.
Last but not least, I devoured the “Coloradito” (duck breast, duck carnitas, sour cherry salsita, roasted peanuts and a fruity nutty red mole.) This dish was EVERYTHING! My favorite of the night. It was flavorful and that mole sauce? I had to force myself not to lick the plate.
Shockingly, I did have room for dessert.
With that being said, I enjoyed a bowl of “Churros” (smothered in ice cream, topped with whipped cream and drizzled in chocolate and caramel sauce.) Yes, it’s as good it looks. Actually, better.
I’ve spent many Miami nights wondering where to get great Mexican food in the Magic City. Wonder no more!
Whether you’re brunching, lunching or weekend dinner-ing, “Olla Miami” is more than just a fabulous fiesta, it’s a first-class dining experience filled with all kinds of spicy deliciousness and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.
Monday-Thursday: 11:30-4pm, 5-11pm
Friday: 11:30am-4pm, 5pm-12am
Olla Miami is located on the west end of Lincoln Road, where chain restaurants and cookie-cutter stores have yet to infiltrate. It’s on the north side of the street. Your best bet is to park in the lot behind the restaurant or if you prefer a garage, there are two easily accessible on Alton.
1233 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Photo editing: James Woodley
Styling: Jackie Kay
Evening Purse: @ximenakavalekas
Grooming: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Cooking Pot” Auerbach