The goods: Good news for indecisive folks: Izzy’s Cubi Thai is here to please both Latin and Asian palates, as the new restaurant, located at the Sherry Frontenac hotel in Miami Beach, features both Cuban and Thai dishes.
The bilateral motif extends to the restaurant’s design as well. Red walls dominate the cavernous space where upon entering you notice low tables flanked by the Asian floor cushions and bamboo plants typical of Thai restaurants. But if you’re more into white-tablecloth style eating, head for the rest of the dining room, decorated with vintage posters of Cuba.
The grub: Don’t expect lemongrass in your empanadas, as the menu is neatly divided between the two culinary traditions. The restaurant employs two different chefs who diligently turn out the greatest hits of their respective countries. Prices are neighborhood-friendly with the Cuban side ranging $7-$15 for mains and the Thai rarely topping $14. The Cuban offerings run the gamut from yucca croquetas to steak sandwiches to heftier plates like lechon asado (roasted pork with grilled onions) and vaca frita (marinated shredded beef).
The Thai portion of the menu features a lengthy list of starters including thom kha talay, a coconut soup chock full of shrimp, squid, fish and vegetables and a sticky-sweet mee grob, crispy vermicelli noodles tossed with a sweet sauce and chicken and shrimp. You’ll want to sample the green coconut curry (spiced on a scale of 1-5 depending on your preference) and the classic pad thai, a heaping plate of stir-fried noodles, eggs, crisp vegetables and crushed peanuts.
Desserts include Latin staples like flan and fried Thai donuts.
The verdict: When you’re in the mood for coconut curry or plantains (or both), Izzy’s Cubi Thai tackles both sides of the menu with equal aplomb.
Izzy’s Cubi Thai, 6565 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305-865-0012. Open seven days a week, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
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