My Ceviche partners Sam Gorenstein and Roger Duarte say they’re set to open Laffa Mediterranean Kitchen in April at 1250 S. Miami Ave., next to the Brickell location of My Ceviche.
The 40-seat, indoor/outdoor space will serve fresh, healthy Mediterranean food in the same fast-casual setting and build-your-own menu style as My Ceviche, the duo’s successful and growing mini-empire of ceviche bowls, fish tacos, burritos and more.
Laffa gets its name from the pita-like flatbread that’s used to dip into hummus and other spreads and to wrap around falafel and spit-roasted meats throughout the Middle East. It will be a menu staple at Laffa Mediterranean Kitchen, where vegetables and proteins will be seasoned and served with regional flavors like nutty tahini, tart sumac and fragrant za’atar. Gorenstein and Duarte say customers should expect to pay $8 to $12 for most meals.
“My great-grandparents were born in Syria,” Gorenstein says. “It was easy for me to put together this menu, because I grew up eating like this.”
Oakland Park-based ID & Design International, which also designed My Ceviche’s six South Florida restaurants, laid out Laffa’s open floor plan with a focus on a wood-burning oven that Gorenstein will use to roast local vegetables.
In a nod to customers’ increasing demand for healthful food options, Laffa will have a nutrition calculator on its website, laffakitchen.com, to let guests see the calories, fat and other components of menu items.
Duarte and Gorenstein have earned praise for their healthy approach to fast-casual dining since opening the first My Ceviche in a tiny storefront space in South Beach in 2012. “My Ceviche is dead-on in terms of market trends,” Ernest Bachrach, a board member of entrepreneur booster Endeavor, told the Miami Herald’s Nancy Dahlberg last year.