Miami is to me...
I run a salt water aquarium business and sell live corals online. reefgardener.net I got my B.A. at FIU and have lived in Miami with my husband, two cats, and several fish for 10 years. I like to go out regularly with my friends and surf at South beach whenever I have a chance.
Sushi Maki, La Ayestran (flagler), El Riconcito (coral way), Houston's, La Dolce Vita (Sw 37th Ave) best lasagna, Pasha's, The Cheesecake Factory...........
Club Space, Glass @ the Forge, Indra.
I like south beach although they have a really bad trash problem which we at Surfrider are trying to fix, Hollywood beach is very nice even though I don't get up there often, Crandon Park is good for snorkeling, as well as Lauderdale by the Sea.
Coral Gables, Coconut Grove (ritzy side of course) lol
- Member Since: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 10:55
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Posted on Tue, 10.28.2008 @ 16:45I'm really surprised they didn't mention the snorkeling at Lauderdale by the Sea, which is one of its main attractions. They recently added some old cannons to their artificial reef. The natural reef a little further out is good for diving. South Beach is my fav because its close and gets pretty good surf. The littering on the beach is a big problem, but Surfrider is going to be doing a big trash awareness thing and Miami Bch is supposed to start issuing littering citations after November. Partying on the beach is fine, just take your trash with you.... Read more
Posted on Tue, 10.28.2008 @ 16:40That's pretty cool. I'm lucky my Mom taught me how to cook and then she pretty much let me take over after that. I find that starting with east recipes and working your way up is the best way to go. The antique Good House Keeping cookbook I have actually has some of the best "standard" recipes AND it has war time substitutions. lol ... Read more
Posted on Mon, 10.27.2008 @ 13:33There is also the Deering Estate, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Vizcaya, the Freedom Tower, etc that were left out of this article.
Posted on Mon, 10.27.2008 @ 13:17I've been several times now with large groups and its just not that great. The venue itself is pretty cool and thats what the stars are for. Everytime I've been it never gets very crowded and not many people are dancing. People seem kinda bored compared to other clubs I've been to and Dolce comes off seeming too big for its own good. I think this has a lot to do with the dj as I've noticed the same effect at SET after the first hour. Its fine to go to Dolce on a guestlist, but don't pay to get in here.... Read more
Posted on Mon, 10.27.2008 @ 13:14There is also Nightmare Ghost Stories which is a huge, haunted house in the design district area thats supposed to be really good. It has a $25 entrance. Coconut Grove also has turned the top 2 floors of Mayfair into a haunted house for $20. A lot of different clubs like Mansion and Space will be doing Halloween parties on Saturday night. And there's the Versace Mansion party on Thursday. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:45Finding a good mexican place in Miami is like trying to find a straight person at a gay bar, well maybe worse. Taco Rico is just another chain that will satisfy your lunch time hunger, but not your desire for authentic mexican. Some dishes they do well like quesadillas and soup. The other chain close by (Baja Fresh) I find to be a bit better. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:40Sushi Maki has really good sushi for a semi-chain restaurant. As long as you stay away from most of the Thai food which isn't very impressive if you know what the real thing is supposed to be like, you will do fine. The rainbow eel roll is one of my favorites as well as the spicy tuna sashimi salad. Finish your meal with fantastic chocolate souflee or thai doughnuts and you'll be very satisfied.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:37A good place to get your starbucks fix and meet friends. Although if you know about the Barnes & Noble the next block down it somewhat cancels this Starbucks out since you can do all the same things AND look at books.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:34Sometimes there is such a thing as too much fusion and Ortanique takes it too far. I went with my family here for my last birthday. Some dishes like the sea food pot were very good whereas others like the porkloin with plum or pear sauce were really dry and inconsistent. For the price the food isn't nearly as promising as it seems on the menu and I probably won't go back.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:31This place has better reviews than it deserves. The food is good, but not amazing and is fairly pricey for what you get. I would rate it at $$$ not $$. The service is not that great especially when its busy. I think its popular because its one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in the area and people don't pay that much attention to the food. Get a Vietnamese cook book and invite some friends over and you'll end up having a better time and probably better food.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:28This place was pretty good with fairly affordable food considering the cuisine and location, however it is no longer in business.
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:26Houston's food is quite good as long as you stay within the standard meat fair although they do have a very tasty tuna tataki salad. They have awesome hamburgers with high quality ground beef and they are always cooked to perfection. What makes Houston's not so great is a long table wait on busy nights and wait staff that varies from very good to barely being able to speak English. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:22This is an excellent restaurant for a special night out or everyday if money is of no consequence. They have a good variety of dishes to choose from and everything I had was quite good. The wait staff is very attentive and willing to explain if you have any questions. It is a hidden jewel not to be missed. The location alone makes it worthwhile.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 21:15Cold Stone is great and very, very decadent. Not a place for dieters and you always end up wanting the larger serving than the smaller one. The ice cream is good and the servers are pretty funny. You can design your own sundae with all kinds of ingredients. As far as quality is concerned I still think Swenson's is better after going to Cold Stone a few times.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:58Crazy gay bar with a whole bunch of rooms scattered around and somewhat hot, bored male dancers. This place gets packed and is a good plan D if everything else fails you and you're not homophobic. The "gayness" really isn't that extreme for south beach and its pretty fun when there's nothing better going on. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:54Studio 23 is a fun place for karaoke on crowded nights and on a weird, rather boring place for wannabe singers and lesbians on empty nights. You will either have a great time or wander down the beach to something better. What adds to the charm is an old diva dj dude that will complain about your choice of music if he doesn't like it. Something that does make this place cooler than other karaoke bars is they have lots of different instruments you can really play or fake play if you're not that great of a singer.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:48Sandbar is up the beach a bit and is more of "natives" bar where salty dogs and drunken salts can go to drown their woes. They have drag queen shows which are supposed to be a hoot and just general seediness that you can expect from this kinda bar. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:43Lost Weekend is one of the few super smokey, non-clubby bars on the beach with several pool tables and very cheap albiet watery drinks. If you're looking for a place to smoke or just want a good dose of 2nd hand smoke and sleaze look no further!... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:41Well I went with a large group and we had confirmed rsvps. Unfortunately when we arrived they made us wait over an hour to get in and wouldn't honor our rsvps, even acted like that guest list didn't exist. The bar was stayed empty even after they let us in and we were all pretty unhappy at that point.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:38This is a great overlooked club up the beach from the regular scene, but definitely worth the trek. They have excellent djs and the interior is very posh. The drinks can be a bit steep so bring your own and you'll be set. Dress code is dressy not casual.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:33This is a real hole in the wall place that attracts all types including lots of die hard, "wanna be professional" karaoke singers. They have really cheap drinks and an atmosphere to match. Its a good place to watch the game or just hang out with friends.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:31Gatsby's is a fun, trendy place in an area where there aren't many other places to go if you don't want to drive to the beach. It is a mix of pricey bar and game room. It doesn't realy go together that well, but it seems popular with the 20 something crowd in that area. Its much like a fancier Gameworks and has prices that to match the ambiance. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:27This place is good if you work downtown and want unwind after a long day at work, otherwise you might feel out of place with all the yuppies. The drinks and food are alright, but kind of pricey which can be expected for the location. It is a good place for more upscale bar gatherings where you actually want to be able to converse with your friends instead of just yelling over the music.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:24This is a fun place to go with your college friends to have some good brew and watch drunken people sing karaoke. They boast a large selection beers and you don't have to worry about any dress code here.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:22This is a great place to take visitors or just go for a leisurely lunch. Most tables have an excellent view of the Biltmore's gorgeous and expansive pool surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and waterfalls. The food is quite good as well and the wait staff is very attentive. Its a lovely way to pass an afternoon and then you can stroll through Biltmore and check out historic photos of the hotel and Coral Gables. They even have some large, antique finch cages in the luxurious upstairs lobby. Its also a perfect place for romantic photo ops. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:11The Improv brings in a lot of famous and not so famous comedians. The seating is well done so you have a good view of the performer from most tables. The food is so/so, but you don't really go for the food so it doesn't matter. Its something different to do for a night out and is a lot of fun.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:08Flavour is a Grove standby that attracts more of the 21+ crowd. They are dependable for low/no cover, reasonably priced drinks, and fun 80'-90's music. The hip/hop-dance room on the 2nd floor usually opens up around 12-1am and is also good. Its not the best club around, but since the Grove's nightlife has gone downhill over the years, Flavour is reliable for a fun, cheap night out in the area and doesn't seem to attract as many tourists as the other local bars. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 20:03Its amazing that this place is still around. Old and grungy, but it still attracts a lot of tourists and college kids. They don't even bother to make it look nice which at least keeps it cheap. They play lots of hip/hop and its a good place to turn to if you can't get into any other clubs in the Grove.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 19:59Tobacco Road is a down home blues bar close to Brickell that is popular with the natives and shouldn't be missed if you're just visiting. Not only is it the oldest bar in Miami, but many great musicians like B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Inner Circle, George Clinton, etc, etc have played here and they still have tons of awesome artists every week. Its like enetering a piece of "old Miami" when you step through the door, the bar oozes aged booze and smoke. They serve quality american bar food like burgers, ribs, and cheap beer. They have some super meal deals during the week like $13 maine lobster. Through the month of October they have .96 cent drinks for 96 minutes every Friday to celebrate their 96th anniversary. Tobacco Road always has a variety of events and musicians during the week. I went to the Medical Marijuana benefit concert here last year and it was a lot of fun with lots of different talented bands. If you're looking to escape the typical Miami scene and want to hear some great music at an an authentic blues bar this is the place.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 19:35A group of my girl friends and I went to Grass after Shecky's Girls Night out in the Moore building this past spring. There was already a good crowd when we arrived, but the complimentary drinks didn't take long to come. We had to wait about 30 minutes on a table and we enjoyed taking in the venue while we were waiting. The ambience at Grass is very nice, the design has an Asian/modern blend and they play euro dance music that is good, but doesn't try to be clubby. Once we were seated, we each ordered different plates so we could try each others' food. The wait staff was fairly quick and helpful. The food was beautifully arranged and tasted even better. Nearly all of the plates were well prepared and the scallops were excellent. They don't skimp on the bread and other accompaniments like a lot of other trendy restaurants. It was a very nice evening and I would recommend it to other people looking for a classy night out. One note, Grass is not cheap, but not outrageous and you need to be dressed very nice/chic in order to get in.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 17:24I've only been here for the night club aspect of Tantra and it was a very bad experience. Tantra is one of those typical places in South beach that wants to be a restaurant, lounge, and club all rolled into one and just can't make it work, mainly because the space is way too small. The "dance floor" is right next to the dining area and the bar is close by, god forbid you go there in the evening for a romantic dinner as conversation is nearly impossible due to their ultra loud club music. I went with a large group of friends and the ladies were promised 2 for 1 drinks that they had listed on their website. When the bartendress returned with our drinks she said there was no such drink deal and that our apple martinis were $30 each. Literally! We of course were aghast and even after she "checked" with her manager it was the same. So we dished out the dough and were careful not to spill nary a drop of this precious liquor. Later the leader of our group found out and spoke with the manager, he said the bartendress was wrong and he gave us a free drink. Typical south beach bait and switch, since there are so many tourists and new people in Miami, they don't care how many people they scam. Even if this hadn't happened and I would still rate Tantra as a wanna be club thats not at all worth the money. As a restaurant it may be a different story.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 17:09SET is a great place for all the very glam events it holds whether its a Sex in the City after party or a bikini fashion show. Unfortunately, SET gets all its stars for interior design and not much else. I'm not sure if its the small space or the lack of good djs, but SET just can't keep the dance club feeling going for very long. It is inevitable that after the first hour or two me and my friends end up looking bored and dressed up like the rest of the people around us. Its also very small and fills up quickly which leaves very little room for dancing much less standing since the VIP area consumes the better part of the middle of the floor. SET is great as a warmup for the night, but I wouldn't advise planning your whole night around it. Its got awesome chandeliers and glass cased flames in the front which make for fab "aren't we cool" photo ops, beyond that it is sadly lacking.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 17:00If you are looking for a laidback night on the beach with more of a true beach/surfer scene and less of the pretentious, ultra glam that regularly afflicts other South beach watering holes then Purdy is for you. Purdy is just a fun place to drink, dance, and be silly. They often have different local beach parties going on there whether its surfer themed or hip hop nights. They also have great drink deals if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck and little to no cover charge on most nights. Guys and gals can get away with much more casual attire here as well. So let your hair down and shake your booty on over to Purdy.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 16:53The Van Dyke is a cool place to take a date for good food and then wander upstairs to check out some of the great jazz musicians they have regularly. They have a lively bar on their first floor which spills out onto Licoln road, perfect for good conversation and people watching. The upstairs jazz lounge is very cozy and I'd advise getting their a little early if you want to snag a table. Its a good place to check out some talented local muscians and get away from the "usual" South beach scene.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 16:47I've been to Glass at the Forge a few times now and it always exceeds expectations. Its a bit north of the main club strip, but really is an overlooked gem compared to a lot of the B grade clubs on Washington Ave. The interior design is really posh in some areas and makes you feel like a VIP without the difficult door line. Of course I've been on a guestlist all the times I've gone so I'm sure that doesn't hurt. ;p They play some of the best techno/house music I've heard outside of Club Space and the hip/hop side really gets packed as well. The djs keep it jamming until the wee hours, but the crowd tends to fade out around 2-3am which seems to let the air out of the balloon and takes the party atmosphere with it. My main fault with this place is their untra expensive drinks which seem to vary in price depending on which bartender you get. I was charged $18 for a red bull & vodka once and the bartendress still didn't want to return my change. Also, when I ordered a glass of water with a different bartender he refused to get it for me which was really uncool. Maybe if this place had better service they would retain their crowds. So its a great place for dancing, but do take a flask if you're on a budget.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 16:35Ths place plays a good mix of music and has a fun atmosphere, but its really small and gets super packed on the weekend. There is very little area to sit and it was so hot that finally we had to leave around 2am.... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 16:33Cameo is a lot of fun and still knows how to throw a good party. It is one of the older clubs on the beach even though its seen its share of name changes and renovations. I went out to Cameo a few weeks ago and it was good. Luckily I was on a guest list so entrance was a breeze. If you're not on a list the door line can be painful and entrance would have been $30 that night if I hadn't gotten in free. To me thats a bit steep just for a regular night, not including drinks, etc. The club filled up fast and the djs kept us rocking until about 3:30am when I made my exit. They play a mix of standard Miami club music; old skool hip hop, r&b, 80's, a little rock, etc so pretty much anyone can get down. My only complaint was the dj had no concept of blending one song into another, he might as well have played a mixed cd since he was obviously lacking in the skills dept. By 3am they were starting to replay the same songs which is the usual cue to leave unless you're too wasted to notice. So all in all a good time, although I wouldn't want to pay for it since its not all that. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 16:22Nikki Beach has a nice chill vibe on Sundays and is a good way to unwind especially if you were out partying hardy the night before. I've always enjoyed going to the beach for a surf session with the sounds of house music from Nikke beach floating in the background. They're supposed to have a good brunch as well. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 16:16Space is my favorite club in Miami even after all these years. Club Space pretty much sets the standard for good hard house/techno music and its obvious in their spare interior design. It is located in a huge (25,000 sq feet) warehouse area that has ample room for dancing and more areas to sit than most clubs. Their focus really is on the music with a top of the line sound system and frequently top djs from around the world. Their in house djs aren't too bad as well and Space is usually always packed on the weekends. Its also very easy to get into most nights and they often send out passwords for free admission if you sign up for their emails. The bottom floor usually plays house/techno music, with the 2nd floor playing a mix of hip-hop/r&b and the open air terrace playing world music and trance into the wee hours. Many people arrive at 4-5am just to party on the terrace which keeps on going until 11am-1pm depending on the crowd. Space is always a good time for the hardcore partying scene and you don't have to get super dressed up to get in. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 11:36Seriously not a very imppressive article, there's a lot of stuff thats left out that a club going person should know. First, everyone I know that lives on South Beach still calls it Sobe, so this isn't a grand faux pas. The best thing to do before going to a club in Miami is look up their website online, a lot of them have VIP lists for certain nights and some like club Space will even send you passwords on certain nights if you sign up to receive their email. I've seen a lot of tourists on the beach looking out of place in their going out clothes, don't let that happen to you. If you're really clueless, check out crowd pictures from several different clubs and see what everyone else is wearing. The standard tip is the more expensive and glam the club, then the more you need to get dressed up. Watch Miami CSI to get an idea of the glam/metrosexual look you should be shooting for. ;] The best bet for getting past the door is try to come a little early say around 11-11:30, earlier than that and you'll most likely be sitting in an empty club. Put all the hot girls in the group to the front of the line and show some cleavage. If its a group of all guys, pickup some ladies off the street or whatever it takes because unless you're going to a gay bar you all will have very poor chances of getting into to most glitzy clubs without some ladies. If all else fails money talks and patience pays off too. Just try to get as close to the red rope as possible and be polite. Bottle service is super overpriced in Miami and can range from $200-500 per bottle depending on the place. Your best bet is to reserve a table online through the club's website. Sometimes they have better deals like 2 for 1, etc. Its costly, but if you have the dough it can be worthwhile because a lot of clubs like Mansion, SET, etc turn into standing room only for the non-VIP. Another thing, you can create an acount with meetup.com, they have a lot of good nightlife groups that are usually getting in for free. There are a lot of great clubs in downtown Miami now too if you're not so concerned about the Miami beach scene. ... Read more
Posted on Thu, 10.23.2008 @ 11:11Well it looked good and I succumbed to peer pressure at D'Vine since all my friends were getting "high" off air, okay flavored air. It looks better than it is and I ended up getting terrible bronchitis that took me nearly 2 months to finally get rid of. So thank you, I would prefer to smoke real things and leave the hookahs to people needing to look cool. ... Read more