Como Como and Mezcalista Lounge Open at Moxy Miami South Beach

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The tequila tree donates mezcal and tequila at the bar in the new seafood restaurant Como Como on Moxy Miami South Beach.

Photo by Michael Kleinberg

The Coyo Taco Group, which has grown in Miami, is expanding this month with several new openings, including Serena at the Moxy Miami South Beach Hotel and the Oasis in Wynwood.

The Moxy opened in February and presented several gastronomic concepts from the founders of 1-800-Lucky and Coyo Taco. Serena and Los Buenos are now joined by Como Como, a fish restaurant and a raw bar.

Como Como, the brand’s take on a marisquería – or a traditional Mexican seafood restaurant – opens alongside Mezcalista, a mezcal lounge that is making its debut at the hotel this week.

Como Como is a game of the Spanish words for “how I eat” – a nod to the group’s focus on more than just the look of the restaurant, but also how the guest experience relates to the cooking itself. At Como Como, preparing your meal becomes part of the show.

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According to Scott Linquist, Executive Chef at Coyo Taco Group, Como Como’s menu has been designed to bring together the flavors of Mexico’s most popular coastal towns from Puerto Escondido and Los Cabos to Acapulco. The idea was to create an authentic interpretation of the marisquería.

In the dining room center, guests will find a copper and wrought iron fire station where they can watch whole fish being cooked on a wood grill. Here, Linquist prepares dishes that highlight traditional techniques with a theatrical dining experience, with most dishes costing between $ 28 and $ 52.

Many dishes feature whole grilled fish caught in local waters, such as pescado a la talla, snapper that is grilled with butterflies and painted with two marinades. Tikin-xic is a Mayan preparation made from whole branzino, flavored with bitter orange, habanero chillies and achiote. The fish is cooked in banana leaves and unpacked, fragrant and steaming, at the table. Table presentations complement the show, be it a traditional Caesar salad (a dish from Tijuana, Mexico) or ha and chopped tartar de pescado (fish of the day).

The barra cruda (raw bar) is a monolithic, raw stone in the center of the dining room where raw offerings are displayed. Each comes with a Mexican twist like oysters, served with a pineapple and vinegar mignonette or a picadillo made from tomatillos and cucumber.

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The Langosta of Como Como in Moxy Miami South Beach.  - PHOTO BY DEYSON RODRIGUEZ

The Langosta of Como Como in Moxy Miami South Beach.

Photo by Deyson Rodriguez

Other dishes on the evening menu are Alambre al Pastor. A variation of Mexico City’s Al Pastor tacos, here grilled as scallops or pork fillet on a skewer with pineapple and spring onions. The restaurant also offers a changing selection of meat dishes, including chuletón (ribeye steak), filet (filet mignon), and adobo marinated rack of lamb, all of which are flame grilled in the Fuego and served with a variety of homemade sauces and condiments.

Vegetable dishes are roasted in the fuego’s Josper charcoal oven and served in cast-iron pans, including esquites, roasted corn with homemade garlic aioli, morita chili and cotija cheese; and roasted artichokes with roasted jalapeño aioli, butter herb breadcrumbs and charred lemon. Many dishes are accompanied by tortillas that are ground and pressed in-house and cooked on a comal, the traditional Mexican griddle.

Inside, just as much attention to detail has been devoted to the interior of the restaurant. Saladino Design Studios designed the space to display a catacomb-like area dedicated to the ancient traditions of mezcal, which was first distilled centuries ago. Copper shelves hold glass bottles of mezcal and tequila. The stone and brick-lined walls display Mesoamerican artifacts, while carved wooden doors and a wrought-iron archway lead guests into the main dining room. The restaurant also offers dining in the courtyard with colored tiles, hanging plants, and rock gardens.

Perhaps the most striking structural element of Como Como, however, is its “tequila tree,” Sean Saladino, director of Saladino Design Studios, told the New Times.

In the middle of the bar is a sculpture made of hand-blown glass spheres and copper pipes; The art is supposed to symbolize the distillation process that turns the blue agave into tequila and mezcal. It’s also functional – tequila wanders through the branches of glass and metal before being dispensed by bartenders to become one of Como Como’s cocktails.

“We pride ourselves on telling a deeper story with an imperfect, chaotic design,” said Saladino, whose family is from Guadalajara. “We came up with the idea of ​​creating a sculptural piece that shows how tequila is made. In reality there isn’t a tequila tree, but we wanted it to feel like it was something to see in Mexico. Most designers would stop, but we delved deep into the technique to find out how it would work, how the tequila is stored, drained and served to the customer. ”

Open today for private events – and open to the public in June – the Mezcalista features an impressive collection of more than 100 types of mezcal and tequila. The space is reached through a discreet entrance at the back of Como Como. Experienced mezcaliers will be on hand to connect with guests and explain the various floral and smoky notes. The atmosphere of the lounge ranges from intimate and relaxing at the beginning of the week to chic and exclusive on the weekend with performances by live guest DJs.

Como Como. 915 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-423-8004; comocomomiami.com

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