Lilikoi organic restaurant now open on South Beach

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Mini Falafel with Mint Yogurt Dip and Quinoa Black Bean Salad with Radish, Potato and Avocado topped with Sprouts at Lilikoi Organic Living, South Beach.

The place: Lilikoi Organic Living offers a menu composed mainly of organic ingredients and focused on healthy eating. So there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options and hormone-free meats. Nutritional yeast is used instead of salt and frying is done in coconut oil. The space near South Pointe Park has a tropical vibe with a black-and-white mural of plants, wooden tables, and a white-painted pressed pewter ceiling. Wicker chairs and a sofa sit on aged wooden tables in the covered patio. There are juices, smoothies, sandwiches, salads and main dishes like green farro risotto made with an old grain of wheat, green beans, pesto and a spoonful of goat cheese; shrimp skewers with chili sauce; and gluten-free pizza made with rice flour.

The story: The restaurant is jointly owned by Argentines Mariano and Silvana Torterola; his son Manuel and his daughter-in-law Tina, who run the restaurant. Chef Manuel went to the Culinary School in Buenos Aires. He landed a job at the Fat Duck near London (three Michelin stars) then went to Australia to cook at the Aria near the Sydney Opera House; he was supervised by a French chef in a bistro there. He met Tina two years ago at an Italian restaurant in Maui. She is originally from a small town in Minnesota, where she grew up on a farm and opened a restaurant in Minneapolis before moving to Maui. There, she worked at Spago, became a sommelier and opened an organic restaurant. The couple came to Miami Beach a few months before opening Lilikoi. They support local farms and work with the Garden Network, which delivers organic produce every week.

The food: Breakfast includes free-range poached eggs on whole wheat toast; a bowl of acai with granola, fruit, honey and coconut flakes; tahini papaya, bee pollen and cocoa beans; and gluten-free waffles with vanilla whipped cream. For the nachos, the corn chips are drizzled with mashed avocado topped with black beans, bell pepper and micro cilantro. The salads include quinoa, black beans and penne with olives, goat feta, spinach, Brussels sprout leaves and tomatoes. The melted chicken and brie sandwich is on whole wheat with caramelized onions, sundried tomatoes and spinach. The vegan burger is similar to falafel with chickpeas, mushrooms, parsley, and red onions mixed together and served with sundried tomato ketchup and yuca chips. There is also a mahi sandwich with coleslaw and tartar sauce; a quinoa and hummus wrap; and chicken burrito with chipotle aioli. The rice noodles are mixed with sesame seeds, peanuts, green onions, asparagus, pea sprouts and Thai chili sauce. You can add crab, shrimp, mahi, smoked salmon, chicken or an egg to any dish.

You did not know it: A local Better Sweet baker is making vegan banana bread, pumpkin muffins and brownies in this sweet new addition to the beach dining scene.

Place: Lilikoi Vie Bio

Address: 500 South Pointe Dr., suite 180, Miami Beach

Contact: 305-763-8692

Hours: 8 am-7pm Tuesday to Sunday

Prices: Breakfast $ 8- $ 16, salads $ 10- $ 18, sandwiches $ 13.50- $ 22, entrees $ 8- $ 20

for your information. Brunch offered on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., available for private functions, valet parking at $ 10 across the street at the Marea building

This story was originally published July 13, 2016 2:15 p.m.


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