Style Observer

Komodo — an elevated dining experience

Sunday, May 21, 2017

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Located in Brickell, Miami's financial district, Asian restaurant Komodo is impressive on all of its three levels.Securing a table for 10 takes a little juggling, but soon we are comfortably seated and ordering cocktails. Our host's menu selection finds favour with us all, especially the ladies who've just returned from the restrooms — as impressive as the swanky multi-level space, might we hasten to add.

All set with cocktails, from the Komodo Pineapple Express to the Yuzu Daquiri and the popular Ginger, the decision is made to order a wide selection of small plates — naturally, Peking duck is included.

What makes the evening that more special is the fact that owner David Grutman, the power behind Miami Beach's LIV and Story — yes, that same one — is dining at the next table.

Grutman, who has created a worldwide lifetsyle brand with two of the country's top nightlife venues, has introduced his trademark style and energy to the restaurant landscape.

Never too busy for his patrons, and obviously au fait with the value of repeat business, he is immediately on his feet, eager to show off the rest of the impressive 17,000-square foot — 13 inside and four outside — three-storey indoor/outdoor eatery and lounge which combines cuisine from Southeast Asia with a South Florida vibe. His desire is “to elevate the dining and nightlife experience on Brickell Avenue”.

Grutman also shares with SO how meeting and conversing with Chris Blackwell, Island Outpost founder and former manager of Bob Marley, inspired his foray into the industry.

Indeed, his playbook is pretty similar — Komodo, like the Island Outpost properties, is a magnet for visiting celebs.

The service is as discreet as it is flawless. We return to folded napkins, which are once again placed on our laps.

From mushroom noodles to vegetable dumplings, curried prawns and dragon fries, Wagyu beef dumplings with tahini chilli, salt cod dumpling with blood orange and radish sprouts and, of course, the Peking duck, the food competes in a space designed to elevate the culinary experience — think: five exterior floating bird's nest pods — and wins!

If you've not already done so, add Komodo to your next Brickell stop.

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