The South Beach, Miami neighborhood can be a lot for those not used to its beach-y hustle and bustle. It can even be sensory overload for those of us who have come to expect the business of it. But during a recent trip to this South Florida gem, I became hip to a bit of an oasis in the city.
My most recent trip to South Beach served as my first introduction to the South of Fifth neighborhood (or “SoFi” if ya nasty…okay, not really). South of Fifth is more of a residential area, so it isn’t nearly as fast-paced as other neighborhoods on the beach. Although it’s far quieter than other parts of South Beach, the SoFi neighborhood is still home to lots of restaurants, plenty of beach, and the newly-renovated Stanton South Beach.
The Stanton South Beach is where I had the pleasure of staying, during a press trip to South Beach in November. Also, you may recall a mention of their Happy Hour (at Lolo’s Surf Cantina) in a past blog post.
There’s tons of great food in South Beach, but unfortunately what gets thrown at you is over-sized/overpriced margaritas and seemingly Applebees-inspired eats. That being said, the Stanton South Beach is one to look out for thanks to its culinary options. Simply put, their current restaurant, Lolo’s Surf Cantina serves up good food. I know that sounds super bare bones, but it’s true. Take for instance their Mayan Dip. It’s made using pumpkin seeds and is served with fresh veggies. Simple, but also eat-an-entire-bowl-by-yourself worthy.
The menu at Lolo’s also features boneless chicken, whole snapper, and prime NY strip dishes that come with house-made sauces and tortillas. The snapper is quite the looker, but my personal favorite was the boneless chicken. It’s flavorful, juicy, and a little house-made salsa drizzle really sets it over the top.
Foodies take note: Some time this winter, Lolo’s will be joined at the Stanton South Beach by Azabu, a traditional Japanese restaurant. Although Azabu, which is named after a district in Tokyo, wasn’t open when I visited in November, they did treat us to a tasting featuring cocktails that will be served once the restaurant opens. It was during this tasting that I was introduced to one of the most complex and flavorful Old Fashioneds I’ve ever had. An Orient-inspired twist on the Old Fashioned, it was made using Japanese whisky, a paste made from toasted sesame seeds, aromatic bitters, orange peel, and a chili finish. The addition of toasted sesame, gave this particular cocktail a warmth and richness in taste. We also sampled Azabu’s “Spring In Tokyo” cocktail, which is considered a palette cleanser. It was another looker in the aesthetics department (pictured below).
The Stanton isn’t all food and booze though. Although I’d have zero problem, if it was. A new fitness center and spa are among the fresh additions also heading to the Stanton South Beach. Until their arrival, you can bask in some rays at the hotel’s inviting pool area, cruise down to South Pointe Park on one of their complimentary bicycles, or just grab a drink during Happy Hour at Lolo’s.
*** Complimentary food/drink tastings, and accommodations were provided during my trip to Miami, but the thoughts in this post are my own.