The small café N-O-A has a few tables out front flanked by bougainvillea and is only open for lunch during the week. Inside there’s a white leather couch to wait for a pickup order, several tables and a L-shaped counter with stools where diners can watch the kitchen action. The cuisine changes with the seasons, offering Mediterranean dishes and specials ranging from grilled grouper with lemon and oregano to sweet potato soup with ginger and orange peel.
Israeli proprietor and chef Adi Kafri grew up in Tel Aviv. Her grandparents immigrated from Austria, Russia, and Bulgaria to what was then known as Palestine. Adi had a restaurant in Tel Aviv but came to Miami 10 years ago for a restaurant opportunity with a business partner. After it closed, she starting a catering company and named the year-old cafe for the initials of her daughters, Niv, Omer and Amit. She added a few Thai dishes after taking cooking classes in Thailand.
Fresh focacciacomes to the table gratis, with chipotle aioli dip. Sandwiches made with the bread include tuna salad with olive tapenade and roasted peppers, curry chicken with cranberries, and Buffalo chicken with celery and Gorgonzola spread. Salads are meal-sized. Try the Greek with feta or the mezze, bringing hummus drizzled in tahini, rice-stuffed vine leaves and grilled vegetables such as eggplant, asparagus, peppers and zucchini served with pita.
Entrees are generous and include fettuccine in pesto cream with capers and grilled salmon, crispy rosemary lemon chicken, and salmon teriyaki with ginger and lemongrass, all with a choice of daily sides. Homemade truffles make a sweet end at this low-key spot in an emerging neighborhood with take-out and delivery.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.