Restaurant News & Reviews

Get organic at SoBe’s Lilikoi

Mini falafel with yogurt mint dip and quinoa and black bean salad with radish, potato and avocado topped with sprouts at Lilikoi Organic Living, South Beach.
Mini falafel with yogurt mint dip and quinoa and 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 using mostly organic ingredients with a focus on clean eating, so there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options and hormone-free meats. Nutritional yeast is used in place 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, wood tables and a pressed tin ceiling painted white. Wicker chairs and a couch are at distressed wooden tables in the covered patio. There are juices, smoothies, sandwiches, salads and mains like green farro risotto made with an ancient wheat grain, green beans, pesto and a dollop of goat cheese; shrimp skewers with chile sauce; and gluten-free pizza made with rice flour.

The History: The restaurant is co-owned by Argentines Mariano and Silvana Torterola; son Manuel and daughter-in-law Tina, who run the restaurant. Chef Manuel went to culinary school in Buenos Aries. He landed a job at The Fat Duck near London (three Michelin stars) then went to Australia to cook at Aria next to the Sydney Opera House; he was mentored by a French chef at a bistro there. He met Tina two years ago while at an Italian eatery in Maui. She is 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 features free range poached eggs on whole wheat toast; an acai bowl with granola, fruit, honey and coconut flakes; papaya with tahini, bee pollen and cacao nibs; and gluten-free waffles with vanilla whipped cream. For nachos, corn chips are drizzled in avocado puree topped with black beans, bell pepper and micro cilantro. Salads include quinoa and black bean and penne pasta with olives, goat feta, spinach, Brussels sprout leaves and tomatoes. The chicken and melted Brie sandwich is on whole wheat with caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. The vegan burger is similar to falafel with chickpeas, mushrooms, parsley and red onion blended together and served with sun-dried tomato ketchup and yuca chips. There’s also a mahi sandwhich with coleslaw and tartar sauce; a quinoa and hummus wrap; and chicken burrito with chipotle aioli. Rice noodles are tossed with sesame seeds, peanuts, scallions, asparagus, pea shoots and Thai chile sauce. You can add crab, shrimp, mahi, smoked salmon, chicken or an egg to any dish.

You Didn’t Know This: A local baker from Better Sweet makes the vegan banana bread, pumpkin muffins and brownies at this sweet new addition to the Beach dining scene.

Linda Bladholm blogs at at on what she cooks, where she eats and who she meets along the way.

If You Go

Place: Lilikoi Organic Living

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

Contact: 305-763-8692

Hours: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday

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

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