Almost everything about Leku suggests that dinner at this Allapattah restaurant should be epic: it’s located inside a very cool art museum (The Rubell), it’s Spanish modernist-style cuisine from Basque Country (home to some of the world’s most exciting chefs), and they serve a melting cheesecake that’s one of the most photographed desserts in Miami. But just like going to an art show and finding that it’s all Romero Britto, the reality of a dinner at Leku is a letdown.
The food here isn’t so bad you’ll be ranting about it on the drive home. It’s edible. But it’s also excruciatingly boring—almost as if it’s trying not to upstage all the interesting artwork hanging next door. Dishes that sound intriguing, like a truffle tortilla, feel amateurish, and in a city where you can find plenty of very good Spanish tortillas, it’s a little offensive to serve one of Miami’s most expensive versions that also happens to be raw in the middle. Another dish that seems interesting on the menu—a tartare of iberico pork—just doesn’t have enough personality to be prepared with so little seasoning, and the dollops of mayonnaise (a recurring addition on too many dishes here) don’t do anything but add unnecessary richness to raw diced pork.
You’ll forget most other details about a meal here, including the ambiance, which feels like a pop-up that overstayed its welcome in a condo rec room. Your bank account won’t let you forget about Leku, though. But if you do feel the need to whip out your wallet while visiting the Rubell, save it for the cute gift shop.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.
Tartar De Ibérico
The only redeeming quality about this bland tartare is that you get to brag about having eaten raw pork. The meat is buttery, but in raw form the Ibérico pork doesn’t have the intense flavors you taste when it gets turned into jamón. It feels gimmicky, and without proper seasoning and more thoughtful garnishes, this dish is very forgettable. It should at least come with a t-shirt that says, "I Survived Raw Pork At Leku."
Tortilla Española Trufada
If the inside of this Spanish potato omelet wasn't raw, it would be an average tortilla. The part of the egg that’s not gushing all over your plate (i.e. the cooked part) has a pleathery texture. And the truffle flavor somehow gets lost in all of this.
Arroz De Setas A La Brasa
This is like a paella made with wild mushrooms. But the grains of rice are gummy on the outside and crunchy inside. There’s not much flavor to any of this. The socarrat—that golden crust that forms on the bottom of a paella—isn’t as satisfying as what you’d find in Miami’s dozens of traditional Spanish restaurants. Overall, it tastes like an overpriced pan of rice made by someone who recently Googled “how to make rice.”
Bacalao Confitado En Su Propio Pil Pil
This is Leku’s take on a classic basque dish of cod cooked in garlic and olive oil. One would expect Leku to elevate this homey dish, but instead it tastes like a downgrade from the traditional version. The whole preparation—like so much of Leku’s food—lacks flavor and will make you look around frantically for a bottle of hot sauce or a wedge of lime to give it some personality.
Tarta De Queso Vasca
The gloriously runny Basque cheese tart is a great dessert. It's creamy, not too sweet, and quite satisfying to run a fork through. Unfortunately, it's still not enough to save an otherwise boring dinner.