Lincoln Road is not synonymous with the best of Miami food, and that’s putting it kindly. There are more appetizing things to eat inside the street’s Sketchers store than in most of the area’s insufferably touristy, hookah smoke-filled spots.
But Mila, an untz-untz see-and-be-seen rooftop restaurant, stands out from the rest of the Lincoln Road options—for mostly good reasons. It is, like its peers, pricier than it ought to be. But unlike those peers, the food isn’t an afterthought. Some of it’s actually tasty. Plus, the restaurant has a sleek design that’s not aesthetically chaotic and some pretty outdoor patio seating.
If we sound surprised, that’s because we typically have low expectations for restaurants with $20 cocktails, fire dancers in the dining room, signs warning about dress code, and a Tulum-y house soundtrack that’s turned up three notches too loud. These are the kind of places one usually gets dragged to for a bachelor/bachelorette party, or because a friend who’s staying in town wants to see a celebrity. Mila is definitely that kind of place.
But at least here, you will be served dishes that aren’t just meant to soak up obnoxiously-priced bottles of alcohol. There are crudos you’ll actually enjoy, tender satay-glazed chicken, and properly grilled vegetables. This place still isn’t our first choice for much, because issues do exist. The “MediterrAsian” menu is vague and doesn’t really do justice to either cuisine. Menu descriptions sound way more ambitious than they end up tasting, and portions can best be described as nibble-size. You’ll leave slightly hungry and having spent enough money to make you wince when you check your bank account the next day.
But there are far more brutal sacrifices one can make on a quest to eat at a sceney South Beach restaurant. Trust us. And worst-case scenario, you’ll get to watch someone twirl fire in the dining room while you curse that friend who dragged you here only to spend all of dinner texting a promoter.
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The fish in this crudo is tender and buttery. The blood orange ponzu could have a bit more punch, but overall this is a good dish to have on the table.
Shawarma Wagyu Gyoza
Don’t ask us what makes these gyoza “shawarma” because we truly have no idea and were offered no explanation. Still, they have pleasantly crispy bottoms and flavorful beef fillings. They are quite tiny, though.
Satay Glazed Chicken
This is another dish we like, but wish had a few more more bites (especially for $16). The skewers of satay-glazed chicken thighs are indeed super tender. Just know that you’ll only get two skewers, so plan accordingly.
You might not remember these grilled artichokes the next day, but you will happily finish them. The crispy sunchoke chips might be the best part of the dish—even better than the shaved truffle that's contributing about as much as your friend who won’t get off their phone.
Spicy Tuna Maki
Mila’s sushi is really disappointing. You won’t spit it out, but you’ll be mad it’s just so aggressively average. The maki in particular—especially the spicy tuna—is stuffed with pathetically small amounts of bland fish.