Chic South Beach Restaurant and Lounge

I can’t say this is my first time at Baoli Miami Beach and I can’t say it will be my last time. Baoli is the epitome of a South Beach restaurant. The wait staff is beautiful, the decor is beautiful, and the music is perfect for those ready to get the party started. Baoli describes itself as a Mediterranean restaurant and lounge, but really comes off as a cool place to eat and be seen. This is usually the type of place I bring someone from out of town to get the “South Beach vibe” when dining. Although tonight was more of a casual dinner, it was a great place to start the night before we went out afterwards.

The Food

The night started out with a favorite of ours, the hamachi sashimi tacos (left) as an appetizer. Sashimi tacos have become quite popular lately and Baoli’s tacos are up to par. The yellowtail is marinated in lime yuzu, topped with guacamole and a radish salad. They also give you some lime to add a little extra flavor. For two people this is a great starter as you get 4 in total. In addition to the tacos, Baoli provides it’s patrons with free guacamole, and chips. For my main course I tried to choose something light, which was the organic king salmon dish (middle). Cooked on a robata grill, this salmon is marinated in teriyaki and comes with ginger rice, cucumber tonkatsu and comes with a wasabi yuzu sauce. The grill gave the outside of the salmon a nice smokey flavor while the teriyaki gave it a sweet aftertaste. The rice was very sticky and molded into a diamond for presentation, it went great with the salmon. The cucumber was a nice pairing to not overwhelm the rest of the dish. All in all, it was a great tasting dish that didn’t leave me too stuffed. My wife got the California Salmon roll. This came with soy paper, salmon, and avocado and is a twist on a traditional California roll (right). I would like to comment on how good it was, but she finished it too quickly for me to see how it compared to my own meal. (That usually means it is very very good.)

The Drinks
As a lounge, this place has a pretty extensive bar. From a full wine list, to plenty of spirits, to an imaginative cocktail menu, Baoli’s goal is to keep you on the premises after dinner until the early morning. My wife ordered the Absolut Bramble, a mixture of Absolut Citron, Chambord, black berries, lemon juice and simple syrup. I only had a small taste but it definitely was a great cocktail. I was being a little boring tonight and got a Ron Zacapa on the rocks. It came kind of watered down but was still pretty good.

The Service
At the start, things were stellar. Our waitress and assistant took our orders quickly and returned with our drinks at the same speed. They answered our questions and even got a few extra things for us as each dish came. After servining our main courses, they were gone. It was impossible to get anyone’s attention. I had to grab another server to get our check after giving up on our waitress when we finished our meal. He was pretty quick to bring the check and got it back to us. After signing our check, our waitress finally showed up to see if we wanted dessert. She could care less when we told her we had already paid the check and she moved onto the next table.

Would I go back?
Despite the lack luster ending of our experience, I plan on going back to Baoli Miami Beach soon. As I mention in the beginning, it is a great place to bring guests or go out for drinks prior to a night out. The food is great and the establishment itself is beautiful. They really play well into the “South Beach Vibe.” If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate I highly recommend checking them out.