By Diana Rodriguez
Going Green tastes so good now with Lilikoi in the neighborhood. Located in Miami Beach, the recently opened organic restaurant is run by a dynamic husband and wife team. We went to visit them a couple weeks ago to discover how this duo is bringing Hawaii to our backyard.
The story goes back to when Manuel Torterola, chef and owner, moved to Maui with his family at the prime age of 16. While his father trained for an Iron Man competition, his family also owned and operated a health-conscious bistro in Argentina. You can say healthy eating is in his blood. Fast forward some time to when he meets his wife Tina, who inspired this venture and joins him now in Miami Beach’s chic SoFi area.
And so the dream is realized as Lilikoi Organic Restaurant. From the white walls to the island-urban décor, there is a simple charm about this place. The sense of familiarity among the diners is welcoming, and the bright color accents from the bar stools to the repurposed cabinets can transform you to another place.
Their commitment to us is to serve the freshest ingredients that are locally and organically sourced. It is all about keeping unnecessary ingredients to a minimum without compromising taste (the most important sense in our book). We were thrilled to have arrived during brunch hours on a sunny Saturday morning.
The first dish brought to our table was the Veggie Egg Frittata (vegetarian, and can be made gluten-free). This fluffy omelet was enriched with mushrooms, spinach, caramelized onion and micro herbs. Goat cheese was lightly blended in so as to not overpower the other flavors. Placed right in the middle was a roasted tomato so juicy and incredibly tasty; we had a piece with each bite. We washed this down with their counter culture kombucha on tap—mighty fizz with hints of ginger.
Another fantastic option at Lilikoi (my top choice for a refreshing post-workout meal) is the Acai Bowl. The acai is blended with a ripe banana, and then topped with house made granola, seasonal fruit, local honey and tons of coconut flakes. Check their breakfast menu for other assorted bagels and eggs benedict. Or stop by for lunch and delight on a variety of wraps, sandwiches, burgers, salads and main dish specialties.
Here is a side dish that you definitely can’t leave without: Gobo Chips. They are made from burdock root also found in Hawaii. These chips are addicting, but also carry lots of health benefits (see, we care about your health, too!) like being high in antioxidants and even anti-inflammatory benefits that help cleanse the blood of toxins. The Gobo Chips are lightly fried with coconut oil and sprinkled with pink salt. Fatties will lick their fingers and vegans will buy it by the truckload.
Come in and experience this treat. Lilikoi is located at 500 South Pointe Drive.